Release Notes : BIG-IP DNS and BIG-IP Link Controller 12.1.0

Applies To:

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BIG-IP Link Controller

  • 12.1.0


  • 12.1.0
Release Notes
Original Publication Date: 04/20/2017 Updated Date: 04/18/2019


This release note documents the version 12.1.0 release of BIG-IP DNS (formerly Global Traffic Manager) and BIG-IP Link Controller. You can apply the software upgrade to systems running software versions 11.x/12.x.

Note: To upgrade 10.x GTM installations to BIG-IP DNS 12.1.0, you must first upgrade to software version 11.x. For more information, see SOL17158: Upgrading 10.x GTM installations to BIG-IP DNS 12.0.0, available on AskF5.

Platform support

This version of the software is supported on the following platforms:

Platform name Platform ID
BIG-IP 1600 C102
BIG-IP 3600 C103
BIG-IP 3900 C106
BIG-IP 6900 D104
BIG-IP 8900 D106
BIG-IP 8950 D107
BIG-IP 11000 E101
BIG-IP 11050 E102
BIG-IP 2000s, BIG-IP 2200s C112
BIG-IP 4000s, BIG-IP 4200v C113
BIG-IP 5000s, 5050s, 5200v, 5250v C109
BIG-IP 7000s, 7050s, 7055, 7200v, 7250v, 7255 D110
BIG-IP 12250v D111
BIG-IP 10150s-NEBS, 10350v (AC), 10350v-NEBS (requires 12.0.0 HF1), 10350v-FIPS (requires 11.5.4 HF1) D112
BIG-IP 10000s, 10050s, 10055, 10200v, 10250v, 10255 D113
VIPRION B2100 Blade A109
VIPRION B2150 Blade A113
VIPRION B2250 Blade A112
VIPRION B4200, B4200N Blade A107, A111
VIPRION B4450 Blade A114
VIPRION B4300, B4340N Blade A108, A110
VIPRION C2200 Chassis D114
VIPRION C2400 Chassis F100
VIPRION C4400, C4400N Chassis J100, J101
VIPRION C4480, C4480N Chassis J102, J103
VIPRION C4800, C4800N Chassis S100, S101
Virtual Edition (VE) Z100
vCMP Guest Z101

These platforms support various licensable combinations of product modules. This section provides general guidelines for module support.

Most of the support guidelines relate to memory. The following list applies for all memory levels:

  • vCMP supported platforms
    • VIPRION B2100, B2150, B2250, B4200
    • VIPRION B4300 blades in the 4400(J100)/4480(J102) and the 4800(S100)
    • BIG-IP 5200v, 5250v, 7200v, 7250v, 10200v, 10250v, 10350v, 12250v

Memory: 12 GB or more

All licensable module-combinations may be run on platforms with 12 GB or more of memory, and on VE and vCMP guests provisioned with 12 GB or more of memory. Note that this does not mean that all modules may be simultaneously provisioned on all platforms with 12 GB or more of memory. The BIG-IP license for the platform determines which combination of modules are available for provisioning.

Memory: 8 GB

The following guidelines apply to the BIG-IP 2000s, 2200s, 3900, 6900 platforms, to the VIPRION B4100 and B4100N platforms, and to VE guests configured with 8 GB of memory. (A vCMP guest provisioned with 8 GB of memory has less than 8 GB of memory actually available and thus does not fit in this category.)

  • No more than three modules should be provisioned together.
  • On the 2000s and 2200s, Application Acceleration Manager (AAM) can be provisioned with only one other module.
  • In the case of Access Policy Manager (APM) and SWG together, no module other than LTM may be provisioned, and LTM provisioning must be set to None.

Memory: Less than 8 GB and more than 4 GB

The following guidelines apply to platforms, and to VE and vCMP guests provisioned with less than 8 GB and more than 4 GB of memory. (A vCMP guest provisioned with 8 GB of memory has less than 8 GB of memory actually available and thus fits in this category.)

  • No more than three modules (not including AAM) should be provisioned together.
  • Application Acceleration Manager (AAM) cannot be provisioned with any other module; AAM can only be provisioned standalone.
  • Analytics (AVR) counts towards the two module-combination limit (for platforms with less than 6.25 GB of memory).

