How To Update Firmware for ConnectX®-4/5 VPI PCI Express Adapter Cards (InfiniBand, Ethernet, VPI) on VMware ESXi 6.5/6.7

Version 2

    This post describes the procedure of how to Update Firmware for ConnectX®-5 VPI PCI Express Adapter Cards (InfiniBand, Ethernet, VPI) on VMware ESXi 6.5/6.7 versions.




    Hardware and Software Requirements

    1. A server platform with an adapter card based on one of the following Mellanox Technologies’ HCA devices:

    2. Installer Privileges: The installation requires administrator privileges on the target machine.

    3. Device ID: For the latest list of device IDs, please visit Mellanox website.


    Mellanox Firmware Tools (MFT)

    The Mellanox Firmware Tools (MFT) package is a set of firmware management tools used to:

    • Generate a standard or customized Mellanox firmware image
    • Querying for firmware information
    • Burn a firmware image


    Updating Firmware for a Single Mellanox Network Interface Card (NIC)

    This part describes the procedure for burning firmware using the Mellanox Firmware Tools (MFT).

    1. Download and Install the Mellanox Firmware Tools (MFT) by How To Install Mellanox Firmware Tools (MFT) on VMware ESXi 6.5/6.7 community document.

    2. Log into ESXi vSphere Command-Line Interface with root permissions.

    3. Get the device location on the PCI bus.

    # lspci | grep nox

    0000:02:00.0 Network controller: Mellanox Technologies MT28800 Family [ConnectX-5 Ex] [vmnic2]

    0000:02:00.1 Network controller: Mellanox Technologies MT28800 Family [ConnectX-5 Ex] [vmnic3]

    4. Get the Card type, Part Number, PSID (firmware identification) and FW  version using the command.

    # /opt/mellanox/bin/mlxfwmanager -d 02:00.0 --query

    Querying Mellanox devices firmware ...


    Device #1:



      Device Type:      ConnectX5

      Part Number:      MCX556A-EDA_Ax

      Description:      ConnectX-5 Ex VPI adapter card; EDR IB (100Gb/s) and 100GbE; dual-port QSFP28; PCIe4.0 x16; tall bracket; ROHS R6

      PSID:             MT_0000000009

      PCI Device Name:  02:00.0

      Base MAC:         ec0d9a8a278a

      Versions:         Current        Available

         FW             16.21.1000     N/A

         PXE            3.5.0305       N/A


      Status:           No matching image found

    5. Download the correct firmware image zip file using the Firmware Download Table on the firmware Web page of your product's family -- save with a .zip extension. Click Here for help in identifying your Adapter Card.


    6. Unzip the binary image (.zip file).

    7. Use SCP or any other file transfer method to copy to /tmp the bin file to the required ESXi host.

    8. Log into a ESXi vSphere Command-Line Interface with root permissions.

    9. Enter Maintenance Mode the ESXi host.

    10. Verify that the file are placed in the /tmp directory.

    # cd /tmp
    # ls

    11.To print the current status of Mellanox devices.

    /opt/mellanox/bin/mst status

    MST devices:



    11. Burn the firmware image to the Adapter Card.


      flint -d <device_name> -i <binary image> b


        To burn the 16.22.1002  version firmware image to an ConnectX-5 VPI ( Part Number: MCX556A-EDA, PSID: MT_0000000009) enter:

    # /opt/mellanox/bin/flint -d mt4121_pciconf0 -i /tmp/fw-ConnectX5-rel-16_22_1002-MCX556A-EDA_Ax-UEFI-14.15.19-FlexBoot-3.5.403.bin b


        Current FW version on flash:  16.21.1000

        New FW version:               16.22.1002


    Burning FW image without signatures - OK

    Restoring signature                     - OK

    -I- To load new FW run mlxfwreset or reboot machine.

    12. Reboot the server.

    13. Log into a ESXi vSphere Command-Line Interface with root permissions.

    14. Query the device. And verify FW version.

    ./flint -d mt4121_pciconf0 query

    Image type:            FS4

    FW Version:            16.22.1002

    FW Release Date:       23.2.2018

    Product Version:       rel-16_22_1002

    Rom Info:              type=UEFI version=14.15.19 cpu=AMD64

                           type=PXE version=3.5.403 cpu=AMD64

    Description:           UID                GuidsNumber

    Base GUID:             ec0d9a03008a278a        8

    Base MAC:              ec0d9a8a278a            8

    Image VSD:             N/A

    Device VSD:            N/A

    PSID:                  MT_0000000009

    Security Attributes:   N/A

    15. Exit Maintenance Mode the ESXi host.