Release Notes : Upgrading from a pre-4.0 version of BIG-IP

Applies To:

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BIG-IP versions 1.x - 4.x

  • 4.1.0
Release Notes
Original Publication Date: 01/14/2002 Updated Date: 04/18/2019


This technical note describes how to upgrade your BIG-IP Controller software to version 4.1.1.

About the BIG-IP 4.1.1 upgrade

This technical note describes how to upgrade your BIG-IP software to version 4.1.1. You perform the upgrade using the BIG-IP Upgrade CD. If your BIG-IP is currently running version 3.1 or higher, up to and including version 3.3.1, you can upgrade directly to version 4.1.1. If your BIG-IP is running a pre-3.1 version, you must upgrade to version 3.3.1 first, and then upgrade to version 4.1.1.

Note: The BIG-IP 4.1.1 Upgrade CD ROM contains a special One Time Conversion Utility (OTCU) for converting your current configuration during the pre-4.0-to-4.1.1 upgrade. OTCU parses the pre-4.0 configuration files and uses the data to create the 4.0 configuration database. This conversion of the data is necessary because the configuration files, file locations, and file formats in 4.1.1 are different from those in pre-4.0 versions.


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Installing the Upgrade

If your BIG-IP is currently running version 3.1 or higher, you can upgrade directly to version 4.1.1, using the following procedure.

If you are running a pre-3.1 version of BIG-IP, you must first upgrade to version 3.3.1, and then upgrade to version 4.1.1.  The version 3.3.1 upgrade software is included on the BIG-IP Upgrade CD ROM, and that upgrade is documented here as part of the version 4.1.1 upgrade procedure.

In general, the process of upgrading to BIG-IP version 4.1.1 requires you to do the following:

The following sections describe how to perform these tasks.

Mount the BIG-IP Upgrade CD

Assuming your hardware platform includes a CD ROM drive, insert the CD ROM in your BIG-IP Controller and mount it by typing the following commands:

    mount -o suid /cdrom

Note:  If you receive an error when you attempt to mount the CD, try the following mount command.

    mkdir /cdrom
    mount -t cd9660 -o na,ro,nosuid,nodev /dev/sr0a /cdrom

Upgrade to version 3.3.1 (for pre-3.1 systems only)

If you are running a BIG-IP version earlier than version 3.1, use the following procedure.  Otherwise, skip this step and go directly to Save BIG-IP version configuration data.

  1. Copy the upgrade tar file on the CD to the /var/tmp directory on your BIG-IP.  The name of the upgrade tar file differs depending on whether you are upgrading to the global release of version 3.3.1 (crypto), or the non-crypto version.

    If you are upgrading to the global (crypto) release, type:

    cp /cdrom/upgrade331/bigipv331kit.f5.tar /var/tmp

    If you are upgrading to the non-crypto release of version 3.3.1, type:

    cp /cdrom/upgrade331/bigipv331nocryptokit.f5.tar /var/tmp

  2. Untar version 3.3.1. as follows.  If you are upgrading to the global (crypto) release, type:

    cd /var/tmp
    tar -xvpf bigipv331kit.f5.tar upgrade_install

    If you are upgrading to the non-crypto release, type:

    cd /var/tmp
    tar -xvpf bigipv331nocryptokit.f5.tar upgrade_install

  3. Enter the following command:


    This starts the actual upgrade to version 3.3.1.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.  The upgrade automatically creates a backup, in /backupyymmdd_hhmm/, of the following files:


    If you made changes to a file on this list before this upgrade, you will need to edit that file and retype your modifications after the upgrade is complete.

    When upgrading a non-crypto version of the BIG-IP software, the upgrade process now prompts you to configure the Telnet and FTP programs, if they are not already configured.

  5. Follow the instructions on your screen to configure the Telnet and FTP programs.  This is an essential step to enable you to back up the configuration tar files that are collected as part of the 4.1.1 upgrade. 

    Once the Telnet and FTP programs have been configured, the system automatically reboots.

    Note:  During the reboot, you might see the error message Bad interface name passed to the kernel.  This error is harmless.  It is a result of the unfamiliarity of the drivers with the new configuration files.  After the reboot is finished, the new drivers should correspond correctly to the new configuration files.

  6. Verify that your version 3.3.1 system is fully functional.  If the system is not fully functional at this point, it will not be functional after upgrading to version 4.1.1.

    Note:  The checksums for this release are available in a file called sums, which can be downloaded from the FTP site. 