Memory: 4 GB or less

The following guidelines apply to the BIG-IP 1600 and 3600 platforms, and to VE and vCMP guests provisioned with 4 GB or less of memory.

  • No more than two modules may be configured together.
  • AAM should not be provisioned, except as Dedicated.
  • ASM can be provisioned with this amount of memory, but a sizing exercise should be performed to ensure that it does not hit capacity issues.

vCMP memory provisioning calculations

The amount of memory provisioned to a vCMP guest is calculated using the following formula: (platform_memory- 3 GB) x (cpus_assigned_to_guest/ total_cpus).

As an example, for the B2100 with two guests, provisioned memory calculates as: (16-3) x (2/4) ~= 6.5 GB.

For certain platforms, the vCMP host can allocate a single core to a vCMP guest. However, because a single-core guest has relatively small amounts of CPU resources and allocated memory, F5 supports only the following products or product combinations for a single-core guest:
  • BIG-IP LTM standalone only
  • BIG-IP GTM standalone only
  • BIG-IP LTM and GTM combination only

Configuration utility browser support

The BIG-IP Configuration Utility supports these browsers and versions:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.x
  • Mozilla Firefox 27.x
  • Google Chrome 32.x

BIG-IQ – BIG-IP compatibility

SOL14592: Compatibility between BIG-IQ and BIG-IP releases provides a summary of version compatibility for specific features between the BIG-IQ system and BIG-IP releases.

User documentation for this release

For a comprehensive list of documentation that is relevant to this release, refer to the BIG-IP DNS / VE 12.1.0 Documentation page.

New in 12.1.0

RRset Rotation in DNS Cache

This release provides support for configuring the method DNS cache uses when deciding on the order to return resource records within cached responses.

IPsec support for Suite-B

This release provides Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) support and Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) key-exchange support in IPsec for Suite-B compliance.

Enhanced per-process and per-plane statistics

This release provides a new graph for per plane CPU usage and new per plane CPU usage statistics added to the F5 enterprise MIB available through SNMP.

IPV6 capabilities for Geolocation

This release supports routing of IPv6 requests for apps or services based on device location, which improves responses and app performance to IPv6 devices.

Installation overview

This document covers very basic steps for installing the software. You can find complete, step-by-step installation and upgrade instructions in BIG-IP Systems: Upgrading Software, and we strongly recommend that you reference the information to ensure successful completion of the installation process.

Installation checklist

Before you begin:

  • Use BIG-IP iHealth to verify your configuration file. For more information, see SOL12878: Generating BIG-IP diagnostic data using the qkview utility.
  • Update/reactivate your system or vCMP host license, if needed, to ensure that you have a valid service check date. For more information, see SOL7727 - License activation may be required prior to a software upgrade for the BIG-IP or Enterprise Manager system.
  • Ensure that your system is running version 10.1.0 or later and is using the volumes formatting scheme.
  • Download the .iso file (if needed) from F5 Downloads to /shared/images on the source for the operation. (If you need to create this directory, use the exact name /shared/images.)
  • Configure a management port.
  • Set the console and system baud rate to 19200, if it is not already.
  • Log on as an administrator using the management port of the system you want to upgrade.
  • Boot into an installation location other than the target for the installation.
  • Save the user configuration set (UCS) in the /var/local/ucs directory on the source installation location, and copy the UCS file to a safe place on another device.
  • Log on to the standby unit, and only upgrade the active unit after the standby upgrade is satisfactory.
  • Turn off mirroring.
  • If you are running Application Acceleration Manager, set provisioning to Minimum.
  • If you are running Policy Enforcement Manager, set provisioning to Nominal.
  • If you are running Advanced Firewall Manager, set provisioning to Nominal.

Installing the software

You can install the software at the command line using the Traffic Management shell, tmsh, or in the browser-based Configuration utility using the Software Management screens, available in the System menu. Choose the installation method that best suits your environment.
Installation method Command
Install to existing volume, migrate source configuration to destination tmsh install sys software image [image name] volume [volume name]
Install from the browser-based Configuration utility Use the Software Management screens in a web browser.

Sample installation command

The following command installs version 11.2.0 to volume 3 of the main hard drive.

tmsh install sys software image BIGIP- volume HD1.3

Post-installation tasks

This document covers very basic steps for installing the software. You can find complete, step-by-step installation and upgrade instructions in BIG-IP Systems: Upgrading Software, and we strongly recommend that you reference the information to ensure successful completion of the installation process.

