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Release Note: Remote Installation: Upgrading from BIG-IP software versions 4.5.x through 4.6.x to BIG-IP software version 9.2
Release Note

Updated Date: 05/13/2007


This technical note documents upgrading to BIG-IP software version 9.2 from BIG-IP software versions 4.5 PTF-04 through 4.5.12, using the remote upgrade procedure. 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 9.2 remote upgrade
- Saving a copy of the version 4.5x dossier
- 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 installation method 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)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)

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 9.2 remote upgrade

This technical note describes how to remotely upgrade the BIG-IP software to version 9.2. You need to perform a remote upgrade if you do not have direct access to the system. The remote upgrade provides the ability to serve the installation files from a different network using HTTP. We recommend using the local upgrade if you have a direct connection to the unit you want to upgrade.

Warning:  A valid service contract is required to complete this upgrade.

Warning:  You must reactivate the license on the BIG-IP system you intend to upgrade before you begin the upgrade.

Important:  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 9.2.

Important:  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.

Important:  If you are running BIG-IP version 4.6 or later software, you must revert to version 4.5.12 or earlier software before you apply the version 9.2 upgrade. However, you can perform a clean installation on a version 4.6 system without upgrading the configuration or moving the license forward. (The minimum supported version is version 4.5.4.) Once you have installed a 4.5.x or 4.6.x version of the BIG-IP software, you can proceed with the version 9.2 upgrade. When you revert to the 4.5.x or 4.6.x software, you lose any features introduced in the 4.6 software.

The BIG-IP version 9.2 Upgrade CD ROM contains a special One-Time Conversion Utility (OTCU) for converting your current configuration during the upgrade. The OTCU parses pre-9.2 configuration files and uses the data to create a 9.2 configuration database. This conversion is necessary because the configuration files, file locations, and file formats in 4.5 versions are different in version 9.2.

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Saving a copy of the version 4.5x dossier

Before you begin the upgrade process, you should save the dossier from the 4.5x system you want to upgrade. This is in the event that the entitlement process during the installation is not successful.

To save a copy of the version 4.5x dossier

  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.
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Installing the upgrade

If the BIG-IP system is currently running version 4.5 PTF-04 through 4.5.12, you can upgrade directly to version 9.2, 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 9.2.

The process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 9.2 requires:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Saving and backing up existing 4.5.x or 4.6.x BIG-IP configuration data

Before you upgrade to BIG-IP version 9.2, you need to save your version 4.5x configuration data. This file is used by the one-time configuration utility (OTCU) to convert your 4.5 configuration files to the 9.2 configuration file format. In addition, this prevents loss of data if, for any reason, the version 9.2 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 zone files with named, you must manually back up all necessary zone files 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. In the event this process fails, you may need to use the remotely-stored file in order to restore your 4.5x configuration data.

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Downloading the installation CD ROM ISO image from F5 Networks

After you save the existing configuration, download the installation CD ROM ISO image from For details about downloading the ISO image, see SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

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Copying the remote upgrade package to the BIG-IP system from the CD ROM

After you save the existing 4.5x configuration and download the installation CD ROM, you need to copy the file from the root of the CD ROM to the /var/tmp directory on the BIG-IP system you want to upgrade. The following example shows how you would use the scp command to copy the file from a remote system that has the file, where <remote-upgrade>.im is the name of the remote upgrade IM you copied from the CD ROM, and the <systemwiththeim> is the system from which you want to copy the IM file.

scp <remote-upgrade>.im root@<systemwiththeim>:/var/tmp .

After you copy the remote upgrade IM file to the system you want to upgrade, use the CD ROM to create an installation server. This process is described in the following section.

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Designating and configuring a remote host to be an installation server

Before you run the remote upgrade, you must designate and configure a remote host to be an installation server. The installation server must meet all the following criteria:

  • Contain a CD-ROM drive.
  • Support a CD-ROM boot.
  • Reside on the same network as the one to which the BIG-IP management interface is connected.

Note:  You must connect the installation server to the same network to which the management port on the BIG-IP unit is connected.

Note:  If you are installing the software on a BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), BIG-IP 6400 (D63), or BIG-IP 6800 (D68) platform by directly connecting the unit to the installation server, you must use an Ethernet cross-over cable to directly connect to the management interface. If you are installing the software on a BIG-IP 1000 (D39), BIG-IP 2400 (D44), BIG-IP 5100 or 5110 (D51) by directly connecting to the installation server, you can use a standard Ethernet cable to directly 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]
  2. Press Enter to use vt100 emulation, or type the name of the terminal emulator you are using.
    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 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. For a remote upgrade, you must choose HTTP.

