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Manual Chapter: Bootable USB Flash Drives
Manual Chapter
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Bootable USB Flash Drives

About creating a bootable USB flash drive on a BIG-IP system

You can use mkdisk, which is included in the BIG-IP® installation ISO image file, to create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP software ISO image. You can then use this bootable USB flash drive to install or upgrade a system when you either do not have the installation image on the storage drive, or when you cannot access the storage drive. Additionally, you can use the USB flash drive to recover the system.

Linux system requirements for creating a bootable USB flash drive

The Linux system used to create a bootable USB flash drive must contain these system software components and third-party utilities.

Component Description
Linux 2.6.x kernel
Perl Version 5.8 or later
Library for WWW in Perl (LWP) package Downloadable from cpan.org

Creating a bootable USB flash drive

You can create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP® software ISO image using either an existing BIG-IP system that is running a recent BIG-IP software release or a Linux workstation that is running a recent Linux distribution.
  1. Log on to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Mount the BIG-IP installation as a loopback device, using one of these methods:
    • If you have a BIG-IP system with the BIG-IP ISO image located in the /shared/images directory, mount the ISO image: mount –o loop BIGIP-version.iso /mnt/cd
    • If you have a DVD drive attached to the BIG-IP system that contains a valid BIG-IP image, insert the DVD into the DVD drive.
  3. Insert a 2 GB or larger flash drive into a USB port on the BIG-IP system or Linux workstation.
  4. Change to the root directory to the mounted image.
    cd /mnt/cd
  5. Start the mkdisk script.
    ./mkdisk
  6. Respond to the series of questions that display by choosing the appropriate options for your configuration.
    1. Specify the BIG-IP system that you plan to use as the target for USB flash drive installation.
    2. Specify the device to be used by mkdisk (that is, the USB flash drive that you are creating).
    3. Confirm that you want to continue by typing y.
    4. Specify the product to transfer (for example, BIG-IP version 11.6.0) or type y if there is only one product.
    The script checks for the required tools and creates the flash drive. The flash drive creation process might take several minutes.
  7. When the process is complete, unmount the ISO image.
    umount /mnt/iso
You can now remove the USB flash drive and use it to boot BIG-IP systems, as needed.

Booting a BIG-IP system from a bootable USB flash drive

Before you boot the BIG-IP® system to the Maintenance OS (MOS), be sure that you have console access to the system, either through a console server or directly through a serial connection.
Important: Once you boot to the MOS, you lose connection with the system over SSH on the management port.
You can use a bootable USB flash drive as the installation source to install or upgrade a BIG-IP system.
  1. Insert the flash drive into the USB port of the target system.
  2. Boot the target system.
    The device automatically boots to the MOS on the attached USB flash drive.

About creating a bootable USB flash drive on a VIPRION system

You can use mkdisk, which is included in the BIG-IP® installation ISO image file, to create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP software ISO image. You can then use this bootable USB flash drive to install or upgrade a system when you either do not have the installation image on the storage drive, or when you cannot access the storage drive. Additionally, you can use the USB flash drive to recover the system.

Linux system requirements for creating a bootable USB flash drive

The Linux system used to create a bootable USB flash drive must contain these system software components and third-party utilities.

Component Description
Linux 2.6.x kernel
Perl Version 5.8 or later
Library for WWW in Perl (LWP) package Downloadable from cpan.org

Creating a bootable USB flash drive

You can create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP® software ISO image using either an existing BIG-IP system that is running a recent BIG-IP software release or a Linux workstation that is running a recent Linux distribution.
  1. Log on to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Mount the BIG-IP installation as a loopback device, using one of these methods:
    • If you have a BIG-IP system with the BIG-IP ISO image located in the /shared/images directory, mount the ISO image: mount –o loop BIGIP-version.iso /mnt/cd
    • If you have a DVD drive attached to the BIG-IP system that contains a valid BIG-IP image, insert the DVD into the DVD drive.
  3. Insert a 2 GB or larger flash drive into a USB port on the BIG-IP system or Linux workstation.
  4. Change to the root directory to the mounted image.
    cd /mnt/cd
  5. Start the mkdisk script.
    ./mkdisk
  6. Respond to the series of questions that display by choosing the appropriate options for your configuration.
    1. Specify the BIG-IP system that you plan to use as the target for USB flash drive installation.
    2. Specify the device to be used by mkdisk (that is, the USB flash drive that you are creating).
    3. Confirm that you want to continue by typing y.
    4. Specify the product to transfer (for example, BIG-IP version 11.6.0) or type y if there is only one product.
    The script checks for the required tools and creates the flash drive. The flash drive creation process might take several minutes.
  7. When the process is complete, unmount the ISO image.
    umount /mnt/iso
You can now remove the USB flash drive and use it to boot BIG-IP systems, as needed.

Booting a VIPRION system from a bootable USB flash drive

Before you boot the VIPRION® system to the Maintenance OS (MOS), be sure that you have console access to the system, either through a console server or directly through a serial connection.
Important: Once you boot to the MOS, you lose connection with the system.
You can use a bootable USB flash drive as the installation source to install or upgrade a VIPRION system.
  1. Insert the flash drive into the USB port of the target system.
  2. Boot the target system.
    The device automatically boots to the MOS on the attached USB flash drive.

VIPRION B4100/B4200 blade requirements for creating a bootable USB flash drive

When using VIPRION® B4100/B4200 blades to create a bootable USB flash drive, the blades must contain these system software components and third-party utilities that are separate from TMOS®.

Component Description
sfdisk To change disk partitioning
mke2fs To create a Linux (ext2) file system
mkelfImage To make an Executable and Linkable Format (ELF) boot image for Linux kernel images
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