Upgrade to XenServer 7

Now XenServer 7 is here, you'll probably wonder how to upgrade your existing hosts.

That's a big release, so upgrading will be a bit more complicated than from 6.2 to 6.5, due to the new partition scheme.

Before upgrading


You can find XenServer 7 ISO here: http://downloadns.citrix.com.edgesuite.net/11616/XenServer-7.0.0-main.iso

Install XenServer 7 from an USB drive

Despite you can burn a CD with the ISO, using an USB drive is far easier. On a Linux distro, it's one command:

dd if=XenServer-7.0.0-main.iso of=/dev/sdX

On Windows, you can use any USB drive creator program.

New partition scheme

XenServer 7 has a new (better) partition scheme:

  • / (root) 18GB
  • /boot/efi 512M
  • /var/log 4GB
  • Swap 1GB

Against the 4GB of XenServer 6, for everything. This time, if your logs grows, it won't affect your system.

So what about your current partition scheme on XenServer 6 during the upgrade?

2 possibilities:

  • you can keep the old partitions
  • or you can "upgrade" it to the new scheme

I strongly recommend to upgrade with the new partition scheme (see below for the procedure). The condition needed to do that is to have your local SR (created during the install of previous XS version) to be empty. This way, the XenServer 7 install could use this space for re-partinioning the whole drive in a proper way.

You can live migrate your VDIs from this local SR to another one. If you don't have any other SR available, a solution would be to migrate VMs to another host before upgrading. In last resort, you could export your VM to re-import it later.

Using the new partitions

In order to migrate using the new partition scheme, on your host before any upgrade, enter this command:

$ touch /var/preserve/safe2upgrade

Also check you are using GPT partitioning and not MBR.

Lastly, check your local SR doesn't not have any VDI.

If you have any VDIs remaining in your local SR, THEY WILL BE REMOVED

Using the old partitions

Nothing to do. But you'll keep the small root partition. It's your call!


Just put the media and boot from your machine on it. The install will ask to upgrade or replace your current XenServer installation. Select "upgrade" and follow the simple guide :)

Migration without downtime

  1. Live migrate your VMs from the pool master to other hosts
  2. Upgrade your pool master
  3. Live migrate VMs from a another host to your pool master
  4. Upgrade this host
  5. Repeat until everything is updated!

Upgrade order

Always upgrade your pool master first, and then other hosts.

You can live migrate VMs from older versions of XenServer to newer host. But the opposite is not possible.