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Boot Statement vs flash:/packages.conf


installed new image on 4 3850 stacks.

All of the stacks were configured with "boot system switch all flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.03.03.SE.150-1.EZ3.conf" when they were deployed.

From what I understand if using the "software install command" this config will be ignored and will always load the last image that was installed. And, that appears to be the behavior for 3 of the 4 stacks.

All stacks have a "boot system switch all flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.03.03.SE.150-1.EZ3.conf" but, when I do a show vers I see:

System image file is "flash:/packages.conf"


*    1 56    WS-C3850-48P       03.06.06E         cat3k_caa-universalk9 INSTALL
     2 56    WS-C3850-48P       03.06.06E         cat3k_caa-universalk9 INSTALL
     3 56    WS-C3850-48P       03.06.06E         cat3k_caa-universalk9 INSTALL
     4 56    WS-C3850-48P       03.06.06E         cat3k_caa-universalk9 INSTALL

So, even though there is a boot statement, it appears that the switch ignores it and runs the latest in flash.

Except one of the switches does not show "System image file is "flash:/packages.conf"" in the show version output. It shows "System image file is "flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.03.03.SE.150-1.EZ3.conf"" but also shows "*    1 56    WS-C3850-48P       03.06.06E         cat3k_caa-universalk9 INSTALL
     2 56    WS-C3850-48P       03.06.06E         cat3k_caa-universalk9 INSTALL" proving that the latest is being used.

Any explanation for this?

Why didn't the install process change the output to "System image file is "flash:/packages.conf"" 

Thank you, Pat




The 3850 can run in install mode or bundle mode. install mode boots the switch using the packages.conf file and .pkg files. Bundle mode uses the IOS image e.g. cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin.

The "software install" command installs the switch in install mode and configures the switch to boot using the packages.conf file. 

To run in bundle mode you specify the image to boot e.g. 
"boot system switch all flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.06.04.E.152-2.E4.bin"

In your cases all you switches are in install mode and should boot via packages.conf. The switch showing ""flash:cat3k_caa-universalk9.SPA.03.03.03.SE.150-1.EZ3.conf"" has been misconfigured. It should be showing "flash:/packages.conf" like the other switches. I am guessing someone modified that switch.

You can read more on install mode versus bundle mode at the following link:



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Thanks John, but no...nobody

Thanks John, but no...nobody has modified the switch after I installed the new image.

This is what I saw right after I performed the upgrade.

Perhaps if I deleted the boot statement and reloaded the switch it might display "flash:packages.conf"?

I was hoping someone had seen this error before.



Re: Hi,

So how do I make the changes to use the conf file?

Re: Hi,


if the  system is set to auto boot, packages.conf will be used instead of the direct image file as shown in the show boot.

if manual boot is set instead (provided Switch 2 is the node showing boot pointing to old image)


no boot system switch 2  (to clear the boot variable)
boot system switch 2 flash:packages.conf  (hard point to the packages.conf file)
write memory
show boot switch 2 to confirm

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