Upgrade the VM-Series PAN-OS Software (Standalone)

How do I upgrade a standalone VM-Series firewall?
Review the new features, addressed issues, and known issues and then use the following procedure to upgrade a firewall that is not in an HA configuration.
To avoid impacting traffic, plan to upgrade within the outage window. Ensure the firewall is connected to a reliable power source. A loss of power during an upgrade can make the firewall unusable.
  1. Verify that enough hardware resources are available to the VM-Series firewall.
    Refer to the VM-Series System Requirements to see the resource requirements for each VM-Series model. Allocate additional hardware resources before continuing the upgrade process; the process for assigning additional hardware resources differs on each hypervisor.
    If the VM-Series firewall does not have the required resources for the model, it defaults to the capacity associated with the VM-50.
  2. From the web interface, navigate to
    and make sure you have the correct VM-Series firewall license and that the license is activated.
    On the VM-Series firewall standalone version, navigate to
    and make sure that you have activated the support license.
  3. Save a backup of the current configuration file.
    Although the firewall automatically creates a configuration backup, it is a best practice to create and externally store a backup before you upgrade.
    1. Select
      and click
      Export named configuration snapshot
    2. Select the XML file that contains your running configuration (for example,
      ) and click
      to export the configuration file.
    3. Save the exported file to a location external to the firewall. You can use this backup to restore the configuration if you have problems with the upgrade.
  4. If you have enabled User-ID, after you upgrade, the firewall clears the current IP address-to-username and group mappings so that they can be repopulated with the attributes from the User-ID sources. To estimate the time required for your environment to repopulate the mappings, run the following CLI commands on the firewall.
    • For IP address-to-username mappings:
      • show user user-id-agent state all
      • show user server-monitor state all
    • For group mappings:
      show user group-mapping statistics
  5. Ensure that the firewall is running the latest content release version.
    1. Select
      Dynamic Updates
      and see which
      Applications and Threats
      content release version is Currently Installed.
    2. If the firewall is not running the minimum required content release version or a later version required for PAN-OS,
      Check Now
      to retrieve a list of available updates.
    3. Locate and
      the desired content release version.
      After you successfully download a content update file, the link in the Action column changes from
      for that content release version.
    4. Install
      the update.
  6. Upgrade the VM-Series plugin.
    1. Before upgrading, check the latest Release Notes for details on whether a new VM-Series plugin affects your environment.
      For example, suppose a new VM-Series plugin version only includes AWS features. To take advantage of the new features, you must update the plugin on your VM-Series firewall instances on AWS.
      Do not install an upgrade that does not apply to your environment.
    2. Log in to the VM-Series firewall and check the dashboard to view the plugin version.
    3. Select
        to view the plugin version. Use
      Check Now
      to check for updates.
    4. Select the version of the plugin and click
      in the Action column to install the plugin.
  7. Upgrade PAN-OS.
    If your firewall does not have internet access from the management port, you can download the software image from the Palo Alto Networks Customer Support Portal and then manually
    it to your firewall.
    1. Select
      and click
      Check Now
      to display the latest PAN-OS updates.
    2. Locate and
      the target PAN-OS version.
    3. After you download the image (or, for a manual upgrade, after you upload the image),
      the image.
    4. After the installation completes successfully, reboot using one of the following methods:
      • If you are prompted to reboot, click
      • If you are not prompted to reboot, select
        and click
        Reboot Device
      At this point, the firewall clears the User-ID mappings, then connects to the User-ID sources to repopulate the mappings.
    5. If you have enabled User-ID, use the following CLI commands to verify that the firewall has repopulated the IP address-to-username and group mappings before allowing traffic.
      • show user ip-user-mapping all
      • show user group list
    6. If you are upgrading to an XFR release for the first time, repeat this step to upgrade to the corresponding XFR release.
  8. Verify that the firewall is passing traffic.
    Session Browser
    and verify that you are seeing new sessions.

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