Create a BIG-IP Next instance locally on KVM

Use these instructions to install a new BIG-IP Next Instance virtual machine on a KVM hypervisor, set the password, and apply a base configuration. After completing the steps, the BIG-IP Next Instance is ready to be discovered and managed by the BIG-IP Next Central Manager.


  • KVM QEMU 6.2 on Ubuntu 22.04.

  • Supported machine types are i440fx and q35.

  • BIG-IP Next VE is compatible with most KVM-based hypervisor setups under the following conditions:

    • Utilization of the standard KVM qcow2 or ova image for BIG-IP Next VE from MyF5 Downloads.

    • Implementation of the virtio networking driver (Note: SR-IOV compatibility may vary).

    • Possession of a standard BIG-IP Next VE license.

    • Ensuring that neither you nor any third-party cloud/hypervisor vendor has altered the base image to accommodate environment-specific or hypervisor-specific customizations.

    • Deployment with either the i440FX or QEMU Q35 machine types when utilizing F5’s virtio synthetic driver.

  • CLI utilities to work with KVM images: virtinst, virt-inst, virt-viewer, virsh, cloud-localds

  • Instance - sizes for deployment:

vCPUs Memory
2 8 GB
4 10 GB
6 12 GB
8 16 GB
12 24 GB
16 32 GB
24 48 GB
  • Disk resource: 80GB of disk per BIG-IP Next virtual machine (VM)

  • Access to MyF5 for downloads

  • Inputs for your network

  • Review the appropriate Release Notes


Download a KVM Cloud Image (qcow2)

  1. Log in to MyF5 Downloads.

  2. Accept the EULA and click Next.

  3. Under Group, select BIG-IP_Next.

  4. Under Product Line, select Virtual Edition.

  5. Under Select a product container, choose the appropriate version.

  6. Under Select a download file select the qcow2 image file.

  7. Under Download locations, select the appropriate location.

  8. Click Download.

  9. Repeat these steps to also download the appropriate checksum file.

  10. Move the cloud image file to a desired location.

Create a disk image

Use the cloud image to create a new disk image for your instance.

  1. Start a terminal and navigate to the path where you placed the cloud image.

  2. Decompress the cloud image: tar -xvf <downloaded qemu file>.
    Note the extracted filename.

  3. Copy the default cloud image to a new image: cp <extracted filename> my-bigip-next.img.

  4. Create a new instance (8 vCPU and 16 GB of RAM).

  5. Allocate at least two network interfaces that use a Virtio network driver.

  6. If you need to configure a static IP address for the primary network interface (management), proceed to Enable a static IP address.

Enable a static IP address

Complete if you need to configure a static IP address; skip if using DHCP.

  1. Create a file for your network configuration; it resembles a netplan format.

      version: 2
            - (Your Management IP)/(Network Mask for Management Network)
          gateway4: (IPv4 Gateway Address)
            addresses: [(comma separated list of DNS servers)]


      version: 2
            addresses: []
  2. Use cloud-localds to create an ISO image.

    cloud-localds (name of file).iso -H (hostname of instance) -N (file with network config).yaml -m local /dev/null
  3. Copy the ISO file to a location where it can be mounted on your instance as a CD-ROM device.

  4. Create a virtual machine.

This example will create an instance that has 8 vCPU / 16 GB of RAM.

It will create two network interfaces. The first interface will be bridging a physical interface. The second interface is using the “default” network (internal). Adjust to match your environment.
A minimum of two interfaces is required.
Note: If you require the q35 machine type, then in the following example use --machine pc-q35-jammy.

   virt-install \
  --name bigip-next-abcd \
  --virt-type kvm \
  --machine pc-i440fx-jammy \
  --vcpus 8 \
  --memory 16384 \
  --network type=direct,source=[physical interface to bridge i.e. ens1f0],source_mode=bridge,model=virtio
  --network model=virtio,network=external \
  --disk vol=default/bigip-next-abcd.qcow2,device=disk \
  --disk path=/var/lib/libvirt/images/bigip-next-abcd.iso,device=cdrom \
  --os-variant ubuntu22.04 \
  --cpuset=auto \
  --noautoconsole \
  1. After the VM is deployed, verify it is running.

    virsh list --all
  2. Obtain the IP address of the device.
    The virsh utility allows you to retrieve the IP using the domifaddr command.

    # domifaddr my-bigip-next
     Name       MAC address          Protocol     Address
     vnet6      52:54:00:6c:5c:8c    ipv4

Onboard via Postman

  1. Download the F5 Postman collection.

  2. Modify the Postman variables.
    Create an environment or modify the collection variables.

    bigip_next_1_name: (i.e. my-bigip-next)
    domain_name: (i.e.
    bigip_next_1_mgmt_ip: (i.e. value that you configured above
    bigip_next_admin_password: (i.e. preferred password, minimum 8 characters)
    bigip_next_1_external_ip: (i.e. self-ip of data-plane / secondary interface)
    bigip_next_external_network_mask: (netmask of data-plane network)
    static_route_gateway: (data-plane default gateway address)
  3. Find the folder Virtual Edition Onboarding.

  4. Execute the requests Reset Admin Password through Create Static Route.

Add an instance to BIG-IP Next Central Manager

Installation is now complete. You can add the new instance to BIG-IP Next Central Manager. See: How to: Add a locally-onboarded BIG-IP Next instance to BIG-IP Next Central Manager