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Release Note: Installing BIG-IP version 9.4.2 from a USB Mass Storage Device
Release Note

Updated Date: 09/21/2010


This technical note documents the process of upgrading to BIG-IP® software version 9.4.2 from BIG-IP software versions 9.2.x, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.4.1, using the USB mass storage device. For information about installing the software, please refer to the instructions below.


- Minimum system requirements and supported browsers
- Supported platforms
- Supported USB mass storage devices
- About the installation
- Installing the software
- Contacting F5 Networks

Minimum system requirements and supported browsers

The minimum system requirements for this release are:

  • 512 MB RAM (if installed as a stand-alone Local Traffic Manager or Global Traffic Manager product)
  • 768 MB RAM (if installed as a combination of BIG-IP systems, such as a Local Traffic Manager/Global Traffic Manager installation, or as a Link Controller installation)
  • 512 MB CompactFlash® media drive

Note: The 520/540 platform must meet certain requirements in order to support this version of the BIG-IP software. For more information, including memory requirements, see 520/540 Platform: Installing BIG-IP version 9.4.2.

The supported browsers for the BIG-IP Configuration utility are:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, version 6.x
  • Mozilla® Firefox®, version 1.5x and version 2.0x

Note that we recommend that you leave the browser cache options at the default settings.

Important: Popup blockers and other browser add-ons or plug-ins might affect the usability of the Configuration utility. If you experience issues with navigation, we recommend that you disable these types of browser plug-ins and add-ons.

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Supported platforms

This installation method is supported only on the following platforms:

  • BIG-IP 1000 (D39)
  • BIG-IP 1500 (C36)
  • BIG-IP 2400 (D44)
  • BIG-IP 3400 (C62)
  • BIG-IP 3410 (C100)
  • BIG-IP 5100 and 5110 (D51)
  • BIG-IP 6400 (D63)
  • BIG-IP 6800 (D68)
  • BIG-IP 8400 (D84)
  • BIG-IP 8800 (D88)

Warning: If you plan to upgrade a system licensed for Link Controller, Global Traffic Manager, or a combination Local Traffic Manager and Global Traffic Manager system, the BIG-IP unit you intend to upgrade must have a minimum of 768 MB of RAM. Originally, the BIG-IP 1000 (D39) and BIG-IP 2400 (D44) platforms were shipped with 512 MB of memory only.

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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Supported USB mass storage devices

This section describes the requirements for the USB mass storage devices supported by this installation method. In order to use a USB mass storage device for this method of installation, the device must meet the following requirements:

  • USB Consortium as a Mass Storage Device certified
  • USB version 2.0 or later
  • 512 MB minimum capacity, recommended 1 GB capacity

The device capacity and capabilities are described in the following table.

Note: While smaller capacity devices are supported, we recommend using a device with at least 1 GB capacity.

Device Capacity Device Capability
512 MB to 1 GB Minimum space for BIG-IP product installation
1 GB or more Recommended size for BIG-IP product installation
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About the installation

This technical note describes how to remotely upgrade the BIG-IP software to version 9.4.2. You might 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.

Important: You can only apply this upgrade to BIG-IP version 9.2.x, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.4.1 systems.

Warning: Version 4.5.x or 4.6.x installation. You cannot upgrade directly from BIG-IP version 4.x to 9.4.2. You must first upgrade to a 9.2.x or 9.3 version. For details about these installation methods, see the release notes for the associated release.

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: You should perform the installation on the standby system in a redundant system. If you are satisfied with the results, failover and apply the upgrade to the other unit in the redundant system.

Important: Each unit in a redundant system must be running the same version of the software.

Important: If you are upgrading from 9.2.x, and you have a Global Traffic Manager unit that belongs to a sync group, you must remove the unit from the sync group before you install the software or apply the upgrade. Failure to do so may cause irrevocable damage to the units in the sync group that are running older versions of the software. Once you have upgraded all units to the same version, you can then re-create the sync group. For details on removing a unit from a sync group, see the product documentation. Once you have removed the unit from the sync group, you can proceed with the installation or upgrade. Note that this is for upgrades from 9.2.x only.

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Installing the software

If the BIG-IP system is currently running version 9.2.x, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.4.1, you can upgrade directly to version 9.4.2, using the following procedure.

The process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 9.4.2 requires completing the following steps:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

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Saving and backing up existing configuration data

Before you upgrade to this version of the software, you need to save your current configuration data. Backing up your configuration prevents loss of data if, for any reason, the upgrade is not successful.

Collect and archive the existing configuration files, by typing the following command. Note that to have the installer automatically load the configuration file during startup, you must name the file config.ucs and store it in the / partition.
bigpipe config save /config.ucs

Important: 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 the upgraded system. There is a new location on the version 9.x system for these files: /var/named/config/namedb.

Important: It is critical that you back up the archived configuration files to a secure remote location. In the event installation fails, you might need to use the remotely stored file in order to restore your previous configuration data. For more information about UCS archive files, see SOL4423: Overview of UCS archives.

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Downloading the installation CD-ROM ISO image or local installation IM from F5 Networks

Before you begin the installation process, you might need to download the installation files from If you plan to load the installation image from a Windows-based system, download the CD-ROM ISO image. If you plan to load the installation image from the BIG-IP, download the local installation IM file. For details about downloading these files, see SOL167: Downloading software from F5 Networks.

