XenServer

Apply updates to your XenServer hosts

Ensure that you use XenServer 8 and the latest version of XenCenter to apply updates to your XenServer hosts and pools. XenServer 8 and the latest version of XenCenter is provided on the XenServer product downloads page.

Important:

Configure and apply updates by using XenCenter only. We do not support the direct usage or modification of the underlying update components in dom0.

Configure updates for your pool

Before being able to apply updates to your XenServer hosts and pools, you must configure server updates. Configure your pool to automatically synchronize with an update channel and then apply the downloaded updates by using XenCenter.

To provide update notifications, XenCenter requires internet access. If your XenCenter is behind a firewall, ensure that it has access to the updates.ops.xenserver.com domain. To receive the updates, your XenServer hosts require internet access. If your hosts are behind a firewall, ensure that they have access to subdomains of ops.xenserver.com. For more information, see Connectivity requirements.

  1. In XenCenter, on the Tools menu, select Configure Updates. Alternatively, go to the Updates section under your pool’s General tab and select Configure Updates or right-click on your pool and select Updates > Configure Updates. The Configure Server Updates window opens.

  2. On the XenServer 8 tab, select the pools or hosts that you want to configure.

  3. Under Update Channel, specify how soon you want to access updates. Your pool or host can be subscribed to one of the following update channels:

    • Early Access - perfect for test environments
    • Normal - recommended for production environments
  4. Under Synchronization Schedule, select how often you want your XenServer pool to synchronize with the update channel. This can be daily, or weekly on a certain day of the week.

    XenCenter synchronizes your pool with the update repository, which downloads any available updates to the pool coordinator. You can then apply the downloaded updates to your pool by using XenCenter.

    Note:

    After synchronizing, apply the updates to your pool as soon as possible to benefit from the latest updates.

    If you designate a new pool coordinator after synchronizing but before applying updates to the hosts in the pool, you must synchronize again with the new pool coordinator before you can update the pool.

    Do not synchronize your XenServer pool while the pool is in the process of being updated.

  5. (Optional) Under Proxy Server, specify a proxy to use when synchronizing with the update channel. This proxy server is used for communication between the host and the content delivery network (CDN).

  6. Click Apply to apply the configuration changes to your XenServer pool and then repeat the above steps to configure updates for the rest of your XenServer pools.

  7. If you are happy with the configuration changes to your pools, click OK to save your changes and close the Configure Server Updates window. When you first set up your host or pool with an update channel (or if you later change your host or pool to synchronize with a different update channel), you are asked if you want to synchronize your host or pool with the update channel immediately. In the dialog box that opens, select Yes, Synchronize if you want to synchronize your host or pool with the update channel immediately.

    CDN configure updates XenServer 8

  8. As soon as your pool synchronizes with the update channel, apply the downloaded updates to your pool by using the Install Updates wizard. For more information, see Apply updates to your pool.

After configuring your XenServer pool, you can find information about the update channel that your pool is subscribed to and the last time your pool synchronized with the update channel in the Updates section under your pool’s General tab in XenCenter. You can also find information about the last time your host was updated in the Updates section under your host’s General tab.

View available updates for your pool

XenCenter issues notifications about available updates for your hosts and pools under the Updates tabs in the Notifications view. The Updates tabs are split into XenServer 8 updates and Citrix Hypervisor updates.

Updates tabs XenServer 8

Updates are grouped by host and type of update. The types of updates are:

  • Security fixes
  • Bug fixes
  • Improvements
  • New features
  • Preview features
  • Foundational changes

    Note:

    Foundational changes are non-customer visible groundwork changes to maintain and improve the product.

The XenServer 8 Updates tab refreshes when your XenServer 8 hosts and pools synchronize with the update channel. The frequency of this depends on the synchronization schedule that you have set up for your pool (either daily, or weekly on a certain day of the week).

  • To see the latest available updates for your pool, select Synchronize All to immediately synchronize your XenServer pool with the update channel. Alternatively, go to the Updates section under your pool’s General tab and select Synchronize Now or right-click on your pool and select Updates > Synchronize Now.

  • To view this information about your available updates offline, select Export All to export the information as a .csv file. The .csv file contains the following information:

    • The update name
    • A description of the update
    • The hosts that this update can be applied to
    • If available, a link to further information about the update
  • To apply the updates to your hosts or pools, select Install Updates to open the Install Updates wizard. For more information, see the following section Apply updates to your pool.

Apply updates to your pool

The update installation mechanism in XenCenter applies the updates to your hosts and pools using the Install Updates wizard. During the process, XenCenter automatically works out the least impactful action required after applying all available updates. The Install Updates wizard automatically performs these steps:

  1. If required, it migrates VMs off each host.
  2. If required, it places the host in Maintenance mode.
  3. It applies the updates.
  4. If required, it runs any necessary post-update tasks such as rebooting the host, restarting the toolstack, or rebooting the VMs.
  5. It migrates the VMs back to the updated host.

Any actions that are taken at the pre-check stage to enable the updates to be applied, such as turning off high availability, are reverted.

Before you start

Before you apply an update to your servers, pay careful attention to the following:

  • Back up all your servers
  • Ensure that High Availability (HA) is not enabled on any pool where you intend to apply updates.
  • Ensure that you are logged in to XenCenter as a Pool Administrator or Pool Operator, or using a local root account.

Install updates

The following section provides step-by-step instructions on applying updates using the Install Updates wizard:

  1. From the XenCenter menu, select Tools and then Install Updates.

    Install updates XenServer 8

  2. In the Install Updates wizard, select XenServer 8 and review the information on the Before You Start page. Click Next to continue.

  3. Select Automated updates. Click Next.

  4. Select your XenServer pools or hosts that you want to update. Click Next to progress to the next wizard page and begin pre-checks.

  5. The wizard performs several pre-checks to verify that the updates can be applied on your host or pool. For example, you must have synchronized your host or pool with the update channel within the past week.

    Follow the on-screen recommendations to resolve any pre-checks that have failed. If you prefer XenCenter to automatically resolve all failed pre-checks, select Resolve All. When the prechecks have been resolved, select Next to continue.

    Notes:

    • If the update process cannot complete for any reason, XenCenter halts the process. This halt allows you to fix the issue and resume the update process by clicking the Retry button.
    • If you select Cancel at this stage, the Install Updates wizard reverts any changes.
  6. After updates are applied, some post-update tasks (such as rebooting your hosts) might be required. On the Update Mode page, select the appropriate radio button if you want XenCenter to automatically carry out post-update tasks (such as restarting your hosts) after applying updates to your pool. Alternatively, after applying updates, you can carry out the post-update tasks yourself whenever you’re ready.

    Any post-update tasks required are listed under Tasks to be performed. If there are no post-update tasks required, the page displays a note saying No action required.

    Click Install updates for XenCenter to begin installing updates for your host or pool.

  7. The Install Updates wizard shows the progress of the update, displaying the major operations that XenCenter performs while updating each host in the pool. Click Finish to complete the updates and close the Install Updates wizard.

Post-update tasks

After updates are applied, some post-update tasks (such as rebooting your hosts) might be required. These are listed on the XenServer 8 Updates tab in the Notifications view.

Some updates (livepatches) do not require any post-update actions. If you chose to carry out the post-update tasks yourself after applying updates, do so now.

Some updates provide new features for your VMs. After applying these updates to the entire pool, you are usually required to restart your VMs at your earliest convenience. Review the post-update tasks to verify whether your VMs require restarting.

Apply updates to your XenServer hosts