Before you begin

Before you start the upgrade or downgrade process, make sure you check the following:

  • Evaluate your organization’s support agreement. Document appliance serial number, support agreement, and contacts details for support from Citrix technical support or the Citrix Authorized Partner.

  • Time allocated for upgrading NetScaler appliances. Follow your organization’s change control procedure. Allocate twice as much time to perform the upgrades. Allocate enough time to upgrade each of the NetScaler appliance.

  • The NetScaler licensing system enforces Customer Success Services (CSS) membership license validation for NetScaler VPX appliances. Before you upgrade a NetScaler VPX appliance, ensure that the current CSS membership of the appliance is valid and has not expired.

    Ensure that the current CSS membership expiration date is equal or newer than the CSS eligibility date of the NetScaler product version to be upgraded.

    If the CSS membership expiration date is earlier than the CSS eligibility date, then the existing license does not work on the upgraded version of the NetScaler VPX appliance. This functionality can prevent unauthorized usage of the licenses. You must renew the CSS membership before you can upgrade the NetScaler VPX appliance.

    For a list of NetScaler VPX releases and their CSS eligibility dates, see NetScaler product Customer Success Services Eligibility Dates.

    For more information about CSS, see Customer Success Services.

  • Citrix recommends upgrade of one major release at a time. For example, if the NetScaler appliance is on release 12.1, and you want to upgrade to release 13.1, first upgrade the appliance to release 13.0, and then to release 13.1.

  • The licensing framework and types of licenses. A software edition upgrade might require new licenses, such as:
    • upgrading from the standard edition to the advanced edition, or
    • the standard edition to the Premium edition, or
    • the advanced edition to the Premium edition.

    Existing NetScaler licenses continue to work when you upgrade to version 13.1. For more information, see Licensing

  • Check for New and deprecated commands, parameters, and SNMP OIDs.
  • Check for NetScaler MPX Hardware and Software Compatibility Matrix.
  • If the NetScaler Gateway logon page is customized, then make sure that the UI theme is set to default.
  • If you are upgrading LOM, review the LOM Firmware Upgrade page.
  • Download the NetScaler firmware from the NetScaler Downloads. For the detailed steps to download the NetScaler firmware, see the Download a NetScaler release package.

  • Back up files. Perform a backup of the configuration file, customization file, certificates, monitor scripts, license files, and so on either manually or refer to the following documentation for back-up using NetScaler CLI or GUI - Backup and restore.

    • Refer to the following list for additional common customized files for backup.
      • /nsconfig/monitors/*.pl
      • /nsconfig/rc.netscaler
    • Back up and delete the customization folder. This is usually under /var/customizations. An example of customization is a logon page with a logo. After you have copied the customizations folder, you have to delete it from the NetScaler appliance, before you upgrade the appliance. Upgrading with customization in place might cause some issues.


    Citrix highly recommends reviewing the above backup procedures. Have an action plan in the event the update does not complete on the NetScaler appliance.

  • Verify that there is adequate space in the /var and /flash directory for the NetScaler appliance before performing an upgrade. The /var requires 5 GB of free space (1 GB for the upgrade bundle + 4 GB for the upgrade process) The /flash requires enough space to copy over the new kernel, which differs between 140MB to 160MB approximately, ensure that there is atleast 250 MB free space available. For more information on clearing out the disk space in /var see, How to free space on /var directory for logging issues with a NetScaler appliance. For more information on clearing out the disk spaces in /flash see,

  • Validate the integrity of the NetScaler appliance. If you have a NetScaler hardware appliance, Citrix highly recommends running fsck for running a disk check and validating the integrity of the NetScaler hard drive. In the event of an error, reset the hard disk drive and repeating the disk check command. If the error message reappears, contact NetScaler support to further investigate the issue.

    • Validate the disk integrity of the hard drive using a fsck command. For more information, see CTX122845.

    • Validate the integrity of a NetScaler appliance using the diagnostic bundles files and uploading the logs to Citrix Insight Service for analysis. For more information, see How to collect a technical support bundle.

  • Check the NetScaler VPX Support matrix and usage guidelines.

  • Check the FAQ section.

  • Verify the upgrading procedures with a test environment.

For more information about prerequisites for upgrading or downgrading the NetScaler appliance, see these support articles:

Before you begin

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