Note: Before you continue, we recommend downloading the associated MD5 checksum file and performing the MD5 checksum operation to ensure that the file downloaded correctly. For more information about running the MD5 checksum, see Verifying the MD5 checksum of the installation file.

If you download the CD-ROM ISO image, burn the image onto a CD-ROM before you continue to the next task.

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Loading the installation image onto the USB mass storage device

After you save the existing configuration and download the installation CD-ROM ISO image (to use from Windows-based systems) or the local installation IM package (to use from BIG-IP systems), you need to load the installation image onto the USB mass storage device from the CD-ROM. You can do this from a Windows-based system or a BIG-IP system.

Windows-based system
The Windows-based system must be Windows 2000 or later.

  1. Insert the USB mass storage device into a USB port on the Window-based system.
  2. Place the CD in the drive of the Windows host.
  3. Click Start to open the Start menu.
  4. Click Run and then click the Browse button.
    The file-selection dialog box opens.
  5. Navigate to the BIGIP940 CD mounted in the CD drive.
  6. In the /windows directory of the CD, double-click umdinstall.exe.
    The Umdinstall utility opens.
  7. In the Product to Install list, select the product you want to install, for example, BIGIP940.
  8. In the Drive list, select the USB mass storage device on which you want to load the installation image.
  9. Click Continue to load the installation image onto the USB mass storage device.
  10. When the loading process is complete, the Umdinstall utility closes.

BIG-IP system
With BIG-IP systems, you can use the umdinstall command to transfer the installation image to the USB mass storage device. You can use either the CD-ROM ISO image or the local installation IM package copied to the hard drive of the BIG-IP system.

Using the BIG-IP system to load the installation files onto a USB mass storage device

  1. Insert the USB mass storage device into a USB port on the BIG-IP system after it has booted and you are logged in.
  2. Copy the local installation file or CD-ROM ISO image to /var/tmp drive of the BIG-IP host.

    scp <local-install>.im root@<bigip_system>:/var/tmp .
  3. Type the following command to start the Umdinstall utility, where <local-install>.im is the name of the local installation IM package. This utility takes you through the process of transferring the installation files onto the USB mass storage device.

    umdinstall -i <local-install>.im
  4. The utility finds the USB mass storage device and presents the following prompt:

    WARNING: The next step will destroy all data on this device!
    Are you sure you want to continue (y|[n])?

    Type y to begin formatting the USB mass storage device.
  5. After the device is formatted, the boot loader is copied to the device and mounted. After the boot loader is loaded, the utility presents the following prompt:

    This device can hold 2 products
    Copy BIGIP940 (y|[n])?

    Type y to select the product you want to load.
  6. After you select the product you want to load, the utility presents the following prompt:

    Ready to begin copying.
    This can take a long time.
    Begin (y|[n])?

    Type y to begin loading files onto the USB mass storage device.
  7. When the loading process is complete, the Umdinstall utility closes.
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Installing the software on the BIG-IP system

After you have loaded the installation image onto the USB mass storage device, you are ready to install the software. Use the following procedure.

Note: This type of installation requires a serial console connected to the BIG-IP system. You must use the serial console to respond to the prompts presented by the installation script and to monitor the progress of the installation.

To install the new software

  1. Insert the USB mass storage device into the USB port on the BIG-IP system. From the BIG-IP console, type the following command:
  2. The system boots from the USB mass storage device.
    After the system boots into the installation script, you see the following prompts on the serial console connected to the BIG-IP system:
    Terminal type? [vt100]
    Press the Enter key to use vt100 emulation, or type the name of the terminal emulator you are using. We recommend that you use vt100.
    The system posts a number of messages, and then installation starts. Once installation starts, you can use the arrow and Tab keys to navigate the presented options. You can select an option from a menu using the Enter key or the highlighted character key, and you can toggle select boxes on or off using the spacebar.
  3. Respond to the installation script prompts for the following information:
    • First, you are prompted for the installation location. An installation location is a portion of a drive with adequate space required for an installation. If the hardware supports multiple installation locations, you can create more than one installation by installing the software on each location. At boot time, you can select which installation you want to boot. To install on multiple installation locations, follow the on-screen instructions.
    • Next, you have the option to roll forward any supported configurations (config.ucs files) found on the system. If you are installing this software on a system that contains an existing 9.x version of BIG-IP software, you should have already saved a UCS in the procedure Saving and backing up existing configuration data.
  4. After responding to each prompt, review the installation options you have selected. Select Yes on the final BIG-IP install screen to begin installing.

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 9.4 software before you can configure the system. If the entitlement check was successful, you can log on to the system. If it was not successful, you can log on to the Configuration utility and license the system as soon as the installation process is complete.

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Licensing the software using the Configuration utility

Before you can configure the system, you must reactivate the license for the version 9.4.2 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.

To reactivate 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 Reactivate button. Follow the on-screen prompts to license the system. For additional information, click the Help tab.
  5. Once you have reactivated the license, you can configure the BIG-IP system.
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Contacting F5 Networks

  Phone: (206) 272-6888
Fax: (206) 272-6802

For additional information, please visit

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