  7. Re-mount the CD ROM by typing the following:

    mount /cdrom

Save BIG-IP version 3.3.1 configuration data

Before you install BIG-IP version 4.1.1, you must preserve your version 3.3.1 configuration data.  This is to prevent loss of this data if, for any reason, the version 4.1.1 upgrade is not successful.

To save your version 3.3.1 configuration data, use the following procedure:

  1. Collect and archive the version 3.3.1 configuration files, by typing the following:


    This script collects critical configuration data as well as user-created or modified text and binary files.  All files are then archived to /var/tmp/otcu/otcu.tar.gz and /var/tmp/octu/bin_files.tar.gz.  The critical files archived are:


  2. Back up the archived configuration files to a remote location.  This is of critical importance.  The 4.1.1 installation program, when it is run, attempts to save the file /var/tmp/otcu/otcu.tar.gz on the BIG-IP hard drive.  If this file save is not successful, the remotely-stored file remains your only alternative source for the version 3.3.1 configuration data.

    For the global (crypto) version, you can copy the tar file to a remote host using SSH and scp, as follows:

    cd /var/tmp/otcu
    ssh <remote_host> mkdir <path_to_backup_dir>
    scp *.gz <remote_host>:<path_to_backup_dir>

For the non-crypto version, you can copy the tar file to a remote host using the Telnet and FTP programs, as follows:

  1. Using Telnet, log into the remote host and create a backup directory:

    mkdir <path_to_backup_dir>

  2. Using FTP, transfer the tar file to the remote backup directory:

    cd /var/tmp/otcu
    ftp <remote_host>
    ftp> mput *.gz <path_to_backup_dir>
    ftp> quit

Install BIG-IP version 4.1.1

In general, the process for installing BIG-IP version 4.1.1 requires you to perform three tasks:

Reboot the system from the CD ROM drive

If the BIG-IP has a CD ROM drive, reboot the system from the CD ROM drive, by typing reboot.

NOTE:   If your BIG-IP does not have a CD ROM drive, you must first use the BIG-IP Upgrade CD to establish a remote host as an installation server, and then network boot the system from the installation server.  For more information, see SOL1494: How do I boot the BIG-IP from a CD that is mounted on a remote host?.

If the CD-ROM drive is the primary boot device, this causes the BIG-IP to boot from the CD.  If the CD-ROM drive is not the primary boot device, typing reboot causes the BIG-IP to initiate the boot from a different device (probably the hard drive), and you will need to interrupt it and and specify the CD-ROM drive as the boot device.  How you do this depends on your BIOS, but the following sequence is typical:

  1. Type <ctrl> s
    This interrupts the boot sequence and places you in the Setup menu.
  2. Once in the Setup menu, click ESC on the keyboard.
    The Select Boot Device menu opens.
  3. In the Select Boot Device menu, select the CD-ROM drive as the boot device.

    The reboot from the CD installs BIG-IP version 4.1.1.  The process is complete when a message appears instructing you to remove the CD and press any key to reboot from the hard drive.

Boot the system from the hard drive

  1. Remove the CD and press any key to reboot from the newly installed 4.1.1 system on the hard drive.
  2. When you are prompted for a user name and password, enter root as the user name and default as the password.  The system logs you in and returns the prompt bigip_default:~#.

Convert the configuration data

Use these steps to convert your configuration data to version 4.1.1:

  1. Type the upgrade_config command with the -config option, as follows:

    upgrade_config -convert

    This command unzips, de-tars, and converts the version 3.3.1 configuration files.  More specifically, it produces two versions of the configuration files, old (pre-4.1.1) and new (4.1.1).  All files are saved to their original paths with /var/tmp/octu as the root.  The new files appear with the extension .new and may be examined in this location before being committed (copied to their working locations).
  2. Type the upgrade_config command with the -commit option, as follows:

    upgrade_config -commit

    Note:   If you receive a message saying the configuration data cannot be retrieved, you will need to manually retrieve the data from the host where it was remotely stored, and return to the task Boot from the CD-ROM to install the software.  To retrieve the files, you can use the scp or ftp commands as follows:

    cd /var/tmp/otcu
    scp <remote_host>:/<path_to_backup_dir>/octu.tar.gz


    cd /var/tmp/otcu
    ftp <remote_host>
    ftp> get <path_to_backup_dir>/octu.tar.gz
    ftp> quit

To copy any non-critical files to your updated system, you first need to use the gunzip and gtar commands on the file /var/tmp/otcu/non_crit_files.tar.gz, as follows:

cd /var/tmp/otcu
gunzip non_crit_files.tar.gz
gtar xvf non_crit_files.tar

Then manually copy the files to their separate locations.

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