After the installation finishes, you must complete the following steps before the system can pass traffic.
  1. Ensure the system rebooted to the new installation location.
  2. Use BIG-IP iHealth to verify your configuration file. For more information, see SOL12878: Generating BIG-IP diagnostic data using the qkview utility.
  3. Log on to the browser-based Configuration utility.
  4. Run the Setup utility.
  5. Provision the modules.
  6. Convert any bigpipe scripts to tmsh. (Version 11.x does not support the bigpipe utility.)
Note: You can find information about running the Setup utility and provisioning the modules in the BIG-IP TMOS implementations Creating an Active-Standby Configuration Using the Setup Utility and Creating an Active-Active Configuration Using the Setup Utility.

Installation tips

  • The upgrade process installs the software on the inactive installation location that you specify. This process usually takes between three minutes and seven minutes. During the upgrade process, you see messages posted on the screen. For example, you might see a prompt asking whether to upgrade the End User Diagnostics (EUD), depending on the version you have installed. To upgrade the EUD, type yes, otherwise, type no.
  • You can check the status of an active installation operation by running the command watch tmsh show sys software, which runs the show sys software command every two seconds. Pressing Ctrl + C stops the watch feature.
  • If installation fails, you can view the log file. The system stores the installation log file as /var/log/liveinstall.log.

Upgrading from earlier versions

Your upgrade process differs depending on the version of software you are currently running.

Warning: Do not use the 10.x installation methods (the Software Management screens, the b software or tmsh sys software commands, or the image2disk utility) to install/downgrade to 9.x software or operate on partitions. Depending on the operations you perform, doing so might render the system unusable. If you need to downgrade from version 10.x to version 9.x, use the image2disk utility to format the system for partitions, and then use a version 9.x installation method described in the version 9.x release notes to install the version 9.x software.

Upgrading from version 11.x

When you upgrade from version 11.x software, you use the Software Management screens in the Configuration utility to complete these steps. To open the Software Management screens, in the navigation pane of the Configuration utility, expand System, and click Software Management. For information about using the Software Management screens, see the online help.

Upgrading from versions earlier than

You cannot roll forward a configuration directly to this version from BIG-IP version 4.x, or from BIG-IP versions 9.0.x through 9.6.x, and any version 10.x software. You must be running version 11.x software. For details about upgrading to those versions, see the release notes for the associated release.

Automatic firmware upgrades

If this version includes new firmware for your specific hardware platform, after you install and activate this version, the system might reboot additional times to perform all necessary firmware upgrades.

