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Cisco WLC and pre-download software to AP

A simple post, because I always forget the CLI commands to TFTP the software to the controller. I also added the command to predownload the new firmware to all access-points. This dramatically speeds up the upgrade process of the access-points.

You need to set the TFTP parameters first.

(Cisco Controller) >transfer download datatype code
(Cisco Controller) >transfer download mode tftp
(Cisco Controller) >transfer download serverip 10.77.244.196
(Cisco Controller) >transfer download path .
(Cisco Controller) >transfer download filename AIR-WLC4400-K9-5-2-178-0.aes

Next you can start the actual download of the firmware image.

(Cisco Controller) >transfer download start

You can now choose to reboot the controller without predownloading the firmware to the access-points. Predownloading the images is done via the command:

(Cisco Controller) >config ap image predownload primary all

You can view the progress of the predownload via:

(Cisco Controller) >show ap image all

Sometimes the predownloaded image is stored as backup image on the access-points. You can swap the image to the primary image via

(Cisco Controller) >config ap image swap all

Issue the following command to see the images on the Cisco WLC

(Cisco Controller) >show boot

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René Jorissen

Co-owner and Solution Specialist at 4IP Solutions
René Jorissen works as Solution Specialist for 4IP in the Netherlands. Network Infrastructures are the primary focus. René works with equipment of multiple vendors, like Cisco, Aruba Networks, FortiNet, HP Networking, Juniper Networks, RSA SecurID, AeroHive, Microsoft and many more. René is Aruba Certified Edge Expert (ACEX #26), Aruba Certified Mobility Expert (ACMX #438), Aruba Certified ClearPass Expert (ACCX #725), Aruba Certified Design Expert (ACDX #760), CCNP R&S, FCNSP and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEF) certified. You can follow René on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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