Starting with releases 2020.8 (hosted) and 9.4 (on-premises) VMware will release the Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic) distribution upgrade for customers. This guide shows you how to upgrade your NSX NDR appliance from Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) to Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic). 

In this article, there are 2 sections that need to be followed for each NSX NDR appliance, the details are in the below sections:wil

Section 1.1: Prepare to Upgrade to Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 release 

Section 2.1: Upgrade steps from Xenial to Bionic

Distribution upgrades require several steps and can be a complex operation. Please read the document completely before proceeding and follow the steps carefully.   

IMPORTANT: VMware Technical Support will only provide support for this upgrade on a best-effort basis. The underlying OS distributions for Xenial (and prior) releases are no longer supported by Ubuntu and therefore also not supported by VMware's Engineering teams. Best-effort assistance by the VMware Technical Support team for the Xenial to Bionic upgrade will continue but if the problem cannot be solved within support, then the only option is to re-image the appliance with the latest version ISO will be offered.

Upgrading from previous Ubuntu distribution versions 

If your Lastline appliances are running on versions older than Xenial 16.04, you need to upgrade the distribution to Xenial before these steps can be followed. Please see the upgrade overview guides in our Knowledge Base below. 

To upgrade from Trusty to Xenial: No longer supported, you must re-install the latest ISO file.

To upgrade from Precise to Trusty: No longer supported, you must re-install the latest ISO file.

Note: Upgrading across multiple distributions is not recommended and is extremely time-intensive. If you are on a distribution older than Xenial, to avoid problems, we recommend migrating to a fresh Lastline Bionic 18.04 version by installing the system from scratch using the latest ISO file. 

Please plan your maintenance windows accordingly based on the size of your environment and how many appliances will need to be upgraded. This process will require the appliances to be rebooted and some interruption is expected. It will take an average of 60 minutes per appliance (not including the preparation steps). All ISO installers from 1220 and later are already on the Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic) release and do not need to follow this process. 

1.1 Prepare to Upgrade to Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 release 

The steps required in this article require root privileges. Be sure to run the steps below as root or with the sudo prefix. 

In order to prepare your Lastline appliance for upgrade, this section will outline the following steps: 

  1. Install Updates 
  2. Understand the upgrade order for On-Premise appliances 
  3. Backup your On-Premise manager appliance (optional, but recommended). 
  4. Other preparation steps  

Install Updates 

The upgrade to the Ubuntu Bionic release requires that your Lastline appliance is first updated to the appliance versions mentioned in this chart. 

ProductRequired VersionReady to upgrade to Bionic?
Sensor (Hosted)1220Yes
Analyst (On-Prem1110.8Yes
Manager (On-Prem1110.8Yes
Standby Manager (On-PremN/ANo, a standby appliance must be reinstalled after the primary manager has been upgraded to Bionic. Upgrading a standby manager is not supported. 
Data Node (On-Prem1110.8Yes
Engine (On-Prem1110.8Yes
Sensor (On-Prem1221.8Yes
Pinbox (On-Prem1110.8.4Yes


If your appliances are not on the versions listed in the above table, please upgrade each appliance using the Quick Links->Upgrade button on the Appliance Overview screen as needed.


You can also use the Batch Upgrade button if more than one appliance needs to be updated to a new Lastline version. 

Understand the upgrade order for On-Premise appliances 

The recommended upgrade order for On-Premise appliances is listed below. These appliances should be upgraded one at a time unless otherwise noted. 

  1. Manager/Pinbox/Analyst 
  2. Engine(s) 
  3. Data Node(s) and Sensor(s) - these can be done simultaneously if needed 

Backup your On-Premise manager appliance (optional, but recommended) 

It’s a good idea to backup your appliances before performing a major distribution upgrade. If anything goes wrong during the upgrade process, you have a recovery option should it be needed. Please review the Backup Page from the Lastline Portal Guide in your environment or on our hosted portal for instructions on configuring a backup.  

Other preparation steps (for each appliance): 

We recommend following these steps to verify that each appliance is meeting the recommended versions and that all appliances are in a Healthy state prior to beginning the upgrade steps.

  • Verify the Manager, Analyst, Pinbox, or Hosted Sensor has the current GPG key/SSL Key as described in the article here. This does not need to be applied to the Engine or Data Node
  • Verify that your appliance is on the Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 release. This can be done by checking one of the following: 
  • By running the following command on the Command Line Interface (CLI): 
    lsb_release -a


  • Or from the Lastline UI, open the Status of the appliance and look for the “Base Distribution” version 


  • Set the “Auto-Update” toggle to “Disabled” on the appliance (if enabled)Then select the “Save and Deploy” or “Retrigger Configuration” button. Once disabled the system will automatically trigger a configuration update, please wait for this to finish before proceeding. Please see the Portal Guide steps for further information. 


  • Check that the appliance is functional and no ERRORS are reported by the test appliance utility. On the CLI run: 
    sudo lastline_test_appliance

Note: If you are unable to get your appliance to the minimum supported version prior to the update or your appliance is in an "Error" state, please contact VMware Technical Support if you have any questions before proceeding.


2.1 Upgrade steps from Xenial to Bionic 

After completing the preparation steps above, you are now ready to upgrade to the Bionic 18.04 version. Perform the following steps on the Command Line Interface (CLI) of each appliance: 

  1. Start the distribution upgrade by running: 
    sudo lastline_distribution_upgrade
    • Note: The script will display the steps required during this upgrade. Please enter ‘y’ when prompted on the "Ok to continue" step, when you are ready.ll-dist-upgrade-script.png
      • For some appliances, you may be prompted to configure GRUB in some circumstances. Please select the default selection device.
        e.g. /dev/sd[x] where sda or sdb is most commonly seen across our customers. Please contact VMware Technical Support if you need any help with this selection.
  2. Once the script completes successfully, the system will require a reboot. Reboot the appliance when prompted by the system. Enter ‘y’ to continue and press “Enter”. Once the system reboots continue to step 3. reboot-screen.png
  3. Log back into the CLI of the appliance
    1. If you have a VIP (virtual IP) configured, please do this step after the reboot, otherwise skip to step 3.2:
      1. Run lastline_setup
      2. Set a password for ha_password (see Manager Manual)
      3. Set a value for ha_active_priority (see Manager Manual)
      4. Save lastline_setup
    2. Run the distribution upgrade command again: 
      sudo lastline_distribution_upgrade
  4. Once the system has finished step 3 and applies the final configuration you should see a successful completion dist-upgrade-done.png
  5. Verify the system is running on Bionic 18.04 by running: 
    lsb_release -a
  6. Check the NSX Lastline UI to ensure the “Base Distribution” version reports as “Bionic”ui-bionic-kernel.png
  7. Once all steps are completed successfully, re-enable the “Auto-Update” setting. Toggle Auto-Update to “Enabled  

Your appliance is now running the Bionic 18.04 Release.  

If you encounter issues or errors during the upgrade 

If you encounter errors during the steps above, please do not reboot the system or make any changes until you engage the VMware Technical Support team at VMware Technical SupportPlease provide as much of the details possible below to aid in a quick solution: 

  • Describe the step/command where you encountered an issue 
  • Provide a screenshot of the error on the CLI 
  • Provide the appliance UUIDFQDN
  • Provide the primary account email for your Lastline account 
  • Provide ALL log files in the following directories: 
    • /var/log/lastline/ 
    • /var/log/dist-upgrade/