Cisco XR IOS Code Upgrade

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Summary of XR IOS Code Upgrade:

1.Download the correct image tarball from The image cannot be used as-is. The CCO image tarball for Release 4.3.4 (Cisco recommended) must be downloaded first and only relevant Packages Installation Emvelope (PIEs) or Software Maintenance Upgrade (SMUs) must be taken for use on the router.

2. Before upgrading to the new code, all the mandatory SMUs required to be active in the current release must be installed. For example we are upgrading from code 4.2.3 to 4.3.4 and required SMU for upgrade are:

  • CSCud98419
  • CSCud37351
  • CSCud54093

Here is the table with Mandatory SMUs: Mandatory SMUs.png. These mandatory SMUs are available in the downloaded tar file.

3. First copy SMUs to USB drive. USB drive on the ASR9000 use disk1: slot. You should see all SMUs on disk1:

RP/0/RSP0/CPU0:XR-2#dir disk1:
Fri May  2 18:08:27.040 est
Directory of disk1:
131616    -rw-  52518619    Tue Dec 18 19:48:48 2012  asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud37351.pie
131936    -rw-  40910815    Thu Jan 10 06:52:20 2013  asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud54093.pie
132448    -rw-  724868      Fri Feb  1 23:35:02 2013  asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud98419.pie

4. Add and activate the required SMUs. By default, they are added to installed to disk0:. All add and install operations should be performed in the admin mode.

(admin)#install add disk1:asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud37351.pie disk1:asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud54093.pie disk1:asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud98419.pie active

You can list all the SMUs in one line divided by space. The installation will be performed on the background. If you want to see the install status, issue the command:

show install request

If you actually want to see the full installation process, add “synchronous” at the end of the install request:

install add disk1:asr9k-p-4.2.3.CSCud37351.pie active synchronous

5. After install finished, make sure that SMUs are active now:

(admin)#show install active
Fri May  2 18:28:30.921 est
Secure Domain Router: Owner

  Node 0/RSP0/CPU0 [RP] [SDR: Owner]
    Boot Device: disk0:
    Boot Image: /disk0/asr9k-os-mbi-4.2.3.CSCud54093-1.0.0/0x100000/mbiasr9k-rp.vm
    Active Packages:

6. Commit the install. After commit, router will reboot automatically:

   (admin)#install commit

7. After reboot, login and add/activate all required PIEs with new code 4.3.4. mini.pie is mandatory and consist of several packages required to run the router. All other packages are for additional features (mpls, multicast, security, management, etc)

All the packages specified in the install command must match older version packages already installed on the router. Although it is not possible to upgrade with lesser number of packages than these installed, it is ok to install additional packages.

(admin)#install add disk1:asr9k-mini-px.pie-4.3 disk1:asr9k-mpls-px.pie-4.3 active synchronous

You can add and activate multiple PIEs in one command. Just list them separated by space.

After installation complete (may take 10-30 minutes), router will reboot automatically.

8. After reboot – commit the install:

(admin)#install commit

9. Verify that proper set of PIEs are active now. Old code PIEs are automatically deactivated:

(admin)#show install

10. Verify the new IOS XR version:

(admin)#show version

11. Verify that all the nodes are in “IOS XR RUN” state, SPAs in “OK” state, Fan Tray and Power Modules are in “READY” state:

(admin)#show platform

12. Upon successful upgrade checks for package and image integrity. Any found issues must be repaired using the command: “install verify package repair”.

(admin)#show install verify packages

13.  Once software upgrade or downgrade has been completed, disk space can be recovered by removing any inactive packages that are no longer needed (if the packages are required at a later time, they can be re-added)


About the Author:

Amante Bustamante is the Senior Network and Security consultant and the company Chief Technology Officer. He is an expert in the design and operation of networking systems essential to supporting complex requirements. Amante Bustamante has over 15 years of Technical IT experience with a specialization in Network and Network Security integrations.
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