Convert Cisco Lightweight AP to Mobility Express

Hi all

Today I’m going to write a short post on how to convert a lightweight AP to an Mobility Express AP. It’s a very simple process and only takes a few minutes to complete.

First you need to download the ME image from the Cisco webpage. Extract the compressed file to a TFTP server.

Login to the AP with console access using Cisco / Cisco as username and password (this is offcourse only if you haven’t changed the password on the AP.

ap-type mobility-express tftp://<TFTP Server IP>/<filename>

When the file is uploaded the AP will reboot and load the new image. The AP will use 2 IP’s. 1 for the ME and 1 for the AP.

During my upgrade I had one issue. It failed repeatedly and I worked a while before I discovered the reason.

Image transfer complete.
Image downloaded, writing to flash...
do CHECK_ME, part1 is active part
upgrade.sh: Error: image not found.
+ do_upgrade CHECK_ME
+ [ ! -r /tmp/part.tar ]
+ loudlog Error: image not found.
+ logger -p 0 -t upgrade Error: image not found.
+ echo upgrade.sh: Error: image not found.
upgrade.sh: Error: image not found.
+ return 1
+ status=1
+ set +x
Error: Image update failed.

I read on the internet that this error could be caused due to lack of space. I had free space left so I could quickly rule that issue out. I have another ME in the same network, it seems that the ME image can’t be uploaded when there is an ME of the same L2 network as the ME you are trying to install. The issue I had dissapeared when I disconnected the other ME.

After the upgrade has been completed the ME will reboot and start a setup wizard.

Enter Administrative User Name (24 characters max): admin
Enter Administrative Password (3 to 127 characters): ********
Re-enter Administrative Password                 : ********
System Name [Cisco-dcf7.193e.4c00] (24 characters max): hostname
Enter Country Code list (enter 'help' for a list of countries) [US]: NO
Configure a NTP server now? [YES][no]: yes
Use default NTP servers [YES][no]:
Enter timezone location index (enter 'help' for a list of timezones): 14
Management Interface IP Address Configuration [STATIC][dhcp]: dhcp
Create Management DHCP Scope? [yes][NO]:
Employee Network Name (SSID)?: SSIDName
Employee Network Security? [PSK][enterprise]:PSK
Employee PSK Passphrase (8-63 characters)?: ***********
Re-enter Employee PSK Passphrase: ***********
Enable RF Parameter Optimization? [YES][no]:
Client Density [TYPICAL][Low][High]:
Traffic with Voice [NO][Yes]:

Configuration correct? If yes, system will save it and reset. [yes][NO]: yes

Configuration saved!

There is a few things that you need to get correct when going trough the options. The first one is country code. This is important to have correct freqency since it need to meet the local regulations. Since my AP’s are in Norway I choose NO as the country code.

The second one is the management interface. You can choose to have it set to static or dhcp. I normally set these ME’s up for clients and configure them with DHCP. If you choose DHCP it’s important to note the correct DHCP address when the ME boots up. As previously mentioned the AP will request 2 IP’s. 1 for the ME and 1 for the CAPWAP AP.. After the bootup you should see the following output

[*08/01/2019 17:24:33.6830] ethernet_port wired0, ip 192.168.50.108, netmask 255.255.255.0, gw 192.168.50.1, mtu 1500, bcast 192.168.50.255, dns1 195.159.0.100, dns2 8.8.8.8, domain hjortsenter.internal, vid 0, static_ip_failover false, dhcp_vlan_failover false
[*08/01/2019 17:24:33.6930] chatter: MeshNat: config_ip IP=192.168.50.108 mask=255.255.255.0 GW=192.168.50.1
[*08/01/2019 17:24:38.7614] ethernet_port wired0, ip 192.168.50.110, netmask 255.255.255.0, gw 192.168.50.1, mtu 1500, bcast 192.168.50.255, dns1 195.159.0.100, dns2 8.8.8.8, domain test.internal, vid 0, static_ip_failover false, dhcp_vlan_failover false
[*08/01/2019 17:24:38.7814] chatter: MeshNat: config_ip IP=192.168.50.110 mask=255.255.255.0 GW=192.168.50.1
[*08/01/2019 17:24:41.8004] AP IPv4 Address updated from 0.0.0.0 to 192.168.50.110