Fixes in 12.1.0

ID Number Description
497104 The DNS cache hash table memory expansion warning message 'hash grow: malloc failed' now occur four times a minute instead of excessive number of times during the failed memory allocation events, so the log is no longer filled with excessive numbers of messages.
517040 This release supports using the GUI to search GTM servers by IP addresses.
524641 Wildcard NAPTR record call now completes successfully after deleting the NAPTR records.
527024 Queries for an unsigned child zone of a DNSSEC zone on a BIG-IP are now sent to the backend nameserver. DNSSEC-OK flag is observed when processing the response and attaching and/or responding to DNSSEC resource records.
527027 Queries for an unsigned child zone of a DNSSEC zone on a BIG-IP are now sent to the backend nameserver. DNSSEC-OK flag is observed when processing the response and attaching and/or responding to DNSSEC resource records.
533820 The resolver cache now correctly includes the information available for the authority and additional sections if the information is available.
537326 Configuration loading no longer fails with a NAT in DNS section.
539466 "You can now use self-link URI in gtm topology-related iControl REST commands. Be sure to format the gtm topology OID string using the following rules: 1) Use only a single space between each item in the topology string. 2) Use a fully-pathed name for datacenter, isp, region, and pool objects. For example: ""ldns: subnet server: datacenter /Common/DC"""
542139 TMSH now supports modify commands for GTM/BIG-IP DNS topology.
547815 This release fixes a potential DNS transparent cache memory leak.
548563 The message cache is updated regardless of DO-bit state after TTL expiration. However, the cache prefers DO-bit TRUE messages, and will update the cached message if a newer one arrives with DNSSEC OK.
550689 "Updated H.ROOT-SERVERS.NET to reflect the new IPv4 and IPv6 addresses taking effect December 1st, 2015 from ( / 2001:500:1::803f:235) to ( / 2001:500:1::53). For more information, see H-Root will change its addresses on 1 December 2015, available here:"
551767 TMSH now shows the correct value for 'Virtual Server Score' when you have a virtual server configured with a non-zero score.
552352 GTM Listener's translate-address and translate-port field are now always displayed in TMSH commands. This is because there are different defaults in GTM Listeners than the LTM virtual servers. When used with the TMSH merge command, the value gets set to the LTM virtual server default instead of maintained as the GTM Listener default. By always displaying this attribute, no matter what the value is, the merge will always be handled appropriately.
552931 All FQDNs may now contain underscore character. The BIG-IP system now correctly load configurations that contain DNS Express Zones with underscores in the name.
554936 You can now use the GUI to delete peer addresses in BIG-IP DNS redundant server objects.
554967 Truncated DNSSEC or iRule DNS packets are RFC-compliant.
556560 "DNS messages which contain a record other than TSIG following an OPT record in the additional record section will be transformed in the message handler and the message inspection will be restarted. The transformation involves safely moving the OPT record to be last or second-to-last (in the presence of a TSIG record) position of the additional record section. 'Safely' means updating the relevant compression pointers. The subsequent code paths which depend on the OPT record's position now work as expected."
559975 HTTP monitors will now correctly handle a username or password change.
561859 Dropped packets no longer cause an occasional crash.
563687 GTM/BIG-IP DNS sends an A query to the server if it receives AAAA responses with an RCODE other than 3.
569472 tmm no longer cores when disabling pool-member-selection for load-balancing-decision-log-verbosity.
569521 "FQDN now validates to confirm that a WideIP or WideIP Alias name has at least one dot in an appropriate position, and has no consecutive dots, so there is no crash and core dump from gtmd. This validation occurs even when other FQDN validation has been suppressed by setting gtm globlal-settings general domain name check == 'none'."
569972 "You can now create gtm topology records using iControl REST. Please be sure to format the gtm topology oid string using the following rules: 1) Use only a single space between each item in the topology string. 2) Use a fully-pathed name for datacenter, isp, region, and pool objects. For example: ""ldns: subnet server: datacenter /Common/DC""."
576539 Installation of '' now completes successfully.

Behavior changes in 12.1.0

ID Number Description
530239 For iQuery Statistics, new columns were added and names of some columns were changed to be more standardized. The fields in the tmctl table are now as follows:

* Server Type: Type of server. This field has three values:
    -- 0 (zero) Unknown: Initial state when a connection is started.
    -- 1 BIGIP: Server is a non-DNS BIG-IP system.
    -- 2 BIGIP-DNS: Server is a BIG-IP DNS system.
* Configuration Commit ID: The commit ID of the BIG-IP DNS configuration on the
    remote BIG-IP system. Note: This field and Configuration Commit Originator
    will be blank if the remote BIG-IP system is not a BIG-IP DNS, or if the remote
    BIG-IP system is a BIG-IP DNS running a different TMOS version. BIG-IP DNS systems
    sync only if they are running the same software version, so if they do not match, this
    information is not exchanged.
* Configuration Commit Originator: Name of the remote BIG-IP DNS system.
* Local TMOS Version: Version of TMOS running on this BIG-IP system.
* Remote TMOS Version: Version of TMOS running on the remote BIG-IP system.
* Local big3d Version: Version of big3d running on the local BIG-IP system.
* Remote big3d Version: Version of big3d running on the remote BIG-IP system.

Changed names of some of the fields in the TMSH output columns to remove 'iqmgmt' or 'iquery' from the column. The changes are as follows:

* 'iQuery State' is now 'State'
* 'iQuery Reconnects' is now 'Reconnects'

573341 Available columns and Advanced search in the GUI on DNS :: Wide IP list page now optionally includes the description field. This functionality can be enabled or disabled using the following TMSH command: tmsh modify sys db ui.advancedsearch value [true | false]. The default value is disabled. When enabled, this results in a new Description column and the inclusion of that field in the search.