    Once you accept the settings, the server configuration is complete.
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Running the installation script to install the new software

Now that you have copied the remote upgrade package to the target system and configured an installation server, you are ready to install the 9.2 software. Use the following procedure.

To install the new software

  1. Change directories to the /var/tmp directory using the following command:
    cd /var/tmp
  2. Extract the remote-install script from the IM package using the following command:
  3. To run the remote-install script and complete the remote upgrade installation, type the following command:

    Terminal type? [vt100]
  4. Press Enter to continue, or type the terminal type you are using. We recommend that you use vt100.
    A number of messages scroll by and then the installation starts. Once the installation 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.
  5. Respond to the installer prompts for the following information:

    • If you want a log of the installation process, you can specify a syslog server. You can use the installation server or specify an alternate server. 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. Type the URL of the installation server.
      The format for the URL is http://<installserver>/cdserver
    • After you choose the installation server, you are 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. If you are installing this software on a system that contains a 4.5.x or 4.6.x version of BIG-IP software, you should have already saved a UCS in with the procedure Save existing 4.5.x or 4.6.x BIG-IP configuration data.
  6. After you have completed the prompts for the installer, review the installation options you have selected. Select Yes on the final BIG-IP install screen to begin the installation. After the installation is complete, the BIG-IP system reboots and you lose connectivity to the BIG-IP system.

Warning: You must license the version 9.2 software before you can run the OTCU or configure the system. If the entitlement check was successful, you can log in to the system. If it was not successful, you can log in to the Configuration utility and license the system as soon as the installation process is complete.

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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 9.2 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. We recommend that you save a copy of the 4.5x dossier to another system before you begin the upgrade process. For details, see Saving a copy of the version 4.5x dossier. It is important to note that during the remote upgrade, the entitlement check contacts the F5 License Server and creates a license for the system.

During the remote upgrade entitlement check a 9.2 registration key should have been provided. The Configuration utility displays this registration key. You simply need to activate the license. Certain systems may require you to enter keys for additional modules in the Add-On Registration Key List box.

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.
  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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Converting the configuration data using the OTCU

After you install and license the 9.2 software, you can configure the 9.2 system from scratch, or you can convert the existing configuration you rolled forward on the system. If you want to configure the new software from scratch, you can skip converting the configuration using the OTCU. This section describes how the OTCU works.

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 9.2 configuration database. Due to the complexity of the 9.2 release, and differences in the 4.5x and 9.2 feature sets (which depend 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. To view an example of a converted file, see conversion example . The following notes are to help you understand the conversion process and interpret the output of the OTCU.

When you run the OTCU, the files in /otcu.ucs are untarred and placed in /var/tmp/otcu_4.5. These files remain in their original state. They are not altered during the conversion process. Selected files used for the upgrade are moved into /var/tmp/otcu_9.0. For example, /etc/hosts is moved to /var/tmp/otcu_9.0/etc/hosts . After the files are moved, they are converted as much as possible into the version 9.0 format and then placed in the version 9.0 system. After the conversion is complete, the /otcu.ucs is renamed to /renamed_otcu.ucs. Renaming the file prevents you from being prompted to run the OTCU every time you start the system.

During this process a log file is created and saved as /var/tmp/otcu.log. This file contains everything printed on screen during the installation. This information is useful for understanding what files are converted, and for reviewing or troubleshooting the resulting configuration. The files in /var/tmp/otcu_9.0 remain in the state they were in before being moved to the version 9.0 system. 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 may contain some 4.5x files that are not carried forward during the conversion that may be of interest to you. This could include the 4.5x license file, inetd.conf file, openssl.conf file, or monitor files that were not converted. You can also find these with the rest of the files located in /var/tmp/otcu_4.5, however they are moved here for convenience.

Warning:  You should run the OTCU only one time. If you need to run the OTCU again, we recommend that you reinstall version 9.2 and then run the OTCU.

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 9.2 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 9.2:

  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
    • Consolidate profiles
    • Rename virtual servers, profiles, pools, and snatpools

    Once the 9.2 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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Running the profile consolidater and config renamer

If you skipped the step to consolidate profiles and rename virtual servers, profiles, pools, and snatpools, you can run the consolidation utility by typing the following command:

     profile_consolidator /config/bigip.conf

You can run the renaming utility by typing the following command:

     config_renamer /config/bigip.conf

Note:  In order for the renaming to take effect, you must reload the configuration file.

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