The first IP in my example is the IP for the ME (192.168.50.108)
The last IP is for the CAPWAP (192.168.50.110)

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Cisco switch tries to download file from TFTP

Hi again all

When you retrieve an older Cisco switch it normally tries to download a new config file from a TFTP server. If you do not have hands on the switch it’s an easy way for setting it up. You simply add a file named switch-confg, network-confg, ciscortr.cfg or cisconet.cfg. If you do that the config will be downloaded to the switch. Below you can see the switch trying to download the file but it can’t. The reason for this is that you need to issue a command for this to stop.

no service config 

If the no service config command is issued the following entries should stop in the log.

Apr 24 2011 13:47:24.645 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 13:48:06.656 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 13:48:22.369 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 13:49:04.375 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 13:58:48.668 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 13:59:30.679 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 13:59:46.392 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:00:28.403 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:10:12.691 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:10:54.707 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:11:10.420 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:11:52.431 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:21:36.719 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:22:18.735 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:22:34.443 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:23:16.564 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:33:00.747 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:33:42.758 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:33:58.597 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:34:40.613 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:44:24.770 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:45:06.796 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:45:22.630 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:46:04.636 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:55:48.808 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/switch-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:56:30.814 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/ciscortr.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:56:46.648 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/network-confg) failed
Apr 24 2011 14:57:28.659 UTC: %SYS-4-CONFIG_RESOLVE_FAILURE: System config parse from (tftp://255.255.255.255/cisconet.cfg) failed
Apr 24 2011 15:00:55.742 UTC: %SEC_LOGIN-5-LOGIN_SUCCESS: Login Success [user: Cisco] [Source: 10.20.10.201] [localport: 23] at 15:00:55 UTC Sun Apr 24 2011
Apr 24 2011 15:00:58.557 UTC: %SYS-5-PRIV_AUTH_PASS: Privilege level set to 15 by Cisco on vty1 (10.20.10.201)
Apr 24 2011 15:00:58.557 UTC: %PARSER-5-CFGLOG_LOGGEDCMD: User:Cisco  logged command:!exec: enable

Backup and restore config of Mobility Express.

Hi all

Lately I have been working with the mobility express AP’s from Cisco.  One of the important things to do when you set up new equipment is to have a backup and restore policy for the config.. I chose the easy way out using tftp, it’s the quickest and easiest way to transfer files as long as you have the tftp server secured. The other option you have is ftp.

transfer upload mode tftp
Sets the mode to tftp, you can also choose ftp but then you need to add in username and password too.

transfer upload datatype config
Choose config as the information to store on the server

transfer encrypt enable
Turns on encryption for the file

transfer encrypt set-key supersecret
Gives the encryption a password

transfer upload serverip 10.10.10.10
Gives the ME an IP to the server where to store the config

transfer upload filename MEconfig.cfg
Filename for the config.

transfer upload start
Start the upload.

transfer upload mode tftp
transfer upload datatype config
transfer encrypt enable
transfer encrypt set-key supersecret
transfer upload serverip 10.10.10.10
transfer upload filename MEconfig.cfg
transfer upload start

You should then get the following output.

Mode……………………………………… TFTP
TFTP Server IP…………………………….. 10.10.10.10
TFTP Path………………………………….
TFTP Filename……………………………… MEconfig.cfg
Data Type…………………………………. Config File
Encryption………………………………… Enabled

Are you sure you want to start? (y/N) y

File transfer operation completed successfully.

So far you have done the backup. Then the second most important thing comes, do the restore. It’s almost the same, but you swap out upload with download.

transfer download datatype config
transfer download mode tftp
transfer encrypt enable
transfer encrypt set-key supersecret
transfer download serverip 10.10.10.10
transfer download filename MEconfig.cfg
transfer download start

After the commands have been entered you should see the following output.

