How to Upgrade XenServer 5.6 to XenServer 6.0.2 Using Rolling Pool Upgrade


Starting with XenCenter 5.6, Citrix introduced the ‘Rolling Pool Upgrade…’ functionality into XenCenter, and we shall leverage this here to upgrade an existing XenServer 5.6 pool to 6.0.2.
Note: It is not possible to upgrade pools or servers running XenServer version 5.5 or earlier using this wizard!

Fig. 1: XenCenter > Tools > Rolling Pool Upgrade…

Fig. 2: XenCenter > Pool A > with two hosts – xenhost01 & 02

Fig. 3: XenCenter > Tools > License Manager… and versions

Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Part 1: Backup Existing Pool State
1.1) Use PuTTY to connect to the pool master and run the following command
# xe pool-dump-database file-name=pooldump
1.2) Use WinSCP to connect to the host and extract the pooldump file

Part 2: Rolling Pool Upgrade… (Option 1 – Automatic Mode)
2.1) Click XenCenter > Tools > Rolling Pool Upgrade…
2.2) Read the ‘Before You Start’ and take note of the warning, and Next >
2.3) Select Pool and Next >

Fig. 4: Rolling Pool Upgrade – Selecting Pool

2.4) Choose the upgrade mode: Automatic Mode, click ‘Run Prechecks’

Fig. 5:  Rolling Pool Upgrade - Modes

2.5) In this lab example, the ‘Run Prechecks’ indicates missing hotfixes, and we will apply these then click ‘Check again’ and Next >

Fig. 6: Rolling Pool Upgrade – Prechecks failed with Missing Hotfixes

2.6) Locate the network install files (Automatic Mode)

Here, if there is no available HTTP, NFS, or FTP server, an excellent option is to use HFS.EXE (HTTP File Share) which is written by and provided for free by Massimo Regetto – see

With the XenServer 6.0.2.iso files extracted to a folder on our HTTP File Server – as below – all that is left to do is…

Fig. 7: HFS file server sharing the XenServer 6.0.2 iso files

Input the location of network install files, click Test, and then click ‘Start Upgrade’

Fig. 8: Rolling Pool Upgrade Wizard – Network Install Files Test Success!

And wait!

2.7) All done, click Finish

Fig. 9: Rolling Pool Upgrade Complete

Part 3: Rolling Pool Upgrade… (Option 2 – Manual Mode)
3.1) Click XenCenter > Tools > Rolling Pool Upgrade…
3.2) Read the ‘Before You Start’ and take note of the warning, and Next >
3.3) Select Pool and Next >
3.4) Choose the upgrade mode: Manual Mode, click ‘Run Prechecks’
3.5) Run Prechecks – if all is okay click Next >
3.6) Perform the rolling pool upgrade (Manual Mode) click ‘Start Upgrade’

Fig. 10: Perform the rolling pool upgrade (Manual Mode) – Start Upgrade

3.7) Follow the prompts to complete the upgrade (which is a pretty much just like sticking a physical CD in the drive and following the console prompts)!

Fig. 11: Manual Upgrade – Insert installation CD and Reboot Now

Note 1: If you get the following error “Upgrade failed. The (XenServer) has rebooted with the same version” when using the Manual Upgrade, then the boot order in BIOS will need setting to boot from CD.

Fig. 12: Upgrade failed … rebooted with the same version

Note 2: The Automatic Upgrade does flag up missing hotfixes which the Manual Upgrade does not seem to do, suggesting it may well be worth running the Automatic Upgrade as far as the pre-checks, applying any missing hotfixes, then skipping back and re-selecting Manual Upgrade.