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Release Note: Upgrading from BIG-IP software versions 4.5 PTF-04 through 4.5.10 to BIG-IP software version 9.0.1
Release Note

Updated Date: 09/08/2004


This technical note documents upgrading to BIG-IP software version 9.0.1 from BIG-IP software versions 4.5 PTF-04 through 4.5.10. 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 9.0.1 upgrade
- Obtaining a version 9.0x registration key
- 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:

  • D39 (BIG-IP 1000)
  • D44 (BIG-IP 2400)
  • D51 (BIG-IP 5100 and 5110)

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 9.0.1 upgrade

This technical note describes how to upgrade the BIG-IP software to version 9.0.1.  If the system is currently running BIG-IP software versions 4.5 PTF-04 through 4.5.10, you can perform the upgrade using the BIG-IP version 9.0.1 Upgrade CD.

Warning:  The BIG-IP system does not support upgrading from version 4.5 PTF-03 or earlier. If you are running BIG-IP software version 4.5 PTF-03 or earlier, you must upgrade to version 4.5 PTF-04, before you can upgrade to version 9.0.1.

Warning:  You can only apply this upgrade to BIG-IP HA systems. The following software is not supported by this upgrade: BIG-IP versions 4.6 and later, the Link Controller, the eCommerce Controller, the Blade Controller, and the 3-DNS Controller.

Note:  If you are running BIG-IP version 4.6 or later software, you must revert to version 4.5.10 or earlier software before you apply the version 9.0.1 upgrade. (The minimum supported version is version 4.5.4.) Once you have installed a 4.5.x version of the BIG-IP software, you can proceed with the version 9.0.1 upgrade. When you revert to the 4.5.x software, you lose any features introduced in the 4.6 software.

The BIG-IP version 9.0.1 Upgrade CD ROM contains a special One-Time Conversion Utility (OTCU) for converting your current configuration during the upgrade. The OTCU parses pre-9.0.1 configuration files and uses the data to create a 9.0.1 configuration database. This conversion is necessary because the configuration files, file locations, and file formats in 4.5 versions are different in version 9.0.1.

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Obtaining a version 9.0x registration key

Before you begin the upgrade process, you should obtain a version 9.0 registration key using the dossier on the 4.5x system you want to upgrade.

To obtain a version 9.0x registration key

  1. Open the Configuration utility on the unit you want to upgrade.
  2. In the navigation pane, click System Admin.
    The System Admin screen opens.
  3. In the System Admin screen, click the License Administration tab.
    The License Administration screen opens.
  4. In the License Administration screen, click Manual Authorization
    A screen containing the Dossier displays.
  5. Copy the dossier to a safe place.
  6. In a browser window, open
    The F5 Licensing Tools web site opens.
  7. In the F5 Licensing Tools site, click Upgrade License to V9.0. Follow the instructions to get a version 9.0 registration key.

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Installing the upgrade

If the BIG-IP system is currently running version 4.5 PTF-04 through 4.5.10, you can upgrade directly to version 9.0.1, using the following procedure.

If you are running a pre-4.5 PTF-04 version of the BIG-IP software, you must first upgrade to version 4.5 PTF-04, and then upgrade to version 9.0.1. 

The process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 9.0.1 requires you to do the following:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Save and back up existing 4.5.x BIG-IP configuration data

Before you upgrade to BIG-IP version 9.0.1, you need to save your version 4.5x configuration data. This file is used by the OTCU to convert your 4.5 configuration files to the 9.0.1 configuration file format. In addition, this prevents loss of data if, for any reason, the version 9.0.1 upgrade is not successful.

Collect and archive the version 4.5 configuration files, by typing the following command. Note that config.ucs is the name you must use for the UCS file and the file must be saved at the / partition.
bigpipe config save /config.ucs

Note: If you are upgrading a system that is using zonefiles with named, you must manually back up all necessary zonefiles and save them to a remote location. After the upgrade is complete, you can place them on 9.0 system. There is a new location on the 9.0 system for these files: /var/named/config/namedb.

Important:  It is critical that you back up the archived configuration files to a remote location. If the upgrade process fails for any reason, you may need to use the remotely-stored file in order to restore your 4.5x configuration data.

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Designate and configure 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 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 PXE server to the MGMT (3.1) port on the switch.

Note:  If you are connecting directly from one machine to another, you must use an Ethernet cross-over cable.

