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.

# 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.

# /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.

# cd /tmp
# ls 

11. To print the current status of NVIDIA devices.

/opt/mellanox/bin/mst status
MST devices:

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:

# /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.

./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.


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