As a matter of policy, FireBrick software upgrades are free to download for all FireBrick customers. Software upgrades are best performed using the web control pages on the firebrick itself.
The FireBrick has a built-in software download and installation system which can be accessed from the web control pages. This provides a simple one-click download and install feature. Simply go to your FireBrick's Status page, and if there is an upgrade available it will display an upgrade link under the current software version. Click the upgrade link and it will show details of the latest release - once you have read the release notes and wish to proceed, simply click the Upgrade button and it will download that release, install it, and reboot (this causes a brief outage of a few seconds).
To install new software manually you need to load the main product image file. You may also wish to update the bootloader; this is normally unnecessary unless indicated by the release notes. The XSD file corresponding to the software may also be downloaded; this does not need to be installed on the FireBrick, but is useful as a definitive reference for the XML configuration.Log in to your FireBrick administration pages, select Upload, browse to the main or bootloader image, and click Send new code. The software will be saved to flash, which will take a few seconds, and will become operational the next time the FireBrick is rebooted. You can force an immediate reboot by ticking the checkbox before clicking Send New Code.
When upgrading manually, do not skip over breakpoint software releases (labelled [Breakpoint] under release version number), as these update your config for changes in format or syntax. If you have saved configs, always re-save a copy after upgrading to a breakpoint issue. If you have tools to update configs, check documentation to confirm they are up to date. We recommend using the upgrade button on the FireBrick web control pages as this will ensure you do not miss any steps. Automatic upgrades to the latest factory release are done by default on FB2500, FB2700 and FB2900 models.
Factory, Beta or Alpha?
There are three categories of software releases available - Factory, Beta and Alpha.
These categories reflect the amount of testing done - releases normally start life as an alpha, then after initial alpha testing are converted to a beta. As a beta they are subjected to further testing, both by ourselves and by customers in the field. If, after beta testing, a release is stable, we will promote it to a factory release. If during testing we find a problem, we may choose to withdraw that release, or promote a later release.
Factory releases have been tested extensively, both by us and by test users, and have been stable for some time as a beta release. We recommend upgrading all FireBricks to the latest factory release when convenient. FB2500, FB2700 and FB2900 models will automatically upgrade to the latest factory release, unless you change the default "sw-update" setting in the config.
Beta releases have been through alpha testing to eliminate obvious bugs, and are generally stable. They are available to all users, should you wish to try a new feature or bug-fix before it is available as a factory release, and are willing to take the risk. FireBrick dealer technical support may also ask you to try a new beta to fix a problem. However, when running a beta, we suggest you keep an eye on our software downloads page, in case the beta you are using is withdrawn, or a subsequent beta release with relevant bug fixes is made available. When a beta release has had sufficient testing, it is normally promoted to factory release, or withdrawn if any serious problems are found. Your FireBrick's upgrade page will normally offer the latest beta release, or you can manually download it from our website and upload it onto your FireBrick.
Alpha releases are only for use by designated alpha testers, who are members of staff or customers closely involved in developing and debugging new features. Alpha releases may have had little or no testing, so there is a significant risk of bugs. If you would like to get involved in alpha testing, please contact your dealer. To load an alpha release, your FireBrick must first have alpha upgrades enabled by us. Your FireBrick's upgrade page will then offer the latest alpha release, or you can manually download it from our website and upload it onto your FireBrick. We only suggest running alpha software on testing/staging systems and not in production.
Note that if any upgrade causes repeated crashes, your FireBrick automatically reverts to older code.