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

  1. Insert the CD into the drive on the PXE server and reboot the host system from the CD-ROM drive.
    The following message displays:
    Select installation option:
    1 Setup server to provide network installation
    2 Install software onto hard disk
    3 Reboot to your current system
    4 Boot to maintenance kernel
    Enter choice [1]?
  2. Select 1.
    A list of available network interfaces displays.
    You are prompted to select one for the PXE server interface.
  3. Select the interface you want to use as the PXE server interface. The following prompt displays:
    Use existing DHCP server on subnet [no]? 
  4. 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 client from the remote PXE 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 asked 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.
  5. 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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Boot the target hardware from the remote PXE server

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

  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 global net_reboot 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 PXE server. Once PXE server is found, the system prompts you to:

    Transfer RPM files from installation server <server IP address> via HTTP protocol [yes]?
  3. To transfer the files and continue the installation, press Enter.
  4. After the RPM files are transferred, you are prompted to save a UCS file. If you are installing this software on a system that contains a 4.5.x version of BIG-IP software, you should have already saved a UCS in with the procedure Save existing 4.5.x BIG-IP configuration data.
  5. The software takes only a few minutes to install. Once the installation is complete, the unit reboots as a version 9.0.1 system with no configuration.

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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 9.0.1 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 Convert the configuration data
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Convert the configuration data

After you install and license the 9.0.1 software, you can configure the 9.0.1 system from scratch. If you want to configure the new software from scratch, you can use the Setup utility to configure the system.
To convert your existing 4.5 configuration files to 9.0 configuration files, you use the One Time Conversion Utility (OTCU). The OTCU parses 4.5x configuration files and uses the data to create a 9.0.1 configuration database. Due to the complexity of the 9.0.1 release, and differences in the 4.5x and 9.0.1 feature sets (which depends on your configuration), the OTCU may produce some unexpected results. We ask that you use the OTCU as a starting point for converting your 4.5x configuration files. Keep in mind that, in most cases, you will need to examine the resulting configuration files, troubleshoot the contents, and make adjustments where necessary. The following notes are to help you understand the conversion process and interpret the output of the OTCU.
To view an example of a converted file, see conversion example .

When you run the OTCU, the files in /otcu.ucs are converted and saved to /renamed_otcu.ucs. In addition, a log file is created and saved as /var/tmp/otcu.log. Information about the conversion is saved to /var/tmp/otcu_9.0. These log files are useful for understanding what files are converted, and for reviewing or troubleshooting the resulting configuration. If you want to refer to your 4.5x configuration files, these files are saved in /var/tmp/otcu_4.5. The /var/tmp/otcu_4.5_miscellaneous directory contains 4.5x files that are not carried forward during the conversion.

The following 4.5x files are removed during the conversion:

/config/default_base.conf (no user alert)
/etc/ssh_host_key (no user alert)
/etc/ (no user alert)
/etc/ssh_config (no user alert)
/etc/sshd_config (no user alert)
/etc/ssh3/hostkey (no user alert)
/etc/ssh3/ (no user alert)
/etc/ssh3/ssh3_config (no user alert)
/etc/ssh3/sshd2_config (no user alert)
/etc/snmptrap.conf (no user alert)
/etc/rc.local (no user alert)
/etc/syslog.conf (no user alert)
/etc/login.conf (no user alert)
/usr/local/www/bigipgui/.users (no user alert)
/config/bigconfig/slapd.txt (no user alert)
/etc/irs.conf, /etc/irs.conf.dns, /etc/irs.conf.nodns (no user alert)

The following 4.5x files are moved forward with no conversion:

/root/.ssh/ (no user alert)
/root/.ssh/id_dsa (no user alert)
/root/.ssh/ (no user alert)
/root/.ssh/identify (no user alert)
/root/.ssh/authorized_keys (no user alert)
/root/.ssh/authorized_keys2 (no user alert)
/root/.ssh/known_hosts (no user alert)

The following table lists the files that are moved and converted during the OTCU process.

4.5x config files 9.0.1 conversion notes
/config/routes Routes commands are converted to 9.0 bigpipe commands.
/config/bigconf/httpd.conf The ServerName line from this file is inserted into the new httpd.conf located at /config/httpd/conf/httpd.conf.
/config/bigconfig/ssl.crl/ is moved to /config/httpd/conf/ssl.crl.
/config/bigconfig/ssl.crt/ is moved to /config/httpd/conf/ssl.crt.
/config/bigconfig/ssl.key is moved to /config/httpd/conf/ssl.key.
etc/named.conf is converted to BIND version 9, and references to 3-DNS are removed.
/etc/snmpd.conf sysip is deleted and com2sec is changed to com2sec6.
/etc/snmpd.conf.disabled sysip is deleted and com2sec is changed to com2sec6.

Using the command line utility to run the OTCU

Use the following procedure to convert your existing 4.5x configuration data to version 9.0.1:

  1. From the command line, type the following command:


    This command starts the utility that converts the version 4.5 configuration files.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the conversion.

    The utility prompts you for the following information:

    • The time zone
    • The root password

    Once the 9.0 conversion is complete, the files are moved to their correct locations and loaded.

    Note:  If at any point you want to go back to version 4.5x, you must re-install the 4.5x software. For information on how to install the 4.5x software, please refer to the 4.5x release notes. For instructions on how to reinstall your previous 4.5x configuration files, see SOL1493.

  3. After you you have reviewed the log files and are completely satisfied with the resulting configuration, you can remove all conversion files from the system by typing the following command:


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