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It is recommended to upgrade your BlueField product to the latest software and firmware versions available to benefit from new features and latest bug fixes.

This section assumes that a BlueField DPU has already been installed in a server according to the instructions detailed in the DPU's hardware user guide.

The following table lists an overview of the steps required to install Ubuntu BFB on your DPU:

StepProcedureDirect Link
1Verify that RShim is already running on BMCEnsure RShim is Running on BMC
2Change the default credentials using bf.cfg file (optional)

Changing Default Credentials Using bf.cfg

3Install the Ubuntu BFB imageBFB Installation
4Verify installation completed successfullyVerify BFB is Installed
5Upgrade the firmware on your DPUFirmware Upgrade

It is is important to learn your DPU's device-id for performing some of the software installations or upgrades in this guide.

To determine the device ID of the DPUs on your setup, run:

mst start
mst status -v

Example output:

MST modules:
    MST PCI module is not loaded
    MST PCI configuration module loaded
PCI devices:
DEVICE_TYPE             MST                           PCI       RDMA            NET                       NUMA
BlueField2(rev:1)       /dev/mst/mt41686_pciconf0.1   3b:00.1   mlx5_1          net-ens1f1                0
BlueField2(rev:1)       /dev/mst/mt41686_pciconf0     3b:00.0   mlx5_0          net-ens1f0                0

BlueField3(rev:1)       /dev/mst/mt41692_pciconf0.1   e2:00.1   mlx5_1          net-ens7f1np1             4

BlueField3(rev:1)       /dev/mst/mt41692_pciconf0     e2:00.0   mlx5_0          net-ens7f0np0             4

The device IDs for the BlueField-2 and BlueField-3 DPUs in this example are /dev/mst/mt41686_pciconf0 and /dev/mst/mt41692_pciconf0 respectively.

Ensure RShim is Running on BMC

Display the current setting. Run: 

# cat /dev/rshim<N>/misc | grep DEV_NAME
DEV_NAME        usb-1.0

This output indicates that the RShim service is ready to use. If you do not receive this output:

  1. Restart RShim service:

    sudo systemctl restart rshim
  2. Verify the current setting again. Run: 

    # cat /dev/rshim<N>/misc | grep DEV_NAME

    If DEV_NAME does not appear, then proceed to "RShim driver not loading on DPU with integrated BMC".

Changing Default Credentials Using bf.cfg

Ubuntu users are prompted to change the default password (ubuntu) for the default user (ubuntu) upon first login. Logging in will not be possible even if the login prompt appears until all services are up ("DPU is ready" message appears in /dev/rshim0/misc).

Attempting to log in before all services are up prints the following message: "Permission denied, please try again."

Alternatively, Ubuntu users can provide a unique password that will be applied at the end of the BFB installation. This password would need to be defined in a bf.cfg configuration file. To set the password for the ubuntu user:

  1. Create password hash. Run:

    # openssl passwd -1
    Verifying - Password:
  2. Add the password hash in quotes to the bf.cfg file:

    # vim bf.cfg

    The bf.cfg file will be used with the bfb-install script in the following step. 

    Password policy:

    • Minimum password length – 8
    • At least one upper-case letter
    • At least one lower-case letter
    • At least one numerical character

For comprehensive list of the supported parameters to customize bf.cfg during BFB installation, refer to section "bf.cfg Parameters".

BFB Installation

To update the software on the BlueField Arm cores, the DPU must be booted up without mounting the eMMC flash device. This requires an external boot flow where a BFB (which includes ATF, UEFI, Linux kernel, and initramfs) is pushed from an external host via USB or PCIe. On BlueField DPUs with an integrated BMC, the USB interface is internally connected to the BMC and is enabled by default. Therefore, you must verify that the RShim driver is running on the BMC. This provides the ability to push a bootstream over the USB interface to perform an external boot.

  1. Disable RShim on the host. Run on the host:

    systemctl stop rshim
    systemctl disable rshim
  2. Enable RShim on the BMC. Run on the BMC shell:

    ipmitool raw 0x32 0x6a 1
  3. Verify that the RShim service is running and that the /dev/rshim0 device is present. 

    ipmitool raw 0x32 0x69

    The expected output for this command is 0x01.

  4. Normally, the BFB is first copied to the USB host and then written to the RShim device. However, since the BFB is too big to be stored on the BMC flash or tmpfs, these two steps can be combined, and the image can be written to the RShim device from the remote server directly.

    scp <path_to_bfb> root@<bmc_ip>:/dev/rshim0/boot

    This initiates a soft reset on the BlueField-2 and then pushes the bootstream. For Ubuntu BFBs, the eMMC is flashed automatically once the bootstream is pushed. 

    If bf.cfg is needed as part of the boot process, run: 

    cat <path_to_bfb> bf.cfg > new.bfb
    scp <path to new.bfb> root@<bmc_ip>:/dev/rshim0/boot

For comprehensive list of the supported parameters to customize bf.cfg during BFB installation, refer to section "bf.cfg Parameters".

Verify BFB is Installed

After installation of the Ubuntu OS is complete, the following note appears in /dev/rshim0/misc on first boot:
INFO[MISC]: Linux up
INFO[MISC]: DPU is ready

"DPU is ready" indicates that all the relevant services are up and users can login the system.

After the installation of the Ubuntu 20.04 BFB, the configuration detailed in the following sections is generated.

Make sure all the services (including cloud-init) are started on BlueField before power cycling the host server.

BlueField OS image version is stored under /etc/mlnx-release in the DPU.

# cat /etc/mlnx-release

Firmware Upgrade

mlxfwreset is not supported in this release. Please power cycle the host where mlxfwreset is requested.

To upgrade firmware:

  1. Set a temporary static IP on the host. Run: 

    sudo ip addr add dev tmfifo_net0
  2. SSH to your DPU via (preconfigured). The default credentials for Ubuntu are as follows.

    ubuntuSet during installation

    For example:

    ssh ubuntu@
    Password: <unique-password>
  3. Upgrade the firmware on the DPU. Run:

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

    Example output: 

    Device #1:
      Device Type:      BlueField-2
      Versions:         Current        Available
         FW             <Old_FW>       <New_FW>

    Important! To apply NVConfig changes, stop here and follow the steps in section "Updating NVConfig Params".

  4. Power cycle the host for the changes to take effect.

Updating NVConfig Params

  1. Reset the nvconfig params to their default values:

    # sudo mlxconfig -d /dev/mst/<device-name> -y reset
    Reset configuration for device /dev/mst/<device-name>? (y/n) [n] : y
    Applying... Done!
    -I- Please reboot machine to load new configurations.
  2. (Optional) Enable NVMe emulation. Run: 

    sudo mlxconfig -d <device-name> s NVME_EMULATION_ENABLE=1
  3. Skip this step if your BlueField DPU is Ethernet only. Please refer to section "Supported Platforms and Interoperability" under the Release Notes to learn your DPU type.

    If you have a VPI DPU, the default link type of the ports will be configured to IB. If you want to change the link type to Ethernet, please run the following configuration:

    sudo mlxconfig -d <device-name> s LINK_TYPE_P1=2 LINK_TYPE_P2=2
  4. Power cycle the host for the mlxconfig settings to take effect.