Citrix NetScaler 12 – CLI upgrade helps

There is a new and shiny NetScaler version available – version 12! Smile

All the news and docs are available here, and you can download the latest bits from here. But, I will not write about them now – there is something else I would like to share.

Unlike with other (minor) upgrades, upgrading to this version… well, there were some “challenges”. If you have used Citrix NetScaler before, it has its nice and simple GUI, through which you can do many things… one of them being a system upgrade.

Upgrade process by using GUI is pretty straight-forward:

  • download the latest firmware from Citrix website (.tgz file)
  • login to the appliance and save current configuration
  • if you are using virtual appliances, you can also do a snapshot or checkpoint (depending on the virtualization platform you are using)
  • go to System System Upgrade and select the firmware file and click Upgrade


  • when installation completes, reboot the appliance
  • enjoy your shiny, new NetScaler 12 (upgraded in just 6 steps)! Smile

And now about “the other way”… Smile

As I’ve observed, upgrade option through GUI was not working (for me) in any of the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge or even Internet Explorer) – upload of firmware finishes and then… nothing really happens. Strange, but… it’s just my luck. No big deal! Smile

What helped in my case:

  • download the latest firmware from Citrix website (.tgz file)
  • use PuTTY to establish SSH connection to your appliance
  • run save config to save all the changes you have made to your existing configuration (but maybe forgot to save it before Smile)
  • if you are using virtual appliances, you can also do a snapshot or checkpoint (depending on the virtualization platform you are using)
  • type in shell (to enter the shell, where we will work with files)
  • create a folder for the new version (I have simply called it 12, as in /var/nsinstall/12/, where I will upload the new firmware)
  • use PSCP (PuTTy Secure Copy Client), also a free command-line utility to copy firmware to the appliance, inside the newly created folder:


  • go back to PuTTy and extract the contents of this firmware:

  • once extracted, run the ./installns command, which will actually do the upgrade (something that was never triggered in my GUI upgrade attempts, obviously Smile)
  • when installation completes, reboot the appliance


  • enjoy your shiny, new NetScaler 12 (upgraded in just 11 steps)! Smile



For a longer, better explained… and official version, please check the Citrix docs, available here.

Note that nothing really changes in your usual upgrade routine – those steps are just in case you have trouble with the GUI, as I did (if your GUI works normally, with your browser, use it).

Hope it helps!


Using Synology to recover data from another hard drive

So, you have a disk filled with data you need and no external case or something similar (extra slot in your PC, server, …) that can be used to recover this data – if you have a Synology NAS device (with one or more free slots), you can use it to easily accomplish your task. Smile

Note: This may work with any other NAS device, but I’ve tried it only on Synology (the only devices I have access to – if you have some “extra” hardware from another vendor, send it to me and I’ll be happy to try it out on your preferred vendor’s equipment Smile).

I’ve had the Synology DS-411j device (yes, I know… but it’s budget friendly and works just fine, at least) and a Seagate 320 GB SATA drive (NTFS-formatted, holding all the data that needs to be recovered):



Couple of steps that should be done before the “fun part” (a.k.a. “hardware steps”):

  • shut down the NAS device (maybe not necessary, but if your device is located “back there, under all of that useful stuff (actually junk, but…)”, it’s recommended Smile)
  • open the enclosure (there are 4 screws on the back of the device which can, hopefully, be removed just by hand)
  • insert the hard drive you’re recovering from into an empty slot
  • close the enclosure (or leave it open if you’ll be removing the drive just afterwards)
  • start the device


And now the “fun part” (a.k.a. “software steps”):

  • open the device’s administration website by using your favorite web-browser
  • check Storage Manager to see if the newly added drive is visible (as Not Initialized)


  • enable Telnet or SSH (if not already enabled) (under Control Panel Terminal & SNMP)


  • open a Telnet or SSH console session to your NAS device (PuTTY is one of the tools that can help you)


  • enter the following commands into your console window:

And there you go – you can copy or move (i.e. recover) your files to Synology shares (or somewhere else). When you’re finished, you can easily unmount the hard disk drive or even leave it inside (initialize and use it), as you wish.

Thanks for reading!