by lunarg on October 13th 2014, at 12:46

Installing a firmware upgrade on your Dell Force10 MXL IOM works similar (but slightly differently) than the other Force10 series. There are two things to upgrade: the IOM firmware and IOM operating system. The first has to be upgraded through CMC (not documented here), the second through the switch itself.


To upgrade FTOS, you need console access (can be SSH/Telnet) to the switch and an SCP/FTP/TFTP server.

If you have none of these, you can download tftp32/64. This is a light-weight TFTP-server which does not need to be installed and can be run as an application on any networked computer. Place the downloaded firmware (the BIN-file) in the same location as the tftp32/64 executable and start it up. On Windows, you may need to turn off your firewall or allow tftpd32/64 through.


First, check the OS-version to see which version you're running.

show os-version

Next up, with your TFTP/FTP/SCP server at the ready, issue this command to start the upgrade process:

upgrade system protocol://ip-address/file.bin A:

Adjust parameters accordingly:

  • protocol can be tftp, scp or ftp, depending on whatever server you have running.
  • ip-address is obviously the IP of the server hosting the FTOS upgrade file.
  • file.bin is the filename of the upgrade, usually something like FTOS-XL-
  • A: or B: is the specific OS image that needs to be updated. There are always two on a switch, and usually only one is upgraded, with the other one being the fallback in case things go wrong. Usually, you select the system image that is specified in the boot loader (check with show bootvar or show version).
NEVER *EVER* upgrade both system images at the same time!!! Doing so may risk killing your switch!

After issuing the command, the unit will download and flash the system image. This will take a couple of minutes so please be patient.

When done, the switch will not automatically reboot. If not already done, save any changes, then "reload" the switch:

wr mem

The switch will reboot and will boot the new software version. Recheck the version with show os-version. If it's still the same as before, you've upgraded the wrong system image. In this case, do not reflash the other image, but adjust the boot loader and try the reboot again.

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