The real deal – upgrade from 9.3.1 to 10.0.1

Today’s Issue:

Out of the box F5 BIGIP LTM 6400 device with 9.3.1 installed and active, to be upgraded to latest 10.0.1 version, including the switch from partitions to volumes

Where we are:

Starting fresh.  Luckily I’ve got a spare LTM laying around that I was able to experiment with over the last few weeks before upgrading in production.  Even luckier, I have 1 “production” that I can play with that really doesn’t hurt anyone if it blows up, since no one’s on it yet.

How We Got Here:

As you’ve seen, I took a bit of a roundabout approach to getting the system upgraded, and slipped a few times along the way.  As such, I think it only safe to assume that a few of the snafus had something to do with how easily (or not) things went (or didn’t).

So with that said, here’s the run-through of the process to get from 9.3.1 to 10.0.1 that I just performed in all of about 20 minutes:

Pre-upgrade tasks

  • Archive existing config on the device as .UCS and save to local Drive
  • Download .ISO of release to be installed and save to local drive (for this install, BIGIP- from downloads.f5.com

Get the new OS to the device

  • Login to F5 mgmt port using WinSCP
  • Create /images folder under /shared
  • Copy BIGIP- from local source to /images/shared


Install the new OS

  • PuTTY into F5 MGMT IP as root
  • Change folders to /shared/images
  • Run command im BIGIP-


  • Run command image2disk BIGIP- – this gets you the “–format” option you’ll need for the next command
  • Run command image2disk –instslot=HD1.2 –format=volumes BIGIP- – installs to HD slot 1.2 and formats the system for Volumes


  • System reboots – takes about 12 minutes to come back (1:50 PM) – NOTE – when you logon to the console the first time, if the system initialization has not completed, you’ll see this screen, and when it does complete, you’ll appear as root@localhost:Active


  • Log on to the GUI


You’re done. Some easy items to validate:

  • Your administrative username/password works for the GUI (because you DID change what credentials you use to access the web console, right… right?)
  • The Host name for the device is what it should be (i.e. isn’t still LocalHost after the upgrade)
  • Any objects you’ve configured yourself exist (Virtual Servers, Pools, Nodes, etc)

A few new things you’ll see and that we’ll hopefully talk about later:

  • System >> Software Management
  • System >> Resource Provisioning
  • Templates & Wizards

14 Responses to “The real deal – upgrade from 9.3.1 to 10.0.1”

  1. 1 steve
    May 21, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Curious if you have ever seen this, can’t figure out why we are getting this. Trying the same upgrade you did successfully. We tried from both 9.3.1 and 9.4.3, appears to be some mapping problem. Not sure why it’s looking in the bin/pre-upgrade instead of shared/images like your install did. Any help would be great if u have an idea?

    [root@usb-fap-01a:Active] images # im BIGIP-
    /usr/bin/upgrade_rpmdisk: line 12: /tmp/rpmdisk.aGbq1l/bin/pre-upgrade: No such file or directory


    • 2 MeAndMyBIGIP
      May 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm


      This may sound odd, but have you confirmed that the folder you’re running the command from is the same folder as where the the BIGIP- file actually resides?

      Throw a quick ls at the prompt where you’re running the command from, and confirm 1) that the file is there, and 2) that you’re calling it correctly (Case sensitive, all the dots in the right spots… you get the idea)

      Depending on what user uploaded the .iso to the LTM itself, could vary your path. Options are to then either point the im command to the file (for our examples, we’re assuming that the .iso lives in /shared/images):

      [root@usb-fap-01a:Active] images # im /shared/images/BIGIP-

      Or explicitly start in the folder where the .iso lives:

      [root@usb-fap-01a:Active] images # cd /shared/images
      [root@usb-fap-01a:Active] images # im BIGIP-

      I’m always a fan of eliminating the easy stuff first. Have a look and see if that’s it, and let us know either way.

    • 3 Marek Skrobacki
      June 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Steve,

      I just had exactly the same problem. I went ahead and verified the checksums and it was showing wrong MD5 so I assume the image was corrupted

      [root@x:Active] images # md5sum BIGIP-
      5d81e7787bce7886ac72903c33509657 BIGIP-

      correct MD5 hash should be 7b6e06092afb4c9b8527c41c7a2bd4d0

      Once I downloaded new image, everything worked

    • 4 berg
      July 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm


      One of my box encounted the same issue.

      Upgrade the newest tm_install first.
      You can get one from the iso. Burn DVD or something.
      Upload it to LTM, then rpm -ivh –force tm_install\*

      Then I could run image2disk with –format option.

  2. 5 Piseth
    September 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Steve

    I am having problem with upgrading Big-IP 1600 from version 9.4.8 to 10.2, following your above instruction. When I reboot, the Big-IP end up by getting stuck. The LCD screen only show “F5 Network Incorporate”. The console, management port, and the LCD button not working. Status become blink yellow, Alert is red. Please help me. What should I do? At least reverse it back to factory default.

    • 6 MeAndMyBIGIP
      September 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm


      Please ensure that your license has been activated for 10.2 before you do your upgrade, or you’ll end up like I did.

      Check out this post

      Likely you’ll need to give a ring to F5 and they can provide you with the proper license file to upload.

      HTH – Me.

      • 7 Piseth
        September 1, 2010 at 10:39 pm


        Thank you for your reply.

        You are right. I have not activated the license before I upgrade it. But now everything is not working. The device seems not to boot the OS. Is it a way to reset it back?


      • 8 MeAndMyBIGIP
        September 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

        You’ll need a few things… console access to the system (my preference is PuTTY) and to contact F5 support for help with a dossier file. From there, they’ll likely have you go to https://activate.f5.com/license/dossier.jsp to go through the process to get your activation info. This gets troublesome as you’re going to need to be able to access the web from the machine you’re also using for console access… it may require a few hops around the data center or some re-IP’ing of your machine to get everything in order.

        When you boot the device with console access, you’ll actually see the CLI, and much of what you’ll be doing will likely be there. The F5 folks were VERY helpful with me when I went thru this…

        hope that helps, and good luck!

      • 9 Piseth
        September 1, 2010 at 11:39 pm


        Thank you so much for your reply.

        Is it because of error in the 10.2 image that led to OS error also?

        I tried to boot the image from VMWare, and Virtual Box. Both show errors and unable to boot the image. I believe that the image file is ok. I check the md5 checksum,and it is ok.

        And can we use the Light-Out Management to reinstall the OS?


      • 10 MeAndMyBIGIP
        September 2, 2010 at 12:13 am

        Sorry… You’re over my head here. Hope someone can chime in with some more assistance.

  3. 11 Piseth
    September 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm


    I have solved the problem of upgrading. I created a bootable USB storage with Big-IP OS image in it, then boot from the USB. The installation is completed.

    Thank you for your support. This is a very good website.



  4. 12 Piseth
    September 5, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Hi MeAndMyBigIP

    I need your help. I would like to configure 2 Big-IPs 1600 to be active/active, but when I change the Redundancy Mode to Active/Active, the device go offline. Active/Passive is fine. Is it related to license? or just my configuration is wrong?

    Please help me.


  5. 13 Steve
    May 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Note, there is a change in behavior for the imaga2disk utility. If you receive the error:

    Terminal error: You cannot specify the target location when using the format option.

    Follow notes in sol12561:Change in Behavior: The image2disk utility –instslot and –format options are now mutually exclusive

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