Known issues

ID Number Description
358268 The system allows you to specify a DNS64 Prefix of up to 128 bits (a full IPv6 address). However, a valid prefix is only the first 96 bits. This occurs when specifying a DNS64 prefix. The system uses only the first 96 bits. Workaround: If you enter 64:ff9b::1234:1234 and provide message that last 32 bits (last 2 hex tuples) must be all zeros. For example, 64:ff9b:0:0:0:0:0:0.
421139 GTM not probing all accessible links, marking some in other data centers as down when they are up. GTM systems 1 and 2 exist in two data centers, each with a different link, but both GTM systems can access both links. If on GTM1 Big3d goes down, GTM2 flags the link associated with GTM1 as down instead of trying to probe it. Incorrect traffic re-direction, status reporting and synced GTM systems reporting different object statuses. Workaround: Create a new GTM data center that contains the unprobed link and the GTM system that is up.
425108 If you create or modify a GTM link in tmsh to include a monitor, and attempt to list the available monitors using tab completion, only monitors of type bigip-link or gateway-icmp are listed. This issue occurs when all of the following conditions are met: -- Custom transparent monitor. -- Monitor type is not Gateway ICMP. -- Use tab completion in tmsh to display all available custom transparent. If the user attempts to apply a transparent http, https, tcp, tcp-half-open, or udp monitor, to a link, it will not be listed by tab completion. Workaround: You can work around this issue when associating the monitor with a GTM link using the tmsh utility. To do so, you can manually type the name of a custom transparent monitor.
438327 Wide IP Aliases are created as Resource Records in the BIND database. If you delete these records in the BIND database, either through ZoneRunner or by editing the BIND zone files, the next time that MCPD reloads the database, the zone records are recreated. Using BIG-IP DNS wide IPs with ZoneRunner. Zones will seem to reappear. Workaround: None.
439979 "big3d uses SSL ticket extension, which caused problems with servers running old versions of OpenSSL. This causes the customer's webserver, that doesn't support this option, to fail with (alert 21, decryption failure)." GTM HTTPs monitor connecting to a webserver that doesn't support RFC 4507/RFC 5077 GTM Object is incorrectly marked down. Workaround: To work around this issue, you can write an external script that you can import to the BIG-IP GTM system, and then configure the system to use that script instead of the GTM HTTPS health monitor: For detailed information about how to work around this issue, see SOL15053: The BIG-IP GTM system may incorrectly mark a resource down when using the GTM HTTPS health monitor, available at
456047 When using the web user interface to add server IP addresses to an existing Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) server, any existing server IP addresses that have an explicit link configured are lost. This occurs after adding a new IP address to the server. This can be examined by using tmsh to list the server and its associated explicit link. If a link goes down, everything on the link goes down, so it is possible that unexpected resources will go down, if the GTM servers or virtual servers lose their explicitly defined links. Preliminary testing suggests that when these explicit links are lost, GTM might auto-match the server IP addresses (or virtual servers) to a different link, and this link might be different from the one the user explicitly configured. Workaround: When configuring servers that are using explicit links, using tmsh (not the web UI) to edit the server properties, prevents explicit links from being erased.
464708 "DNS logging does not support Splunk format log. It failed to log the events, instead logging err msg: hostname=""XXXXXXXXXXXXX.XX"",errdefs_msgno=""01230140:3:""" DNS logging and Splunk format log. DNS logging does not log Splunk format to HSL. Workaround: None.
480795 [GTM] Move address from one HA redundant LTM to another could cause bigip monitor failure. BIG-IP redundant LTM server configuration with one address at 'Address List' and another at 'Peer Address List', one of the addresses is moved from another. Only one of the redundant LTM systems get probed. If the probed LTM is standby, it ignores the probe request. Available BIG-IP redundant LTM server is marked down; the monitor does not work, and all hosted virtual servers are marked down. Workaround: Delete the moved address and add it back, or delete the redundant server and re-create it.
