Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade


The Citrix XenServer Rolling upgrade feature was introduced in Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1. This is a fantastic wizard that will upgrade all your XenServers automatically to the latest version from a central FTP/HTTP or NFS network share. So instead of upgrading hundreds of XenServers manually with DVD/USB you can now use this tool instead.

There’s currently a lot of threads on the Citrix Forum so I thought it would be nice to provide a detailed guide on how to do this with NFS.

First of you’ll need to upgrade Citrix XenCenter to the latest version and setup a NFS share with the extracted content of the latest XenServer-6.0.201-install-cd.iso. To extract ISO files you can use Pismo File Mount or WinRAR.

For this demonstration I’ve used haneWIN NFS Server which allows you to setup a NFS share on a Windows 7 machine. This is a great tool for people that want to setup a NFS share on a laptop as Storage for XenServer/ESX or even a multimedia center.

My share is located on D:\xs602 and the -public switch enables WebNFS access.

Start Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade from the Tools menu of Citrix XenCenter

Select your pool

and then Automatic Mode – automated upgrade from network install files.

The wizard will run pre checks to make sure that e.g. all VM’s are suspended or shut down and that all VM’s have an empty DVD drive.

The last step before the upgrade starts is to setup the path. Select NFS from the drop down list and type in the path. So in my example my drive is D and the share name is xs602. So the path would be Make sure to click the Test button to check that everything is okay before you proceed.

The Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade feature is a godsend tool to administrators of big XenServer solutions. The only con is that if you’re running Citrix Provisioning Services and using a PVSboot.iso as a backup function for your PXE than you got some work to do. 100 XenServers and 10 VM’s per host would mean 1000 eject/insert of the ISO in the DVD drive of each VM.

Would be great if anyone have made a script to eject and insert ISO images in the DVD tray of all VM’s for a complete Citrix XenServer Pool.

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Friday 30th of September 2022

8 thoughts on “Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade”

  1. This code doesn’t handle the mounting of the ISO, and would only be valid for windows hosts however you can eject the CD/DVD drive on a windows host with the following powershell code:

    $cd_drived = ‘D:’
    $sa = New-Object -comObject Shell.Application

    With more recent features in powershell you can run powershell commands remotely on hosts (similar to psexec) so this might get you part way there on your script…

  2. On the contrary, the Rolling Pool Upgrade is not God sent as we’ve tried running it in our environment from XS 6.0.2 to XS 6.1. One thing you as well as Citrix failed to mention was what to do with the attached storage devices before starting the RPU and not to use the FTP option to store your installation files (RPU only supports NFS, FTP and HTTP)….WTF???? Aaaanyhoo, the upgrade took 3.5 hours to install on the pool master but failed to re-attach the FC HBA back to the host. As you cannot run a mixed mode resource pool, we had to retire the pool master and promoted another host in the pool to PM (Obviously, Pool Master running 6.1 would not elect a lower versioned host to become PM) we had to power off the PM and that made all the hosts in the pool go into emergency mode…..i could go on all day if you’ve even been involved in rescuing hosts running PVS and XenDesktop servers before start of business the next day.

  3. linux:

    # mkdir /mnt/xeniso (or whatever u wanna call it)
    # mount -o loop XenServer-version-cd.iso /mnt/xeniso

    # apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
    # vim /etc/exports

    # —- in your nfs exports file: —

    # serice nfs-kernel-server reload

    so in xencenter rolling pool upgrade:

    good to go.


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