Note: Most information contained in this article series has also been published on
   K84554955: Overview of BIG-IP system software upgrades -

The information is this series is meant to help a Big-IP administrator complete a software upgrade. I have assisted with hundreds of Big-IP upgrades and hope to help you complete the task as smoothly as possible.
For more information related to a specific Big-IP release, there are additional details in the release notes for each version. For more information, refer to the Release Notes page.

The information in this series applies to:

  • F5 platforms which support Big-IP version 10.x - 13.x
  • Big-IP Virtual Edition
  • vCMP Big-IP Host platforms
  • vCMP Big-IP Guest instances

    For information regarding upgrading from Big-IP 9.x to 10.x, refer to the following guide:
      Manual Chapter: Upgrading from Versions 93x and 94x.   


Note: If you are familiar with Big-IP upgrade behavior and only need to review the actual steps, use the Performing the Software Installation section. To review Big-IP upgrade behavior in more detail, please review the other Parts.


The command output should appear similar to the following example (the sizes may differ):
ACTIVE '/dev/vg-db-sda/dat.share.1' [30.00 GB] normal ACTIVE '/dev/vg-db-sda/dat.log.1' [7.00 GB] normal ACTIVE '/dev/vg-db-sda/set.1.root' [256.00 MB] normal ACTIVE '/dev/vg-db-sda/set.1._usr' [1.34 GB] normal

Recommendations Prior to Installation

  • From the F5 BIG-IP TMOS: Operations Guide; before you upgrade the BIG-IP software, review the release notes on AskF5 ( in the Documentation section for your product and version. Pay close attention to the following items:
    • Review the Known issues list.
    • Review the Behavior change section(s).
    • Review the Upgrading from earlier versions section.
    • Review the Upgrading from earlier configurations section.
    • Review the installation checklist.
  • Verify a connection to the serial console port is working. This not required but will allow monitoring of installation progress and provides additional recovery options. For more information, refer to K7683: Connecting a serial terminal to a BIG-IP system.
  • When you have a date for the upgrade, we recommend starting a proactive Service Request with your plan in case there are complications during your change window. For more information, refer to K16022: Opening a proactive service request with F5 Technical Support.
  • Testing the upgrade procedure on a lab environment using Big-IP Virtual Edition can be helpful to find potential issues before they are encountered in a production environment.
    1. BIG-IP 10Mbps Virtual Edition Lab License (11.4.1 - 13.X)

      - Inexpensive compared to higher throughput Big-IP VE licenses.
      - LTM, GTM, DNS, AFM, ASM, AAM, CGN, APM Lite (10 users).
      - In Big-IP v11.4.1 - 11.6.x, you can import Big-IP 10.x - 11.x UCS archives. In Big-IP v12.x, you can import Big-IP 11.x - 12.x UCS archives. Copy the UCS file to /var/tmp and use the following command:

               tmsh load sys ucs /var/tmp/.ucs no-license no-platform-check

      - May not be available in all countries
      - Total system throughput limited to 10Mbps​

    2. K15643: BIG-IP VE license offerings
    3. F5 Product Trials 
  • Retain a UCS archive from every Big-IP in your network on a remote filestore to aid disaster recovery. Even if the archive has aged and does not contain all configuration objects, it will provide faster recovery time than completely reconfiguring the Big-IP. For more information, refer to:
  • For full planning and assistance during an upgrade, F5 Professional Services is a good resource. Support will answer specific questions regarding the upgrade but can't be used start to finish to perform upgrades. For more information, refer to: