Brocade SAN Switch Firmware Upgrades


This is my guide/template to upgrading Fabric OS (FOS) – Firmware – on the Brocade SAN Switches. If you have any additions, comments or questions please go ahead and comment or if you have any questions you can find my e-mail on The post has been updated over 188 times according to my WordPress revisions, first update in January 2011.

This article was originally built from my experience with HP branded Brocade SAN Switches – not with any other OEM or pure Brocade switches. I have however since beginning this document gotten experience with other vendors.
I do not think others are different except for licenses and some default fabric.ops.
I made a comparison of two downloads of the 6.3.1b Fabric OS Firmware (one via IBM and one from HP). You can find a link to the “IBM” firmware and release notes after 6.x in that article too. I found that they are very similar and the HP firmware works on the IBM switch and vice versa. Another example is that firmware gotten from HDS works on an HP branded Brocade switch.

When you see 7.2.x this means any version in the Fabric OS 7.2.x series. For upgrades, this would generally mean the latest available in that series (like 7.2.1g for 7.2.x or 8.0.2d for 8.0.x) unless of course there is a problem with the latest. Sign up for your vendor’s security and update alerts to get notified about new releases.

Carefully plan the upgrade, it takes time but it is rewarding and worth it.

Updates in this article:

Old Updates

2011-02-22: Updated links because the release notes I had before to 6.1.x and above did not work anymore. Also changed the sub-versions in 6.1.x and above to the latest released one by HP.
2011-02-24: Found link to 5.2.x and 6.0.x FOS on with the help of an ITRC thread.
2011-04-21: Added links for correlating Brocade Product name, model number and HP name. Latest in 6.4.x series is now 6.4.1b
2011-05-05: Added link to Web Tools for 6.2.x with reference to how to upgrade Firmware via the web tools.
2011-05-15: A note added about compatibility regarding the ‘HP’ firmware files and other vendors – as far as I can tell the ones downloaded from HP will work on other non-HP switches. Also posted a new blog post about that. Added link to – for correlating product names and for getting (all Fabric OS) firmwares. EMC also has Brocade products.
2011-05-18: Added a link to a post on HP’s support forum where the post helped a bit. Also made post a little easier, wrote a little about the release.plist confusion.
2011-05-24: Added example to show that driver updates are important. Some more restructuring of the article.
2011-07-12: Added FOS 7.0.0a
2011-07-14: Added link to HP knowledge base and updated a link to an ITRC forum thread to point to the new forum.
2011-09-29: Added FOS 7.0.0b and section about CF cards.
2011-10-19: Wrote a bit about firmware upgrade order.
2011-10-24: The HP links to 6.0.0c and 5.3.x seems to not work anymore. I could not find either of these for download on HP’s website. The IBM one still has 6.0.0c (release notes anyway).
2011-12-05: Went through all links to make sure they worked. Re-wrote some of the steps and re-ordered so that ‘decide’ is before ‘prepare’. Added output from switch when doing the firmware upgrade via CLI.
2011-12-10: Added table of contents via a plugin.
2012-01-02: Added FOS 7.0.0c
2012-01-09: Added EMC branded switches default pw
2012-02-14: Added HP’s link to FOS 5.x. firmware.
2012-02-15: Added IBM’s link to FOS 7 info and downloads.
2012-02-21: Some notes about which switches can do which firmware. Re-wrote a part of the upgrade order section.
2012-02-27: Note about licenses.
2012-02-29: Added note about 5.1.x to 5.3.x, made upgrade path clearer. Also made how to find 5.3.x and 6.x firmwares a little clearer for HP’s page.
2012-03-01: Added 6.2.2f and 7.0.1 and note about plist/ftp for 5.1.x
2012-04-03: Addeed 6.3.2e
2012-04-24: Added 7.0.1a
2012-04-27: Rewrote some part of the upgrade section.
2012-06-07: Added 6.4.3 and 7.0.1b
2012-06-14: Added link to Brocade FOS Target Path in decide section.
2012-10-27: Some grammar updates and 16G FOS 7.x requirement. 6.4.3b and 7.0.2.
2012-11-05: Updated links to release notes. Perhaps it’s time to condense the updates list. Notes about passive/active ftp, ifmodeshow|ipaddrshow and java version required (listed in release notes).

2013-03-10: 7.0.2b and 6.4.3c added some notes about compatibility. Improved list of which FOS works with which FC speeds.
2013-03-29: Added 7.1.0a and 7.0.2c. Only HP is out with 7.1.0a as of now. Brocade may have it non-publicly, at least I cannot see it in my brocade. Other minor updates.
2013-04-04: Added link to 6.4.3d
2013-05-02: Updated link to FOS Target Path.
2013-06-23: Changed some ftp:// links to http://
2013-07-16: Added link to IBM’s pdf with pictures for firmware upgrade.
2013-08-03: 6.4.3e by IBM – not available by HP yet. Disruptive upgrades are OK from 6.2 to 6.4.
2013-08-05: Added 7.1.1, updated some links to release notes.
2013-10-03: Made it a bit clearer regarding which is the earliest firmware you can upgrade from. Newer revisions of some Brocade release notes. 7.0.2d out and 6.4.3e link to
2013-11-14: Removed comment that B300 does not support 6.4.x – it does! It should have been the 200E! Thanks Eugene :)

2014-02-01: As of 2014-02-01 HP does not allow anybody without a valid support agreement to download firmwares. Release notes and at least some firmware links appears to still be working. Expect difficulty and broken links while hunting for firmwares. Fabric OS firmwares downloaded from IBM’s site works on HP switches too, but there might be some differences (although I couldn’t find any important ones when I compared 6.3.1b). So far it seems this restriction of access to firmwares only applies to HP servers.

2014-02-07: Added new link to HP’s page for FOS 5.2 to 6.3  Thanks Leo R!

2014-02-11: Added 7.2.0b and 7.1.1c (HP have 7.1.1c release notes up but IBM does not – to find Brocade version go to IBM’s download the firmware page that’s on and get the release notes from there). Also 3 years anniversary on this post on 2014-02-01!
2014-02-17: But be careful with 7.2.0b – IBM has a note on their 7.x page about 7.2.0b saying: “IBM recommends that customers not deploy FOS 7.2.0b if virtual switch capability is needed. Virtual switch users should migrate to an earlier version as soon as possible.
2014-03-17: The problem with 7.2.0b was likely DEFECT000491192 fixed in 7.2.0c and later also DEFECT000494570 was fixed in 7.2.0d. 7.2.0x seems a bit unstable at the moment. 7.2.1 is currently available for download via HP’s pages but not via IBM/Brocade’s. Also no release notes available. Archived 2013 updates.
2014-04-18: Added 6.4.3f and 7.1.1c and 7.1.2 is out. Updated migration paths a bit. The Brocade release notes of 7.1.x actually have a decent list of the migration path needed now. See the section “Recommended Migration Paths to FOS v7.1.2”.
2014-08-06: 7.2.1a, 7.1.2a, 7.0.2e. Updated some links that had gone bad (FOS Target Path) and made the “Show/Hide” Updates work again.
2014-09-28: 7.1.2b and 7.2.1b is out.
2014-10-01:  7.3.0a is out but can’t find any release notes for it.
2014-10-25: 7.2.1c
2015-01-18: 7.2.1d, 7.3.0c. “HP’s” release notes are too hard to find.. Added a note about FileZilla being a good ftp server. Thanks Harry Redl!
2015-02-20: 6.2.2g, 6.4.3g
2015-04-06: 7.3.1a from HP
2015-04-21: 7.3.1a from IBM
2015-06-19: Note about FileZilla being hosted off sourceforge – installer might contain malware.
2015-07-07: 7.4.0a, 7.3.1b, 7.2.1e. Removed link to HP’s webkey license page. Doesn’t work anymore. Note about BNA version required to manage Fabric OS v7.4 switches.
2015-08-31: 6.4.3g and 7.3.1b new revision of release notes. 7.2.1f, 7.4.0b
2015-09-01: 7.3.1c
2015-09-16: New versions of release notes.
2015-10-25: 7.4.1 is out for the brave and 6.4.3h (Fixes to OpenSSL CVE-2015-0286, CVE-2015-0288, CVE-2015-0289, CVE-2015-0292)
2015-12-05: 7.2.1g and 7.3.1d. Updated some links. Need to go through a lot of the HP ones here to point to HPE..
2016-02-24: 7.4.1b
2016-03-15: 7.3.2
2016-05-17: 7.4.1c
2016-08-13: 7.3.2a, 7.4.1d
2016-12-19: 7.3.2b, 7.4.1e

New Updates

2017-03-10: 8.x has been out for a while
2017-04-29: new links to Brocade FOS target path and better links for where to fetch firmwares
2017-05-03: 8.0.2b and added links to Upgrade Guides for 8.0.0 and 7.4.0)
2017-05-13: 7.4.2
2017-08-07: 8.1.0c
2017-11-09: 8.1.1a
2017-12-05: 8.0.2c
2018-01-01: 8.1.2a and 7.4.2b
2018-02-08: 7.4.2c and 8.0.2d
2018-06-15: 8.2.0a and 8.1.2d and 8.0.2e
2018-10-11: fixing some links, Brocade is now Broadcom so some links are not working anymore surprise. Some HP links no longer work so removed those too.
2018-12-07: 7.4.2d and 8.0.2f and 8.1.2f
2019-04-18: FOS Target Path on Broadcom.  From a reader got a link to NetApp's Brocadeassist portal where newer firmware can be found than on IBM's. Some more link updates and link to 8.2.1b
2019-04-19: More link fixes.  FOS 6.x - 8.x firmwares can all be downloaded from the brocadeassist portal.
2019-04-20: 8.1.2g and 8.2.1b on IBM release notes so updated links
2019-07-17: BlueChris in a comment found a nice HPE link to older Firmwares!
2019-08-23: 8.2.1c is on NetApp's link but there are no release notes - I'd pass

2019-11-21: all links to firmware downloads don't work right now. Only one I have found is to HPE, but there you need support contract. Found a public link?
2020-05-10:  Also some new releases, 8.2.2 is out.
2020-09-27:  9.0.0a got released in August

2020-12-12: 9.0.0b is out

2021-08-15: Only send download links to places allowed by Broadcom. The firmware appears to be only available from there and with a support contract these days. Also some devices stop working if they are too old with a too new firmware. Comments disabled ;/ Thanks for the ride!




  1. decide
  2. prepare
  3. upgrade


One major release at a time is required for the upgrades after 5.2.x, see details below at the release notes section.

If you have to upgrade many steps, you should upgrade to the latest in the series (or if it's very new, probably safest to go with the second newest, just check the release notes of the newest to make sure nothing related is fixed).

If the switch is on 5.1.x you can go directly to 5.3.x.

What I usually recommend is this path:
5.0.1d -> 5.2.3 -> 5.3.2c -> 6.0.1a -> 6.1.2c -> 6.2.2g -> 6.3.2e -> 6.4.3h > 7.0.2e > 7.1.2b > 7.2.1g > 7.3.2a > 7.4.2f > 8.0.2f > 8.1.2g > 8.2.2b > 9.0.0b

It's also possible to upgrade from a version earlier than 6.4.1b to 7.0.x or from 7.0.x to 7.2.x  - but this is a disruptive upgrade (meaning ports will go offline/online during upgrade). 

Brocade now has a document that describes a process of determining the 'ideal' version of Fabric OS you should be running. It is called Brocade FOS Target Path.

Yet one more official document to help is the Brocade Fabric OS Features and Standards Support Matrix, 8.2.x

There is also a section (Recommended Migration Paths to FOS ) in the release notes describing how to get to the release you're reading notes for. In addition to these, there are Upgrade Guides from Brocade, at least for newer Fabric OS ( 7.4.0 and 8.0.0).

There are newer releases being released every now and then, in several series at the same time. You can think of it as releasing updates for Windows XP and 7 at the same time.
For example, in February 2011 6.4.1a and 6.2.2e were released by HP. You can see this on HP's site if you look at the date next to the download. Quite often Fabric OS versions are not released by the OEMs at the same time, for example "Customer Notice of 7.1.0a release 25th of March 2013" HP released 7.1.0a before IBM.

Which is the recommended one? Usually it's the latest one in the highest series that the switch supports. If you have storage from more than one vendor you may want to check with all and see if they all support the version you want to upgrade to. Vendors certify their equipment with different firmware versions. If you have a tape library, ask the vendor if they have a recommended / list of certified versions.

HP: HP B-series Connectivity stream (available in HP SPOCK).
Brocade: "Brocade FOS Target Path"
Other: Contact them for their compatibility matrices, for example IBM, HDS, EMC, Fujitsu.
Brocade also has their own "Brocade Fabric OS 7.x Compatibility Matrix" which lists compatibility with other vendors.

You could in principle also say that (some blades in directors are excepted from these generalizations):

2G cannot upgrade to Fabric OS 6.x
4G and 8G can be on Fabric OS 6.x
All 4G except some 4/8 & 4/16 (that's 200E) and HP's P- and C-class 4G blade switches (4012 & 4024) can run 6.4.x
8G can run Fabric OS 6.4.x
8G and above can run Fabric OS 7.x
16G (Gen5) needs to be on Fabric OS 7.x or Fabric OS 8.x
32G (Gen6) and 64G (Gen7) needs to be on Fabric OS 8.x or Fabric OS 9.x

Do you want to use the latest one in each series? Probably.
Do check for published advisories and the release notes in the firmwares.
Some models or blades may work on 7.0.x and not on 7.1.x or vice versa.
Fabric OS 7.3.x supports all hardware that supports 7.2.x.
Basically you need to read the release notes for at least the version you are upgrading to, to confirm that it supports your switch.

Download firmware links:

If you go to downloads for HP's 4/16 there is a link that also takes you to the older FOS firmware. If you don't click through it also only have the firmware that this switch supports. So the latest on there at the moment is 6.2.2f.

On the link above you can also download HP's branded NA (Network Advisor, previously known as DCFM - Data Center Fabric Manager), see notes about that below.

If you click on manuals on the left side you will also be able to download release notes and other guides and references.

5.0.x firmware can also be found at

6.x, 7.x and 8.x. can be found in the IBM and NetApp links.

Firmware Upgrade Order

You also probably want to decide on an order to upgrade the firmware on the switches.
It's possible to do it via DCFM (now called Network Advisor, used to be something else) one switch at a time or even in parallel. I'd advice against doing it in parallel. One at a time and one step at a time seems the most cautious one. It's not too bad to run a SAN with switches in different firmwares. One idea is to have all switches of one model on the same firmware. If you need to upgrade in several steps, do one step at a time.

Also, switches that are of higher importance like Principal Switch, Core Switches or Seed Switches for DCFM/NA. Should you start with these or perhaps start with another switch of less importance to make sure the upgrade goes smoothly?

With more recent firmwares (6.4 and 7.x) it's possible to jump more than one hop - if you are ok with disruptions in the network. Nice if you need to upgrade switches that aren't in production.

Release notes:

FOS  7.xIBM_Link& 8.x IBM Link

Brocade release notes in .pdf

9.0.0a (hp release notes, thin on information)

Notes from the release notes:

Upgrading from Fabric OS 5.0.x to 5.2.3 is supported
Upgrading from Fabric OS 5.1.x to 5.3.1a is supported, but upgrading from Fabric OS 5.0.x or a previous release directly to 5.3.1a is not.
Upgrading to Fabric OS 6.0.0b is only allowed from Fabric OS 5.3.x. (6.0.0c is a special upgrade version, only meant to be used in between firmware upgrades)
Upgrading to Fabric OS 6.1.2c is allowed only from Fabric OS 6.0.0b
Upgrading to Fabric OS 6.2.2f is allowed only from Fabric OS 6.1.0a or later.
Upgrading to Fabric OS 6.3.2e is allowed only from Fabric OS 6.2.0a or later.
Upgrading to Fabric OS 6.4.3f is allowed only from Fabric OS 6.3.x. You can upgrade non-disruptively from 6.2
Upgrading to Fabric OS 7.0.2 can be done non-disruptively from Fabric OS 6.4.1a or later.
Upgrading to Fabric OS 7.1.2 can be non-disruptively upgraded from 7.0.x and 7.1.x. With caveats: For example, any previously existing error log entries with FOS v7.1.0 will be permanently lost once upgraded to FOS v7.1.2.
Upgrading to Fabric OS 7.2.x can be done non-disruptively from 7.1.x. Disruptively from 7.0.x is supported.
Upgrading to Fabric OS 7.3.x can be done non-disruptively from 7.2.x. Disruptively from 7.1.x is supported (see the FOS_UpgradeGuide_v730.pdf and the Brocade Release notes).
Upgrading to Fabric OS 7.4.x can be done non-disruptively from 7.3.x. From 6.4.x with firmwarecleaninstall
Upgrading to Fabric OS 8.0.x can be done non-disruptively from any Brocade 16G (Gen 5) platform and all blades in the Supported blades table running any FOS v7.4 firmware. From 7.3.0 with "firmwaredownload -s"
Upgrading to Fabric OS 8.1.x can be done non-disruptively from Brocade platform running 8.0.2 or later. From 7.4.x disruptively with "firmwaredownload -s".
Upgrading to Fabric OS 8.2.x can be done non-disruptively from Brocade platform running 8.1.0a or later. From 8.0.x disruptively with "firmwaredownload -s".
Any Brocade platform listed in the Supported Device section running any FOS 8.2 version can be non-disruptively upgraded to FOS 9.0.0

About non-disruptively: This means you can go to 7.0.xfrom earlier  than 6.4.1a but ports will go offline during the upgrade.
See the release notes or Upgrade Guides for more details.

DCFM: Data Centre Fabric Manager / BNA: Brocade Network Advisor .

From 6.2.2a release notes:

With the introduction of Fabric OS 6.1.1, certain features and functions were removed from Web Tools (resident in the firmware) and migrated to the DCFM management application. HP recommends that, before you upgrade to Fabric OS 6.1.1x or later, if DCFM is not running on your fabric, you review the Web Tools functionality moved to DCFM, page 29 in these release notes and take note of what has changed so you can assess the impact on your fabric.

Fabric OS 7.x cannot be managed by DCFM 10.4 or BNA 11.0. You need BNA 11.1.0, see the release notes for 7.x.

Brocade Network Advisor 12.4.0 or later is required to manage switches running FOS 7.4.0 or later.
Brocade Network Advisor 14.0.1 or later is required to manage switches running Fabric OS 8.0.1 or later

Updates to documents

Sometimes Brocade releases updates to the manuals without actually updating the manuals. On HP's page you can find them as "Documentation Updates", "Fabric OS Administrator's Guide Update".

Fabric Watch and MAPS with FOS v7.3

Users running Fabric Watch for switch monitoring in FOS v7.3 are advised to convert to MAPS monitoring before upgrading to FOS v7.4. If you don't, Fabric Watch will stop working.

Also the APM have been replaced with Fabric/Flow Vision.


See the release notes of the firmware for the specifics. For example Fabric OS 8.0.2 cannot be in the same fabric as for example HP C-Class 4/12 FC switches (4024) and one must use Fibre Channel Routing.


Download old Brocade Fabric OS Firmware.

Basically, you need to update in steps.

To get FOS 5.2.1b and 6.0.0c firmware: Contact OEM Vendor or Brocade. I've found that two vendors have the firmware available online for free: HP and IBM, see below:
Eventually after looking around on HP's old pages we found to  - this link sometimes changes.

Link to IBM's page for downloading FOS 6 firmwares. This has firmwares going back all the way to FOS 2.6, it even has Fabric OS 6.0.0c and 5.2.3. On the page they have listed release notes and a little further down there is a link called "Release 6 Firmware".
Actually, if you click on 'Release 6 Firmware' you are taken to a page on where you can find many different firmwares, including 5.x and 7.x
IBM also have a link about FOS 7.x and FOS 8.x

Also note that some features does not exist/work on older Fabric OS. For example on Fabric OS 5.1.x DHCP and SCP may not work (which forces you to use static IP and ftp).

Equivalent Product Names

Page with the equivalent Brocade and HP product names.
Page with the model number as seen in switchshow and HP's model and Brocade's model. This is a good one.
Page for correlating IBM and Brocade product names.


HP recommend that you upgrade one fabric and one switch at a time.
Waiting a week or at least a couple of days after you upgrade the first fabric is a good idea - gives you time to see if anything went wrong, if you can fix it and if you can do anything different next time.
See HP SPOCK for more details in regards to compatibility and interop modes.
The HP B-series Connectivity Stream lists the recommended firmware and all the supported ones for each switch model. It also has a list of the supported SFPs. Find it by clicking on "Switches" in the left-hand navigation pane under the "Other Hardware" section. The Connectivity Stream is great and it is updated often so I will not link directly to it. You need an HP Passport to log on to HP SPOCK - it is free to create and you do not need a contract or product in warranty.

Other vendors have similar matrices. HP for example does not have a list stating which Fabric OS firmware is supported with which HP P6000 firmware. The idea is that you go with the general recommendation of Fabric OS firmware.

Do read the release notes for the firmware(s) you decide on: for example not all 4GB SAN-switches can run the 6.4.x FOS. The 8- and 16-port 4Gbps switches (Brocade 200E) do not run 6.4.x or 6.3.x.
Only 8Gb and 16Gb switches can run the 7.x.x FOS.
The release notes also have the fixes, enhancements, upgrade paths and supported switches.
Generally the Brocade versions of the release notes are more verbose when it comes to fixes, but if you have an HP branded it might be easier to use the HP one as that has the HP names of the products. Also it might be hard to find the Brocade release notes if you do not have a contract with Brocade. Other vendors (like IBM/Fujitsu/HDS) provide you with the Brocade version of the release notes. You can find the release notes from their support pages.

Do  consider updating OS patches, HBA drivers/firmware, management softwares and storage drivers/firmware. For example Qlogic had driver updates to their drivers that prevent HP blades from getting stuck in G_port after a reboot. Another for Qlogic FC cards was to not write a partition table on Dell servers at 2TB on the LUN (not so nice for > 2TB disks)..

Upgrading Tools

SANLoader is an unofficial HP tool to upgrade firmwares. With this you do not have to create an ftpserver etc. Contact HP Support, they may give this to you.
This is meant to be used when the other ways does not work, but it helps out a lot as you do not have to set up an FTP/SCP server.

Sanloader used to (winter 2010) not work well on Windows 7 and may not work flawlessly on the pre 6.x firmwares.

Other ways:

  • Set up a ftp/scp server and upgrade via the CLI (command line interface).
  • Use DCFM ( Data Center Fabric Manager - now called Network Advisory ) to upgrade firmware.
  • Firmware can also be upgraded through the web interface (click on switch admin and then on firmware download). You will still need an FTP/SCP server for this though. See the web tools admin guide page 73-74 (FOS 6.2.x but it hasn't moved).

FileZilla is a free FTP-server that works well. There are many alternatives around. But unfortunately some don't work sometimes (not 100% sure but probably combination of older FOS with older ftp client with FTP server that couldn't handle that client) as listed in the comments thread in this post. FileZilla is however still on sourceforge so you may want to be careful about installing that - it might contain malware. Storing them on a Synology NAS works - thanks Henny!

For FTP clients:

  • /usr/bin/ftp in Ubuntu (also in Ubuntu on Windows)
  • WinSCP for a free opensource Windows alternative that does both ftp and SCP (and more).

For SCP any machine with Linux and sshd on should work. You can also get an scp-server running on Windows, OpenSSH would work. Both protocols are old, SCP is safer while FTP is sending data in clear text.

Personally I like doing this via the CLI. The Network Advisor way gives you the possibility to upgrade in parallel, but that's also risky. If you use a Linux server to provide the firmwares via SCP don't forget to let the switches in via firewall or tcp.wrapper ( /etc/hosts.allow ). If you do the upgrade via ftp - make sure that passive and active ftp both works.

How to access the SAN-switch

The most common way is to access the CLI of a Brocade switch by connect to the IP of it with an ssh- or telnet-client, PuTTy is the name of a free Windows client. If you are comfortable with CLI, Windows 10 has WSL and a good ssh and scp client built in. Telnet is unsafe so do try to use the ssh at all costs. Windows 10 has Bash which is in my opinion much nicer to use than putty.
It's also possible to access the switch CLI via a serial cable, however as the firmware files are several 100MB (approaching 1GB for 6.4.x) that's not really viable when upgrading firmware. Hyperterminal is a free windows tool that comes by default in some Windows versions. You can also use PuTTy for serial access.
To access the web interface just point the web browser to . It requires Java. The Java version that's supported is listed in the release notes of the Fabric OS.


Here on HP's Support Forum are some more notes about v6.x. Basic steps:

Note: version 6 does not require to specify the exact folder location SWBDxx: it just needs the root containing "the install" file

1) Unpack the downloaded firmware in the FTP or SCP download directory
2) Start the FTP/SCP Server and allow access
3) Connect to the CLI of the switch via telnet or ssh
4) Type this in the CLI: firmwaredownload
5) Answer all questions: when it asks for File Name be sure to write /v6.4.1b, that is the folder under which you find all the SWBDxx folders. Failing to do so makes it impossible to download the firmware
6) Wait for reboot of the switch and reconnect, check the firmware version with the "version" command

More notes about the upgrade

CLI Command to start the update process is firmwaredownload - this starts the interactive version, it is possible to specify user, directory, host directly via the CLI. See the Command Reference Guide for details. There are reference guides for each major Fabric OS release.

Specifying Directory

Please use forward slashes when specifying directories.

For example when you unzip the firmware file and it creates a sub-folder in the FTP-root that is called v5.3.1a then you need to specify /v5.3.1a as the directory.

For firmwares prior to 5.3.x you have to specify the release.plist - /v5.2.2a/release.plist.
However it says in the release notes for 5.2.3 that release.plist is no longer needed.

In some cases you may have to specify the sub directory.
For example the 4/16 HP Switch is a Brocade 200E with switchtype 34. So you would then use directory SWBD34 - /v5.3.1a/SWDB34. You can also try with /v5.3.1a/release.plist, /v5.3.1a/SWDB34/release.plist or /v5.3.1a/install. However with 5.3.1a you should not have to so /v5.3.1a should be enough.

firmwaredownload example:

switch:admin> firmwaredownload
Server Name or IP Address: IP.TO.SCP.SERVER
User Name: username
File Name: /path/to/v6.2.2e
Network Protocol(1-auto-select, 2-FTP, 3-SCP) [1]: 3
Server IP: IP.TO.SCP.SERVER, Protocol IPv4
Checking system settings for firmwaredownload...
System settings check passed.
You can run firmwaredownloadstatus to get the status
 of this command.
This command will cause a warm/non-disruptive boot on the switch,
 but will require that existing telnet, secure telnet or SSH sessions
 be restarted.
Do you want to continue [Y]: y
 Firmware is being downloaded to the switch. This step may take up to 30 minutes.
 Preparing for firmwaredownload...
 Start to install packages...
 dir ##################################################
 [[lots of these for all packets]] ##################################################
 [[also stuff like these are seen many times:]]
 warning: /etc/fabos/pki/switch.0.rootcrt created as /etc/fabos/pki/switch.0.rootcrt.rpmnew
 kernel-module-ipsec ##################################################
 Removing unneeded files, please wait ...
 Finished removing unneeded files.
All packages have been downloaded successfully.
 Firmware has been downloaded to the secondary partition of the switch.
 HA Rebooting ...

Transfer Protocol and Connectivity

If you are using SCP and that does not work, please try with FTP. If neither works, see if something else can log on to the FTP/SCP server. And of course, make sure the right permissions/root directory are set on the FTP-server. If your FTP/SCP server has log files, check them. If it works from one client but not from the switch, check the logs and see if there's a difference. Sometimes if the SCP doesn't work via CLI it might work by doing SCP (but starting it from the Web Tools, thanks Eric in the comments for this!).

If you are logged on as root on the SAN-switch you can use the scp- or ssh-client on the switch to confirm connectivity, like this:

ssh username@server ls /tmp/v6.0.1a to list the /tmp/v6.0.1a on the SCP server.

You need to be root to run the above command.

If that also does not work, you have some kind of networking problem - you can try direct connecting a laptop to the LAN interface of the switch. To see the network settings on the switch: ifmodeshow and ipaddrshow


Sometimes when upgrading from 6.1.1d to 6.2.2 we have seen that the passwords have gotten reset.

Default password is then "password" or "fibranne".

You can reset the password with the CLI command "passwd admin" to reset password on the admin account.

If you forget all passwords it might be possible to be able to reset it via the serial cable interface while booting the switch.

On EMC branded switches the default password might be: Serv4EMC

CF Cards

If your switch is out of warranty/contract and it's still working. I'd suggest making a copy(dd  in linux for example) of the CF-card. Then if the CF card decides to fail you can just get a new one from random_electronic store and dd the contents of the flash back.


When replacing a switch make sure that the licenses are correct.
If for example you have a switch with 'power pack' - then for HP there is a special spare part number for a switch with power pack and one without. Power pack is a grouping of licenses,  which licenses are in the pack differs between models.

247 thoughts on “Brocade SAN Switch Firmware Upgrades

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Thanks for the pointers.

      Which switch do you have? Do you have a non-director type?

      Also the release notes work for me. But nice to have a mirror? That one can use too.

  1. Alexander

    We have HP B-series 8/24c SAN Switches BladeSystem c-Class and Brocade 300.

    1. guldmyr Post author

      oki. In two SAN fabrics? And some more details about the non-disruptiveness you observed would be interesting.

  2. Daniel

    How to get Firmware 5.2 to 6.3
    today the only way to get the old Firmware is the FTP by HP way
    dont work with firefox with me (interuped downloads)
    So i yoused a fresh Win7 with IE10 to download Firmware

  3. Daniel

    so i find a trick to get full donwload Access by brocade:
    Got to IBM Fix Central and search for the IBM Network Advisor

    Folow the links you will be forwarde to “Brocade Downloads for IBM End Users”
    You have to verify your email adress with activasion link

    now you have “full” access:
    under SAN Switches get Operations systems 6x to 8.x
    by all Sotware Products you will get DCFM 10.3 and 10.4 and Network Advisor 12.3 12.4 and 14 for Evulations (dont tested)

  4. Daniel

    so today i succesful updatet one of my IBM 2005_16B Switch from 5.1 to 6.2.2g using the red Upgrade path.
    Doing the easy way with the IBM Network Advisor from the “Brocade Downloads for IBM End Users”
    Firmware 5.2 5.3 6.0.1 6.1.2c from the HP FTP
    Fimware 6.2.2g from the brocada for IBM site.
    i had to diable the need of an md5 file in the Options of the Network Advisor 12.3 Software (google)
    You have to enter the “Brocade Downloads for IBM End Users” from the IBM Site, i had an (free) Fix central account an now a brocade account to (free).

  5. Renato Martini

    Tranks for the page, thanks for sharing! I have an old switch (SAN 16B IBM branded), old okay but very useful to me in my personal Lab… I’m traying the upgrade path from the FabOS 5.3.2c to 6.0.0 release, but how is hard to find the old brocades releases!! If you have a tip about that, please let me know! Thanks

  6. jenny lin

    Hello ,

    we want to purchase the IBM 2498-B24 , 2498-24E san switch ,

    and the HP AM866A , HP AM866B san switch ,
    HP AM867A , HP AM867B san switch ,
    and the HP AM868A , HP AM868B san switch ,
    and the NA-320-0008 , NA-360-0004 san switch .
    or any other IBM ,HP, Brocade , Dell , EMC brand san switch . We need large quantity of those san switches !

    We just need 8-port activation .

    if you can supply those san switch , please tell me your landed price , many thanks !

    Waiting for your early reply .


    Eamil :
    Phone : 0086-159187745919

  7. Gregg

    Hi; We have HP branded FC switches including 4 silkworm 200e switches on two fabrics. I want to upgrade our 510’s from 6.4.3x to 7.4.1x. The 200e’s only go up to 6.2.2f.
    Do you know if this is going to cause problems, or do I need to get rid of the 200e’s?


    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hey Gregg,

      in the 7.4.x firmware release notes you can see which Fabric OS they are compatible with on each platform.

      I checked 7.4.1e release notes and 200E with 6.2.2 or later is supported with 7.4.1e

      See the “Fabric OS Compatibility” section in the release notes from Brocade.

  8. Jacob

    It appears HP’s latest version for the Brocade 4/12 SAN switch is 6.2.2f. Is it possible to still go beyond that?

    1. guldmyr Post author

      No, in 6.3.x release notes the Brocade 4024 or HP c-class 4/12 is listed as not supported.
      If you’d look in the 7.4.x release notes you’d see that the 4024 is supported in a fabric together with switches running 7.3.x, if they run 6.2.2 or later.

  9. RS


    Recently i bough a Brocade 300 from eBay. Unfortunately i cant download the latest firmware from the brocade website. Can anyone provide me the files so i can upgrade my switch ?

    thanks in advance

  10. Atila

    I’d like to ask where I can investigate the compatibility between FOS version and HP c-class blades (with FlexFabric) , which houses many ESX servers.
    Many thanks,

  11. Tamas

    Hi Johan.

    Well detailed page, appreciate it. I read through, and I found that 4GB switches won’t support FOS lvl 7.x. Is that correct?
    We have an old 2005-R18 with fw lv 6.4.3g at the moment and I’d like to upgrade it. I wasn’t able to find the advised upgrade path in the official Target Path Selection Guide. Would you be so kind to advise what steps are required/possible to upgrade the current fw lvl?
    Thank You, regards: Tamas.

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hi and thanks! Yeah I don’t think 4G switches goes high in the firmwares. Easiest is probably to look in release notes for 7.0.x and see if your switch is supported. What models do you have?

      /Edit: OK it said 2005-R18 in the comment, apparently that’s a 7500E in Brocade nomenclature. 7500E is not supported by 7.x, but it is in 6.4.x. All found in the release notes.

  12. Ed

    I have Brocade 200E/B and i think that de firmware not good.
    And the CF Card , and the com1 is not reachble.
    What can i do now.

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hey, if you can’t reach com1 at all that sounds bad.. I never managed to get a hold of a brocade switch to look at the CF card :/

  13. aK

    i need brocade Net_Install Package for brocade san switch for cf card corrupt fresh install of brocade fabos

  14. Eric

    I recently updated some EMC/Connectrix 6505 series switches. Interestingly, I was unable to do it via SSH using SCP (logged in as admin). I kept getting a “could not locate release.plist” error message. I tried both /tmp/brocade/v8.1.2d and /tmp/brocade/v8.1.2d/SWBD118, but it still gave the error.

    I ended up doing the update via the GUI (Web Tools) and SCP worked just fine with /tmp/brocade/v8.1.2d.

    Any thoughts why it wouldn’t work via command line? I would much rather use the command line than the GUI.

    Otherwise, this page was really helpful.


  15. Eric

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I was accessing ssh with user/pass authentication. That sounds like the issue. I will export the ssh key for the next update and report back.

    Thanks again.

  16. Steven


    We are looking into upgrade the Brocade 300 firmware running 6.0.2.c to 7.3.1.x, however we cannot find the firmware for 6.1.0.x?

    Anyone know where I could find the version eg. 6.1.0.e or .f or .g or .h or .j ??

    Anyway our upgrade path plan is as follow for non-disruptive. Will the below path work?

    6.0.2.c > 6.1.0.e 6.1.0.j > 6.2.0.g > 6.3.0.d > 6.4.0.c > 7.0.2.e > 7.1.0.c > 7.2.0.d > 7.3.1.e


      1. Steven


        I spoke to Brocade support, they do not have any more 6.1x.x firmware.
        So could I use the HP firmware as per your link for our Brocade 300 ?

        Also Brocade support feedback that we should follow the path below:
        v602c –> v612c –> v622g –> v623e –> v643h –> v702e –> v712b –> v721g –> v732b

        Just I am missing the 612c.

  17. Nicolino


    How to obtain old version de FOS??? My brocade is 4.4.0b and i need FOS 5.0.1 or 4.4.0c for upgrade FOS 5.2x.

    Can you help me?


    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hi. You need next release. So if 5.0.x is after 4.4.x then you need any in 5.0.x. I don’t know where to get 5.0.x though :(

      1. Nicolino

        Thanks for helping!

        My problem is to obtain version 5.0.x :(
        I have only 5.2x and higher…

        1. guldmyr Post author

          Yeah I can’t find it. Some places suggest getting a support contract with the OEM Vendor. I have not been able to find it on HPEs web site.

  18. Harish

    Too Good!!! Great work.
    I was able to gather lots of info from here and want to make sure I am on the right path.

    Looking for advice.
    In my existing fabric I have couple of Brocade 5100 swtiches with FOS 7.0.2d and few with FOS 6.4.3h, I have bought three new HPE SN6000B and it came with 8.0.2a (which I will be upgrading to FOS 8.2.0a).
    So far after going through several release notes and documents, figured out that I will not be able to introduce the new switches into the existing fabric.
    I will have to bring my existing fabric FOS upto 7.3.1 level and then only will be able to introduce new switches into my existing fabric.
    Also trying to figure out from where I can get hold of FOS 7.3.x.

    What would be the best way to introduce the new switches into my existing fabric?

    Please advice.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hey! If 8.2.x supports those switches with 7.3.x then your plan sounds good.

      Usually SANs are duplicated, but if yours is not then I guess you’ll have to take the bulk by the horn.. I would look at some way to get a test environment or a second duplicate SAN so you can test the upgrade somewhere.

      and upgrade the 6.4.x to 7.0 and then all to 7.1 then all to 7.2 and finally all to 7.3.

      After that you can connect the old with the newer. Be careful to not have duplicate domain ids, same fabric settings etc on all the switches.

      Also IBM has the 7.x firmwares available on some links in this post.
      You could also try to get them from HPE

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Thanks! I’ll check these out for perhaps some more links. At least IBM still redirect there and one needs to register but seems to still work.

  19. Anupam

    I’m having this issue can you please suggest

    > firmwaredownload
    Server Name or IP Address:
    User Name: root
    File Name: /var/www/v7.4.2c
    Network Protocol(1-auto-select, 2-FTP, 3-SCP, 4-SFTP) [1]: 3
    Verifying if the public key authentication is available.Please wait …
    The public key authentication is not available.
    Do you want to continue with CRA (Y/N)[N]: y

    Server IP:, Protocol IPv4
    Checking system settings for firmwaredownload…
    Failed to access scp://root:*********@
    The server is inaccessible or firmware path is invalid. Please make sure the server name/IP address and the firmware path are valid, the protocol and authentication are supported. It is also possible that the RSA host key could have been changed and please contact the System Administrator for adding the correct host key.

  20. N8

    Anyone notice that the Brocade assist website only has the 7.4.2a and 7.4.2c firmware now, which you can’t get to unless you go to 7.2 first. I’m contacting them.

    1. mousii

      this is the problem I’m facing at the moment, I’m poking IBM who currently don’t seem to be able to acknowledge that older firmware isn’t available from the link they keep sending me.

      1. guldmyr Post author

        Perhaps someone should set up a community repository of firmwares. Sounds a bit messy and I’d be worried about copyright etc.

  21. BlueChris

    First congrats for the great work you did here and i learned many things.
    I have an AM868B HP StorageWorks 8/24 Base (16) Full Fabric Ports Enabled SAN Switch
    It has v6.1.0c on it and i want to know whats the maximum version i can go? also this is like the brocade 300?
    I have downloaded all the versions throw 8.2.1b

    Thx in Advance

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Thanks! Glad you found it!
      Some others here were wondering where one can find the 7.2.x firmware, perhaps you could let us know?

      About your switch AM868B being a Brocade 300 – it seems to according to

      So now we know that. Next is to read a bit. In this blog post I have apparently written “8G and above can run Fabric OS 7.x”. So I’ll look in 7.4.x firmware and indeed the latest release note link in this blog post for 7.4.x has “FOS v7.4.2 supports the following platforms: 300”

      Looking in the next (8.0.0f) has: “The following Brocade devices are no longer supported starting with this release. 300”

      Hope this helps!

      Strong hugs

    2. Jef

      Anyone who knows how to download older versions of BNA, like 12.0.x and 12.4.x
      I need these versions for the upgrade path from 11.1.5 -> 14.4.4


      1. guldmyr Post author

        I could try to look around but don’t think I have any special links. If you have support with a vendor maybe they could help?
        And if not, maybe it’s easier to install a brand new VM (OS update too?) and install latest BNA from scratch. But I guess that depends on the amount of work that would go into setting it up..

  22. simon

    Hi, all
    We have 6 Brocade san switch , model is 6520, and they are out of service, their FOS is 7.4.1e.
    I want to update to 7.4.2d now. but i can’t find FOS in Brocade website, i download 7.4.2d in HPE.
    Can I upgrade HP FOS 7.4.2d to Brocade 6520 ? or who can give me the downlaod link in brocade website?
    Thanks a lot !

  23. Bazsa


    Just wanted to thank you for this awesome page, it really helped me a lot! ;)
    Keep up the good work! ;) :D


  24. Lewis

    Any working links for 8.1.2g, 8.2.1a, and 8.2.1b that I can get to without an active support agreement?

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Are links in this post not working? The IBM and NetApp had different firmwares.

      /edit oh right now neither works.. I hope it’s temporary

      1. PeteM

        Digging around, found your site. Like someone else, I’m looking for 7.4.2d firmware for an IBM branded 249824E (B24?). The IBM link directs to Brocade which was bought out by Broadcom. I have a login for there, but can’t find anything about switch firmware.

        1. guldmyr Post author

          I see :( Guess it’s time to check all the OEMs. I assume you don’t have a service contract with IBM, I wonder what paying IBM customers do?

          1. PeteM

            The 2498 B24 went end of service earlier this year, so IBM doesn’t offer contracts anymore. The Brocade link on IBM’s support site doesn’t work (probably because it still points to Brocade instead of Broadcom). I have basic credentials to Broadcom, but no product family assigned to my account, so I’m limited to what I can do.
            The whole ‘issue’ I’m trying to solve is being able to open the Switch Explorer GUI with the current Java. I’ve seen some other notices about ‘tricks’ to try, but those haven’t worked. Right now, I can still get access to both my switches using an XP laptop that still has Java6 and early Java8. A little precarious at best… Was hoping a firmware update might help, but just a guess at this point.
            Appreciate the assistance.

            1. guldmyr Post author

              Looked around but all the OEMs I looked at (IBM, Dell, NetApp) except HPE has that broken link to brocadessist. HPE host the firmwares on their on site but there you need an active warranty/contract to be able to get to the firmwares.

              I haven’t downloaded/saved any firmwares myself after 6.4 as they were too bulky :/ Should’ve :/

              1. PeteM

                The issue appears to be with newer Java versions (security). Was hoping new firmware would address that, but I also saw a couple posts about trying to trick Java on the PC to accepting the older code. No luck so far though.

                1. guldmyr Post author

                  Yeah work also had some old servers that need old JAVA for the graphical console. I do my utmost to not use that and try out the serial console instead first. So far I haven’t had to figure the old java out :)

  25. Szabolcs


    I have to upgrade our Brocade 300 SAN switch from v7.2.0a to v7.4.0c. Unfortunatelly I can not find anywhere: nor on Dell site, nor on site. Where from can I download it?


    1. Robert

      7.4.0c I have never heard of. IBM still has most of them on public links. However the links on their support site aren’t always correct, for example on the link contains a space (%20) which breaks it. Just remove the %20 and you can download 7.4.2d, which I assume would also help you out.

  26. Robert

    I’ve scanned the whole IBM ftp site (took a few days…) but past 7.4.2d there are no publicly available firmwares there anymore. Does anyone have 7.4.2f available?

  27. jerome


    could you share with me the brocade firmware, I search FOS 7.1.2b –> 7.2.1g –> 7.3.2a –> 7.4.2 or later ..

    it’s very difficult to find this :-)


    1. guldmyr Post author

      Check out the comments here, other readers have been able to find some on-line. Always verify checksums.

    2. Robert

      For 7.4.2d is not public anymore. You can leave an email address (maybe a temp one is best) and when I see it (there’s no notifications here) I can share 7.4.2d.

  28. Nec0ex


    I have two IBM 249824E switches. One switch hast the firmware 7.4.1d installed and the other one 7.4.2d. In the first step I want to bring the first one to the firmware version of the second one.

    But I don´t find all necessary firmwares neither the right upgrade document for the upgrade path due to dead links.

    Can someone please give me an advise?

    BTW. Whats the latest firmware for both switches?

    Thx a lot!

    1. Nec0ex

      I found in the meantime the solution. But does anyone have 7.4.2d or f available?

        1. Nec0ex

          Please ignore my request!

          I foud the following note within the public IBM FTP site:

          In the near future, all Brocade fixes will require entitlement checking. To download a fix after that time, you will need your system model type and serial number.

          Thats the reason why you can´t find it anymore on the FTP site. It means, you need an active support contract and without its not legal when you share it. :-(

          1. Robert

            If everyone had a support contract, this blog wouldn’t exist in the first place. There’s tons of fibre switches around that have no contract though, while they can still be perfectly well used in a test-lab or something. Actually, my previous job’s (top500) companies policy was to have a few spares of each type of switch, server and so on at hand, and NOT have extended contracts, except for hugely expensive devices like Netapp storage. We saved tons (litereally) of money doing so, and whenever something broke, you’ll be quicker replacing it yourself than having to wait for y our 4 hour contract and have ‘someone’ mess your racks up.

            So actually I’m a bit of an advocate for being able to use AND update / upgrade your devices after the support ended. So I sent you a mail.

  29. Robert

    For those interested, I’ve just received 7.4.2f, with the correct SHA256 according to the HPe site. I’m currently receiving 8.2.2b as well. What would be the best way for others to benefit? Torrent through a VPN?

  30. Zbyszek

    I’ve got two Brocade switches model 6548 with 7.4.2g firmware (HPE)
    Migration path is 7.4.2d/e/f → FOS 8.0.2f → FOS 8.1.2h → FOS 8.2.1c
    and i’m looking for 8.0.2f or another 8.0.x firmware, beacause when i’m tryingto update from 7.4.2g to 8.1.2a, i’ve got information:
    “Non disruptive firmware download is not supported when firmware download with two versions apart. Please try again from cli with single mode option enabled.”
    I can do it, but i not lose my config??
    Thanks for your help, this website is awesome.

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hi, you can by giving the CLI command the -s argument. It’s my expectation it should only disrupt the FC traffic. If backup the switch config anyway just to be safe .

      1. Zbyszek

        OK, i saved the config to ftp site,
        but will i not lose switch config when i update with command: firmwareupgrade -s from CLI?
        I do it remotly and switch is about 500 km away :)
        Thanks for your help

        1. guldmyr Post author

          I’m really hesitant to answer this as I haven’t done such an upgrade myself. Maybe someone else here can comment.

        2. Darrin

          Did you end up trying this? I’m tempted to go this route since I’m just working in a test lab.

    2. Zbyszek

      Sorry, i found this link in this discusion, thank you very very much :)
      Our company has got support for this switches from HPE, but i can only download 7.4.2g and later 8.1.2a,
      Thanks again

  31. User

    Is there an overview of valid MD5 sums for all related firmware versions? SO in case someone find a needed version on the net and would like to take care that it is not modified in any way …

    I would be interested in MD5’s for:
    5.0.1d -> 5.2.3 -> 5.3.2c -> 6.0.1a -> 6.1.2c -> 6.2.2g -> 6.3.2e -> 6.4.3h > 7.0.2e > 7.1.2b > 7.2.1g > 7.3.2a > 7.4.2f >

    All the best and always online links

  32. Nec0ex

    Hi guys,
    did anyone a migration from an old switch to a new one with just copying the configuration? Is it possible even the source switch (4gb Switch) has FOS 6.0.0 and the target switch (8gb) FOS 7.4.2.d?

    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hey, that might be doable. I suppose merging the configs could be done manually. Id first check what’s the difference between the switches in the config file and just try to get the important bits (zoning?) into the new switch’s config. I haven’t done it myself but if you can’t out them in the same fabric because if too large difference with the FOS i guess this is what you’ll have to do? You can’t upgrade the 6.0.0 to a newer firmware that’s compatible with the 8G one?

  33. Robert

    If you have a switch that is as new that it can run V9, I assume you have a support contract?

  34. Ken

    Very comprehensive writeup. Thank you! I do have a question about upgrading a HP C-Class 5480. Did you run into any other dependencies that needed upgraded in the Bladecenter?


    1. guldmyr Post author

      Hey! I don’t remember the by HP recommended c-class firmware upgrade order. I guess it depends if you have any extra FC components in the chassis? Do they still make virtual connect? :)

  35. Robert

    8c0bf8406753c52b01057dec72dc474f v7.4.2g_all_mibs.tar.gz
    96d597c9ae64546b654d74401f4c4487 v7.4.2g.tar.gz

  36. Sonny

    Does anyone know if it is possible to copy the firmware off one blade and onto another? I have a Dell M1000e blade chassis with two Broacade M5424 fibre switches in them. One recently had a hardware failure but we had a spare left over from an old chassis. That has firmware v7.2 but the other has 6.4. Any way we can get 7.2 copied onto the blade with 6.4?


  37. Francesc Xavier Vendrell


    I have the v7.4.2c firmware. but it’s corrupted. Anybody have a 7.4.2C link to download?

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