image image image image image

On This Page

This page is tailored for system administrators wishing to install BlueField and perform sample administrative actions on it. For a quick start guide aimed at software developers wishing to develop applications on the BlueField DPU using the DOCA framework, please refer to the NVIDIA DOCA Developer Quick Start Guide.

Not sure which guide to follow? For more details on the different BlueField user types, please refer to the NVIDIA BlueField and DOCA User Types document.

Verifying DPU Connection and Setting Up Host Environment

This section takes you through the basic steps of installing BlueField DPU and performing a sample administrative task on it.

  1. Install your DPU into your host server according to the instructions under Hardware Installation

    Ensure your host OS is included in the supported operating systems list and that the BlueField's out-of-band (OOB) management interface is connected to the network. The OOB interface must be connected to a DHCP/DNS server. The MAC address of the OOB port is found on the sticker on the BlueField DPU.

  2. Verify that the host server correctly identifies the BlueField DPU. The following commands rescan the PCIe bus and list the BlueField's name and PCIe address: 

    # sudo update-pciids
    # sudo lspci | grep BlueField

    The list of identified devices should include a network controller for every physical (Ethernet) port and a DMA controller for DPU management. Expected output example:

    17:00.0 Ethernet controller: Mellanox Technologies MT43244 BlueField-3 integrated ConnectX-7 network controller (rev 01)
    17:00.1 Ethernet controller: Mellanox Technologies MT43244 BlueField-3 integrated ConnectX-7 network controller (rev 01)
    17:00.2 DMA controller: Mellanox Technologies MT43244 BlueField-3 SoC Management Interface (rev 01)
  3. If an older DOCA software version is installed on your host, make sure to uninstall it before proceeding with the installation of the new version:

    • For Ubuntu/Debian: 

      $ for f in $( dpkg --list | grep doca | awk '{print $2}' ); do echo $f ; apt remove --purge $f -y ; done
      $ sudo apt-get autoremove
    • For CentOS/RHEL/Rocky: 

      host# for f in $(rpm -qa |grep -i doca ) ; do yum -y remove $f; done
      host# yum autoremove
      host# yum makecache
  4. Download and install the latest "DOCA for Host" package compatible with your specific operating system and version listed here under the "BlueField Drivers" tab.

    Make sure to accept cookies from the website when prompted.

  5. Verify that the RShim tool, which loads BlueField DPU with updated images, is running on the host.

    # sudo systemctl status rshim

    Expected output example:

    rshim.service - rshim driver for BlueField SoC
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/rshim.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Thu 2022-11-24 00:05:10 IST; 29 minutes ago

At this stage the host environment is all set and you can now perform administrative tasks on the DPU.

Connecting to BlueField and Verifying Version

To connect to your DPU:

  1. SSH to the DPU using the OOB IP or the RShim IP ( using the default credentials (ubuntu/ubuntu).
  2. When logging into the DPU for the first time after installing the BFB, you must change the default password.

    WARNING: Your password has expired.
    You must change your password now and login again!
    Changing password for ubuntu.
    Current password: 
    New password:
  3. To check the current running BFB:

    dpu# sudo cat /etc/mlnx-release

Updating BlueField BFB Image

These instructions are tailored for installing the BlueField BFB image on the default Ubuntu OS. To install it on other OSs, please contact NVIDIA Support.

The BlueField BFB image includes all the DOCA packages.

  1. Installing a new BFB on the DPU is performed using the bfb-install utility that is included in the RShim tool.

    # bfb-install --bfb <BFB-image>.bfb --rshim rshim0

    Expected output example:

    Pushing bfb  
    Collecting BlueField booting status. Press Ctrl+C to stop…
     INFO[BL2]: start
     INFO[MISC]: Ubuntu installation started
     INFO[MISC]: Installation finished
     INFO[MISC]: Rebooting...
  2. Upgrade the firmware of the BlueField DPU:
    1. Upgrade the BlueField DPU's firmware:

      dpu# sudo /opt/mellanox/mlnx-fw-updater/ --force-fw-update

      Expected output example:

      Device #1:
        Device Type:      BlueField-3   [...]
        Versions:         Current        Available
           FW             <Old_FW_ver>   <New_FW_ver>
    2. Power cycle the host for the changes to take effect.

  3. Verify that the BFB has been installed and the firmware has been upgraded successfully by accessing the DPU again:
    1. SSH to the BlueField DPU from the host using OOB IP or RShim IP:

      ssh <ip>
    2. Check the versions of the DPU image and firmware:

      # sudo bfvcheck

      Expected output example:

      Beginning version check...
      ATF: v2.2(release):4.0.3-3-g886241c
      UEFI: 4.0.3-1-g2162ecf
      FW: 32.37.1300
      ATF: v2.2(release):4.0.3-3-g886241c
      UEFI: 4.0.3-1-g2162ecf
      FW: 32.37.1300
      Version check complete.
      No issues found.

Additional Reading

To learn more about BlueField please see: