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Upgrading Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx 25GbE Ethernet card firmware in ESXi 6.5 environment

Publication Date:  2017-11-13 Views:  589 Downloads:  0

Issue Description

There is Mellanox 25GbE network adapter installed in RH2288H v3 server
(applicable to different Mellanox cards and Huawei servers). ESXi6.5 is
installed on host. Need to upgrade adapter firmware to a newer version.

Handling Process

First we must ensure that SSH access to host is enabled.

Then we have to prepare the FW package (in this case “fw-ConnectX4Lx-rel-14_18_2000-Huawei_MCX4121A-ACA_Ax-FlexBoot-3.5.110.bin”) 

After that we must download the software needed for upgrade.

Go to the following website:

And download two .vib packages for the corresponding ESXi version (we have 6.5 installed in this case):


Next step we have to transfer all three files to a local folder on ESXi host. We suggest to use WinSCP or any other convenient SFTP tool.

So, we put all files to some local folder, like /usr/mellanox/

After uploading files we must access the CLI of the host, for example via SSH with Putty client (or any other) as user root.

Log in and go to the folder specified on previous step:

cd /usr/mellanox

Then install two .vib packages in the following sequence:

   1)  esxcli software vib install -v /usr/mellanoxnmst-

   2)  esxcli software vib install -v /usr/mellanoxmft-


After installing the software we need to reboot the host:



When the host boots up log in to SSH again as root.

1)  Run the following command to check the adapter presence and ID:

/opt/mellanox/bin/mst status –v

You will get the list like the following:



2)  Run the following command to check the version and upgrade firmware:

/opt/mellanox/bin/flint -d mt4117_pciconf0 -allow_psid_change -i /usr/mellanox/fw-ConnectX4Lx-rel-14_18_2000-Huawei_MCX4121A-ACA_Ax-FlexBoot-3.5.110.bin b


3)  After upgrading the firmware we need to reboot host once again (with reboot command) and confirm the firmware version running the following command:

/opt/mellanox/bin/flint -d mt4117_pciconf0 query



Root Cause

Use this upgrade procedure in case of outdated firmware on Mellanox
adapter on ESXi hosts.


Install and use the package from adapter’s vendor.


It is recommended to always use the newest firmware.