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Release Note: Performing a clean install of BIG-IP version 9.0.5
Release Note

Updated Date: 03/24/2005


This technical note documents performing a clean install of the BIG-IP software version 9.0.5 using a CD mounted on an installation server. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.


- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- About the BIG-IP version 9.0.5 upgrade
- Installing the upgrade

Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

The minimum system requirements for this release are:

  • Intel® Pentium® III 933Mhz processor
  • 512MB disk drive or CompactFlash® card
  • 512MB RAM

The supported browsers for the Configuration utility are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer TM, version 6.x and later
  • Netscape® Navigator TM, version 7.1, and other browsers built on the same engine, such as Mozilla TM, Firefox TM, and Camino TM.
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Supported platforms

This upgrade is supported only on the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 1000 (D39)
  • BIG-IP 2400 (D44)
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 1500 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 3400 (C62)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)

If you are unsure which platform you have, look at the sticker on the back of the chassis to find the platform number.

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About the BIG-IP version 9.0.5 upgrade

This technical note describes how to create a clean install of the BIG-IP software to version 9.0.5.

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Installing the upgrade

Use these procedures to upgrade directly to version 9.0.5.

The process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 9.0.5 requires:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Designating and configuring a remote host to be a Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) server

Before you perform a network boot from a CD, you must designate and configure a remote host to be a Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) server. This remote host must meet all the following criteria:

  • Contain a CD-ROM drive.
  • Support a CD-ROM boot.
  • Reside on the same network as the BIG-IP client.

Note:  You must connect the installation server to the MGMT port on the BIG-IP unit.

Note:  If you are upgrading a BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), or BIG-IP 6400 (D63) platform, you must use an Ethernet cross-over cable to connect to the management interface. If you are upgrading a BIG-IP 1000 (D39), BIG-IP 2400 (D44), BIG-IP 5100 or 5110 (D51), you can use a standard Ethernet cable to connect to the management interface.

Once you have designated a host, complete the following steps:

  1. Insert the CD into the drive on the installation server and reboot the host system from the CD-ROM drive.
    The following message displays:
    Select terminal type? [vt100]

    Press Enter to use vt100 emulation, or type the name of the terminal emulator you are using.

  2. After you select the terminal type, the following screen opens:
    Maintenance OS Options
    Serve   Provide network installation services
    Install Install software onto hard disk
    Reboot  Reboot to your current system
    Exit    Exit to maintenance shell
  3. Select the default, Serve.
    A list of available network interfaces displays.
    Select one for the installation server interface.

  4. After you select the interface you want to use as the installation server interface, the following prompt displays:
    Use existing DHCP server on subnet [no]? 
  5. Indicate your DHCP choice:
    • If there is an existing DHCP server on your subnet that you want to use, type yes.
      The server configuration automatically completes.

      If you choose this option, skip the rest of this procedure and go directly to Boot the target hardware from the remote installation server.

    • If you want to set up this server as the DHCP server, type no.
      The following series of prompts displays:
      IP network [10.1.10]?
      IP address of server 10.1.10[n] [199]?
      Lower range for clients 10.1.10.[n] [199]?
      Upper range for clients 10.1.10.[n] [200]?
      • If your subnet consists only of the server and the target BIG-IP unit, or is otherwise a private subnet, use the default IP addresses provided.

        If other machines share the subnet and there is a possibility of conflict, substitute the appropriate unique IP addresses and ranges. When you have finished entering the addresses, they are displayed and you are prompted to accept or reject them.

        Note: When you enter the IP address of the server, you need to enter only the last octet. When completing the lower and upper ranges for the clients, enter the network number(s) where the clients are situated.

      • If the settings displayed are correct, type yes. If they are not, type no and you are prompted to re-enter the addresses.
  6. Finally, you are prompted to specify the protocol you want to use to transfer the installation files. The default protocol is HTTP; however, you can also transfer the files using NFS.

    Once you accept the settings, the server configuration is complete.
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Booting the target hardware from the remote installation server

After you designate and configure a remote host to be a installation server, you are ready to perform the network boot from the console of the platform on which you wish to install the software.

