HowTo Update Firmware for NVIDIA ConnectX-5 or ConnectX-6 Adapter on VMware ESXi 6.5 and above

HowTo Change Port Type of NVIDIA ConnectX VPI Adapter on VMware ESXi 6.x and above - Latest Release

Created on Jun 4, 2019

Updated on Sep 10, 2021


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 NVIDIA Technologies’ HCA devices:

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

NVIDIA Firmware Tools (MFT)

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

  • Generate a standard or customized NVIDIA firmware image

  • Querying for firmware information

  • Burn a firmware image

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

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


As a sample, we are going to update FW for vmnic0.

1. Download and Install the NVIDIA Firmware Tools (MFT) by How-to: Install NVIDIA Firmware Tools (MFT) on VMware ESXi 6.7/7.0 document.

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

3. Get the device location on the PCI bus.

ESXi Console


# lspci | grep nox | grep vmnic0 0000:39:00.0 Ethernet controller: Mellanox Technologies ConnectX-6 Dx EN NIC; 100GbE; dual-port QSFP56; PCIe4.0 x16; (MCX623106AC-CDA) [vmnic0]

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

ESXi Console


# /opt/mellanox/bin/mlxfwmanager -d 0000:39:00.0 --query   QQuerying Mellanox devices firmware ...   Device #1: ----------   Device Type: ConnectX6DX Part Number: MCX623106AC-CDA_Ax Description: ConnectX-6 Dx EN adapter card; 100GbE; Dual-port QSFP56; PCIe 4.0 x16; Crypto and Secure Boot PSID: MT_0000000436 PCI Device Name: mt4125_pciconf6 Base GUID: 0c42a103002404ea Base MAC: 0c42a12404ea Versions: Current Available FW 22.28.4000 N/A PXE 3.6.0301 N/A UEFI 14.23.0017 N/A   Status: No matching image found


Please save the PCI Device Name: mt4125_pciconf6 for using in step 12.Burning the firmware image to the Adapter Card

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.


NVIDIA network card FW update


NVIDIA network card FW update

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.

ESXi Console


# cd /tmp # ls  fw-ConnectX6Dx-rel-22_29_2002-MCX623106AC-CDA_Ax-UEFI-14.22.16-FlexBoot-3.6.204.signed.bin

11. To print the current status of NVIDIA devices.

ESXi Console


/opt/mellanox/bin/mst status MST devices: ------------ mt4125_pciconf6 mt4123_pciconf1 mt4127_pciconf2 mt4123_pciconf3 mt4125_pciconf4 mt4121_pciconf5

12. Burn the firmware image to the Adapter Card.


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


To burn the 22.29.2002 version firmware image to an ConnectX-6DX ( Device Name: mt4125_pciconf6, Part Number: MCX623106AC-CDA_Ax, PSID: MT_0000000436) enter:

ESXi Console


# /opt/mellanox/bin/flint -d mt4125_pciconf6 -i /tmp/fw-ConnectX6Dx-rel-22_29_2002-MCX623106AC-CDA_Ax-UEFI-14.22.16-FlexBoot-3.6.204.signed.bin b   Current FW version on flash: 22.28.4000   New FW version: 22.29.2002     Burning FW image without signatures - OK   Restoring signature - OK   -I- To load new FW run mlxfwreset or reboot machine.

13. Reboot the server.

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

15. Query the device. And verify FW version.

ESXi Console


./flint -d mt4121_pciconf0 query Image type: FS4 FW Version: 22.29.2002 FW Release Date: 27.1.2021 Product Version: 22.29.2002 Rom Info: type=UEFI version=14.22.16 cpu=AMD64,AARCH64 type=PXE version=3.6.204 cpu=AMD64 Description: UID GuidsNumber Base GUID: 0c42a103002404ea 4 Base MAC: 0c42a12404ea 4 Image VSD: N/A Device VSD: N/A PSID: MT_0000000436 Security Attributes: secure-fw

16. Exit Maintenance Mode the ESXi host.




Boris Kovalev

Boris Kovalev has worked for the past several years as a Solutions Architect, focusing on NVIDIA Networking/Mellanox technology, and is responsible for complex machine learning, Big Data and advanced VMware-based cloud research and design. Boris previously spent more than 20 years as a senior consultant and solutions architect at multiple companies, most recently at VMware. He has written multiple reference designs covering VMware, machine learning, Kubernetes, and container solutions which are available at the Mellanox Documents website.

Last updated on Sep 12, 2023.