486995 Objects that are dependent on a specific server name do not work as expected. For example, if the configuration contained a large number of objects (900 objects) based off one core GTM server, there is no way to rename an object if the GTM server is created with an incorrect name. This occurs when creating a GTM object using an incorrect name. Cannot rename GTM server object after creation. Workaround: A workaround for this situation is to directly modify the GTM configuration file, bigip_gtm.conf, doing a search and replace for old name with the new name. Perform the edits in a temporary file using a copy of the original. Once modified, You can replace the existing bigip_gtm.conf. Once replaced, run the command: 'tmsh load sys config gtm-only'. Important: This action causes the renamed server and its related pool members to become unavailable for the duration of one monitor interval.
487144 Customer may see the following critical error message showing that they can not locate the keys from the FIPS: "FIPS acceleration device failure: cannot locate key" There is FIPS card in the BIG-IP and the key is retrieved. SSL can not locate the key from the FIPS card, and SSL will not function properly. Workaround: None.
511865 GTM external monitor is not correctly synced in GTM sync group without device group. This occurs when the following conditions are met: 1. GTM systems exist in the same GTM sync group but not in the same device group. The GTM external monitor refers to non-default system file. The GTM external monitor is not synced correctly and configuration fails on the peer GTM system. The system posts an error similar to the following: err iqsyncer[20361]: 011ae104:3: Gtm config sync result from local mcpd: result { result_code 17237778 result_message '01070712:3: Values (/Common/ specified for external monitor parameter (/Common/external_test 2 RUN_I=): foreign key index (to_file) do not point at an item that exists in the database.' } Workaround: Configure both GTM systems in the same GTM sync group and the same device group.
517609 When searching received data for bytes that are regex metacharacters such as $ (dollar sign), . (period), ? (question mark), etc., the search string typically requires backslash characters to escape these. Such escaped characters result in non-matching behavior in GTM monitors without warning in the GUI. The GUI also validates Perl (non-POSIX) character classes such as \d rather than [:digit:], but these Perl extensions do not search properly. Any running GTM monitor. If a GTM monitor's expression contains regex Perl extension character classes or escaped regex metacharacters, a member's status might be incorrectly labeled. Workaround: "When escaping a regular expression metacharacter, an \x5C can be entered as a substitute for a backslash. If searching for whitespace or digits, use [:space:] and [:digit:] rather than \s and \d. For example, searching for 'HTTP/ 1.1' in a GTM HTTP monitor, you can enter the search expression HTTP/ 1\x5C.1, which the regex compiler interprets as 'HTTP/ 1\.1', to search for the period character rather than interpreting the period ( . ) as the 'any non-null byte' metacharacter."
523198 DNS resolver multiplexing might cause unexpected behaviors, resulting in multiple error message: notice hud_msg_queue is full. This occurs with a DNS resolver configured. TMM cores or connflows not expiring. System posts messages similar to the following: notice hud_msg_queue is full. Workaround: None.
532859 ZRD cannot create reverse zones for zone types stub, slave, and forward (that is, zone types other than Master). Creating zone for ZRD with zone types other than Master. Cannot create reverse zones. This is as-designed behavior: reverse zones must include SOA and NS records, which are only available for Master zones. Workaround: None.
577580 GTM/BIG-IP DNS cannot discover LTM virtual servers created on different VLANs, using identical IP:port combinations. "On an LTM system, two virtual servers are created: /Common/vsname1 /Common/vsname2 on different VLANs. Auto discovery is enabled on the GTM system." Only one of the virtual servers will be autodiscovered and added to the GTM/BIG-IP DNS config. Which one depends on the order in which they are processed by the GTM/BIG-IP DNS system. Workaround: "When this occurs, there will be only one virtual server on the GTM/BIG-IP DNS server config with the specified IP/Port ( There are 2 possible workarounds: 1. Remove this virtual server from the GTM/BIG-IP DNS server config. At the next autoconfig interval, both virtual servers will be added to the GTM/BIG-IP DNS Server config. 2. This has two parts. Assuming that 'vsname1' has been added to the GTM/BIG-IP DNS config during autodiscovery. A. Modify the vsname1 on the GTM/BIG-IP DNS system and set the LTM NAME property to match the name of the virtual server on the LTM system (vsname1). B. Manually add vsname2 to the GTM/BIG-IP DNS config, setting the LTM NAME to match the name of the virtual server on the LTM system (vsname2)."
588289 GTM re-orders, including the "0" order when adding the pool with specific order designation. This changes the pool order unexpectedly which will affect Load balancing using global-availability. Workaround:

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