Note:  You must connect the installation server to the MGMT port on the BIG-IP unit.

  1. First, select the method you want to use to net boot the unit:
    • If the machine is powered down, power it up, and within the first ten seconds use a paperclip to push the NETboot button on the front panel of the IP Application Switch.

    • If the machine is booted and running, type the following two commands:

      bigpipe db boot.netreboot enable
      If you receive the following message after you type the reboot command, use a paperclip to push the RESET button on the front panel of the IP Application Switch. Then, within ten seconds, use a paperclip to push the NETboot button.
      The requested operation is not supported by the hardware.
  2. After the system reboots, it attempts to discover the installation server.

    Once the installation server is found, the system presents the following prompt:
    Press M or Control-SPACE to view menu.
    Let the timer count down to auto-select the installation options. After the timer counts down, the installer presents the terminal type.
    Terminal type? [vt100]
    Press Enter to continue, or type the terminal type you are using. We recommend that you use vt100.

  3. A number of messages scroll by and then the install script starts. Once the install script starts, you can use the arrow and Tab keys to navigate the options. You can use the Enter key or highlighted letter key to select an option from a menu, or the Spacebar to toggle select boxes on or off.

  4. The install script prompts you for the following information.

    • You can specify a syslog server if you want a log of the install process. Type the IP address of the syslog server you want to use, or continue without typing an IP address if you do not want to specify a syslog server.

    • After the syslog screen, you are prompted for an installation server URL or path.
      The installation script provides the information about the installation server you created. We recommend you choose the installation server found by the installation script. The format for the URL is: http://<installserver>/cdserver or nfs://<installserver>/cdserver

    • After you choose the installation server found by the installation script, you are then prompted for the slot on which you want to install the software. A slot is a portion of a drive with adequate space required for an installation. If the hardware supports multiple slots, you can create more than one installation by installing the software on each slot. At boot time, you can select the installation that you want to boot. To install on multiple slots, follow the on-screen instructions.

    • You then have the option to roll forward the supported configurations (config.ucs files) found on the system.

    • After you have completed the prompts for the installer, review the install options you have selected.

  5. To transfer the files and begin the installation, press Enter.

    The software takes only a few minutes to install. Once the installation is complete, the unit reboots to the installation in slot 0 or CF (compact flash). You can use the switchboot utility to specify which installation you want to boot by default. For more information about the switchboot utility, see the BIG-IP version 9.0.5 release notes.

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Adding an IP address to the management interface using the config command

After you complete the installation of the software, and before you license the software, run the config command to configure an IP address, net mask, and gateway on the management port (MGMT). The config command is a command line utility created for this purpose. You can run the config command from the serial console you used during installation.

To run the config command, type the following command:


After you run this utility and add an IP address, net mask, and gateway to your management port, you can log in to the Configuration utility (graphical user interface), and license the unit.

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Licensing the traffic management software using the Configuration utility

Before you can convert your configuration files or configure the system, you must license the version 9.0.5 software. To activate the license for the system, you must have a base registration key. The registration key is a 27-character string that lets the license server know which F5 products you are entitled to license. If you do not already have a registration key, you can obtain one using the dossier from a licensed 4.5x system ( For details, see Obtaining a version 9.0x registration key.

To activate the license using the Configuration utility

  1. Open a web browser on a work station attached to the network on which you configured the management port. If you have not configured this IP address, see Adding an IP address to the management interface using the config command.

  2. Type the following URL in the browser, where <IP address> is the address you configured for the management port (MGMT):
    https://<IP address>/

  3. At the password prompt, type the default user name admin and the default password admin, and click OK.
    The Licensing screen of the Configuration utility opens.

  4. To begin the licensing process, click the Activate button. Follow the on-screen prompts to license the system. For additional information, click the Help tab.

  5. Once you have activated the license, STOP.
    DO NOT continue with the Setup utility if you want to use the One Time Conversion Utility (OTCU) to convert your 4.5x configuration files. For more information see Converting the configuration data using the OTCU.
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