Manual Chapter : Bootable USB Flash Drives

Applies To:

Show Versions Show Versions

F5OS-A

  • 1.0.0

F5OS-C

  • 1.3.1, 1.3.0

BIG-IP LTM

  • 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.2, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0, 13.1.4, 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0, 12.1.4, 12.1.3
Manual Chapter

Bootable USB Flash Drives

About creating a bootable USB flash drive on a BIG-IP system

You can use
mkdisk
, which is included in the BIG-IP installation ISO image file, to create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP software ISO image. You can then use this bootable USB flash drive to install or upgrade a system when you either do not have the installation image on the storage drive, or when you cannot access the storage drive. Additionally, you can use the USB flash drive to recover the system.

Linux system requirements for creating a bootable USB flash drive

The Linux system used to create a bootable USB flash drive must contain these system software components and third-party utilities.
Component
Description
Linux
2.6.x kernel
Perl
Version 5.8 or later
Library for WWW in Perl (LWP) package
Downloadable from cpan.org

Create a bootable USB flash drive

You can create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP software ISO image using either an existing BIG-IP system that is running a recent BIG-IP software release or a Linux workstation that is running a recent Linux distribution.
  1. Log in to the command line interface (CLI) of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Mount the BIG-IP installation as a loopback device, using one of these methods:
    • If you have a BIG-IP system with the BIG-IP ISO image located in the
      /shared/images
      directory, mount the ISO image:
      mount –o loop BIGIP-
      version
      .iso /mnt/cd
    • If you have a DVD drive attached to the BIG-IP system that contains a valid BIG-IP image, insert the DVD into the DVD drive.
  3. Insert a 2 GB or larger flash drive into a USB port on the BIG-IP system or Linux workstation.
  4. Change to the root directory to the mounted image.
    cd /mnt/cd
  5. Start the
    mkdisk
    script.
    ./mkdisk
  6. Respond to the series of questions that display by choosing the appropriate options for your configuration.
    1. Specify the BIG-IP system that you plan to use as the target for USB flash drive installation.
    2. Specify the device to be used by
      mkdisk
      (that is, the USB flash drive that you are creating).
    3. Confirm that you want to continue by typing
      y
      .
    4. Specify the product to transfer (for example, BIG-IP version 11.6.0) or type
      y
      if there is only one product.
    The script checks for the required tools and creates the flash drive. The flash drive creation process might take several minutes.
  7. When the process is complete, unmount the ISO image.
    umount /mnt/iso
You can now remove the USB flash drive and use it to boot BIG-IP systems, as needed.

Boot a BIG-IP system from a bootable USB flash drive

Before you boot the BIG-IP system to the Maintenance OS (MOS), be sure that you have console access to the system, either through a console server or directly through a serial connection.
Once you boot to the MOS, you lose connection with the system over SSH on the management port.
You can use a bootable USB flash drive as the installation source to install or upgrade a BIG-IP system.
  1. Insert the flash drive into the USB port of the target system.
  2. Boot the target system.
    The device automatically boots to the MOS on the attached USB flash drive.

About creating a bootable USB flash drive on a VIPRION system

You can use
mkdisk
, which is included in the BIG-IP installation ISO image file, to create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP software ISO image. You can then use this bootable USB flash drive to install or upgrade a system when you either do not have the installation image on the storage drive, or when you cannot access the storage drive. Additionally, you can use the USB flash drive to recover the system.

Linux system requirements for creating a bootable USB flash drive

The Linux system used to create a bootable USB flash drive must contain these system software components and third-party utilities.
Component
Description
Linux
2.6.x kernel
Perl
Version 5.8 or later
Library for WWW in Perl (LWP) package
Downloadable from cpan.org

