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License level mismatch on SMU install?

I have a C9300 stack running Gibralter 16.12.3 and I ran into a bug.  Then I discovered that there was an SMU for the bug.  Having never installed a SMU I decided to give it a try.  I copied the cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin to flash and issued the install add command:


Switch#install add file flash:cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin
install_add: START Mon Mar 1 17:33:31 EST 2021
install_add: Adding SMU
install_add: Checking whether new add is allowed ....

--- Starting initial file syncing ---
[1]: Copying flash:cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin from switch 1 to switch 2 3
[2 3]: Finished copying to switch 2 switch 3
Info: Finished copying flash:cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin to the selected switch(es)
Finished initial file syncing

--- Starting SMU Add operation ---
Performing SMU_ADD on all members
[1] SMU_ADD package(s) on switch 1
FAILED: install_add /flash/cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin: Device license network-essentials does not match SMU license level dna-advantage
[1] Finished SMU_ADD on switch 1
[2] SMU_ADD package(s) on switch 2
FAILED: install_add /flash/cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin: Device license network-essentials does not match SMU license level dna-advantage
[2] Finished SMU_ADD on switch 2
[3] SMU_ADD package(s) on switch 3
FAILED: install_add /flash/cat9k_iosxe.16.12.03.CSCvt72427.SPA.smu.bin: Device license network-essentials does not match SMU license level dna-advantage
[3] Finished SMU_ADD on switch 3
Checking status of SMU_ADD on [1 2 3]
SMU_ADD: Passed on []. Failed on [1 2 3]
Finished SMU Add operation

FAILED: install_add exit(1) Mon Mar 1 17:33:46 EST 2021


What is up with that?  This is a patch that is supposed to resolve a bug with basic spanning-tree operation.  I didn't see anything about licensing restrictions in the documentation.  There is not a separate network-essentials and dna-advantage patch to download.

VIP Expert

we are not sure where this is a document to upgrade SMU, you already running 16.12.3 you having the same bug, are you sure?

there is a workaround is to the configuration :


Issue NOT happening (workarounds):

if native vlan is default (vlan1)
if the switch running 16.12.3 is downgraded to 16.12.2 OR 16.9.5
if customized STP vlan priority command is not in place (using customized native vlan & letting C9300 be the STP root)


if not fixed with the work around then you need  to upgrade IOS XE  16.12.4a





*** Rate All Helpful Responses ***

Hi BB and thank you for your reply.


I do not like the workarounds as it forces this one interface on this one switch to use a non-standard configuration.  If the solution is to upgrade to a different version then what is the purpose of offering the SMU at all?  Since the SMU is being offered as a solution, why is the installer checking license levels?

Not sure which document offering SMU install can you point me, i may be missing some information, as per the bug you mentioned ( based on that i have advised )-  some time sure we may miss a bit small information, which leads to a different problem.


can you clarify for us, please?



*** Rate All Helpful Responses ***

Hi BB.


My original post contains all of the pertinent information.  I don't know what more I can tell you.

Maybe we are still missing something here:CSCvt72427


can you post-show the version and dir from Switch please.



here is the bug information you mentioned - where does this say to install SMU?




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I understand that there are multiple ways to fix this problem.  One way is to load a newer release.  Another way is to install a SMU package.  If you look at the available software and you follow this path:

Downloads Home =>

Switches =>

Campus LAN Switches - Access =>

Catalyst 9300 Series Switches =>

Catalyst 9300-24UX-E Switch =>

IOS XE Software Maintenance Upgrades (SMU) =>


You will find this SMU package:

Reload/Recommended SMU, Switch running 16.12.3 is not processing superior BPDUs for non-default native vlan


If Cisco did not ever intend this package to be used, why is it made available as a download?