Mode............................................. TFTP
Data Type........................................ Config
TFTP Server IP................................... 10.10.10.10
TFTP Packet Timeout.............................. 6
TFTP Max Retries................................. 10
TFTP Path........................................
TFTP Filename.................................... MEconfig.cfg
Encrypt/Decrypt Flag............................. Enabled

Warning: Downloading configuration will cause the controller to reset...

This may take some time.
Are you sure you want to start? (y/N) y

TFTP Config transfer starting.

TFTP receive complete... updating configuration.

CCO Username & Password will NOT be imported. Please Re-Configure the Credentials 'transfer download ap-images cco-username '
'transfer download ap-images cco-password ' after bootup for Image Download

TFTP receive complete... storing in flash.

Sync config to peers.

System being reset.

 

Downgrading from Lightweight AP to Autonomous AP

Hi all

Today I did something new to me. I did a downgrade from a lightweight AP to an standalone AP remotely. I have previously used the old method with the console cable and TFTP server at a local network (until yesterday I only knew about this method). Today I did not have that possibilty and I then took advantage of the following command:

config ap tftp-downgrade tftp-server-ip-address filename access-point-name

You enter the command into the controller and it then starts the downgrade. But there is one thing that bothers me, you can’t monitor the process. My AP’s are located on boats with an controller in the datacenter. They have been running flexconnect but I wan’t to turn them into standalone AP’s since that works better for the solution I have on the boats. The problems is that the boats has low bandwidth and they loose the connection  from time to time. For the TFTP downgrade it seemed fine with a 30 sec downtime for the transfer but I got some issues when it was above that. So how do I monitor the downgrade of the AP?

The solution was to log into the AP by SSH and check that the AP contained an upgrade folder in the flash. The command to do this is:

dir flash:

If the folder upgrade shows up in the list it should be working on an upgrade, normally if the upgrade fails the folder is autmaticly deleted. But I have seen this does not always happen. You could the check the files inside the upgrade folder and look for a change in the filesize. If you type “dir flash:update/<version-folder>” you should see the filesize of normally the last file change every second. I have added an example below where you can see the filesize of  8005.img is 627200.

boat-wl-01#dir flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
Directory of flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC/

22 -rwx 123464 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
 24 drwx 64 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 html
 253 -rwx 9029888 May 12 2016 10:45:05 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-xx.153-3.JC
 254 -rwx 627200 May 12 2016 10:46:58 +00:00 8005.img

31808000 bytes total (8753152 bytes free)

If you look at the text below you can also see that the size is changing for the file 8005.img. In the example below the filesize is 833536.

boat-wl-01#dir flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
Directory of flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC/

22 -rwx 123464 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
 24 drwx 64 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 html
 253 -rwx 9029888 May 12 2016 10:45:05 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-xx.153-3.JC
 254 -rwx 833536 May 12 2016 10:47:39 +00:00 8005.img

31808000 bytes total (8546816 bytes free)

 

Examples of issues I got when testing other ways of downgrading:

I tried to do the downgrade directly from the AP while downgrading from the WLC at the same time ( I thought the downgrade from the WLC failed). It then gave me the following error:

boat-wl-01#archive download-sw tftp://172.17.76.231/ap1g2-k9w7-tar.153-3.JC.tar
Unable to create temp dir "flash:/update"
Download image failed, notify controller!!! From:8.0.121.0 to 8.2.100.0, FailureCode:7

Obviously that won’t work but the command itself should work, but I liked more doing it from the controller. I just found it easier that way.

If you try several times to downgrade from the controller you will see the following message in the event log of the lightweight AP:

*May 12 10:18:09.351: lwapp_image_proc: encounter flash problem, retry here
*May 12 10:18:09.351: lwapp_image_proc: encounter flash problem, retry here
*May 12 10:18:09.351: lwapp_image_proc: encounter flash problem, retry here