Create a bootable USB flash drive

You can create a bootable USB flash drive that contains a BIG-IP software ISO image using either an existing BIG-IP system that is running a recent BIG-IP software release or a Linux workstation that is running a recent Linux distribution.
  1. Log in to the command line interface (CLI) of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Mount the BIG-IP installation as a loopback device, using one of these methods:
    • If you have a BIG-IP system with the BIG-IP ISO image located in the
      /shared/images
      directory, mount the ISO image:
      mount –o loop BIGIP-
      version
      .iso /mnt/cd
    • If you have a DVD drive attached to the BIG-IP system that contains a valid BIG-IP image, insert the DVD into the DVD drive.
  3. Insert a 2 GB or larger flash drive into a USB port on the BIG-IP system or Linux workstation.
  4. Change to the root directory to the mounted image.
    cd /mnt/cd
  5. Start the
    mkdisk
    script.
    ./mkdisk
  6. Respond to the series of questions that display by choosing the appropriate options for your configuration.
    1. Specify the BIG-IP system that you plan to use as the target for USB flash drive installation.
    2. Specify the device to be used by
      mkdisk
      (that is, the USB flash drive that you are creating).
    3. Confirm that you want to continue by typing
      y
      .
    4. Specify the product to transfer (for example, BIG-IP version 11.6.0) or type
      y
      if there is only one product.
    The script checks for the required tools and creates the flash drive. The flash drive creation process might take several minutes.
  7. When the process is complete, unmount the ISO image.
    umount /mnt/iso
You can now remove the USB flash drive and use it to boot BIG-IP systems, as needed.

Boot a VIPRION system from a bootable USB flash drive

Before you boot the VIPRION system to the Maintenance OS (MOS), be sure that you have console access to the system, either through a console server or directly through a serial connection.
Once you boot to the MOS, you lose connection with the system.
You can use a bootable USB flash drive as the installation source to install or upgrade a VIPRION system.
  1. Insert the flash drive into the USB port of the target system.
  2. Boot the target system.
    The device automatically boots to the MOS on the attached USB flash drive.

VIPRION B4100/B4200 blade requirements for creating a bootable USB flash drive

When using VIPRION B4100/B4200 blades to create a bootable USB flash drive, the blades must contain these system software components and third-party utilities that are separate from TMOS.
Component
Description
sfdisk
To change disk partitioning
mke2fs
To create a Linux (ext2) file system
mkelfImage
To make an Executable and Linkable Format (ELF) boot image for Linux kernel images

About creating a bootable USB flash drive on a VELOS system

You can use your VELOS system to create a bootable USB flash drive that contains an F5OS software ISO image. You can then use this bootable USB flash drive to install or upgrade a system when you either do not have the installation image on the storage drive, or when you cannot access the storage drive. Additionally, you can use the USB flash drive to recover the system.

Enable the USB port on a system controller

The USB port on VELOS system controllers is disabled by default, but you can use Always-On Management (AOM) to enable the USB port on your system controller
  1. Connect to the system using the serial console.
  2. Open the AOM Command Menu.
    Esc (
    The system displays the AOM Command Menu, the active console, and physically-connected console:
    [root@controller-1 ~]# Active console : system controller 1 Physically connected console : system controller 1 serial port AOM Command Menu: B --- Set baud rate C --- Capture blade console CC -- Capture system controller console I --- Display chassis information P --- Power on/off blade PC -- Power on/off system controller R --- Reset blade CPU RC -- Reset system controller CPU U --- Front panel USB port Q --- Quit menu and return to console Enter Command:
  3. Type
    U
    to configure the USB port on the system controller.
    The system displays the current status of the USB port:
    Front panel USB next boot setting: enabled 0 -- Disable front panel USB port 1 -- Enable front panel USB port Note: Reboot is necessary for change to take effect. Select Option:
  4. Type
    1
    to enable the USB port.
    The AOM Command Menu displays.
  5. Type
    R
    to reboot the blade.

Create a bootable USB flash drive

Before you create a bootable USB flash drive, be sure that you have used Always-On Management (AOM) to enable the USB port on your system controller, as the USB port is disabled by default. Also, be sure that you have copied the ISO images to
/var/import/staging/
on your system controller.
You can use an existing VELOS system to create a bootable USB flash drive that contains an F5OS software ISO image.
  1. Connect to the system using a management console or console server.
    The default baud rate and serial port configuration is 19200/8-N-1.
  2. Log in as the root user.
    The default login credentials are root/default. When logging in as root for the first time, the system prompts you to change the password.
  3. Write the controller or partition ISOs to a USB flash drive.
    mount <
    iso-image-name
    > /mnt sh -x /mnt/usb.sh
    This command sequence writes the ISO image to the flash drive. The flash drive creation process might take several minutes.
You can now use this USB flash drive to boot VELOS systems, as needed.