If RancherOS has released a new version and you want to learn how to upgrade your OS, we make it easy using the ros os command.

Since RancherOS is a kernel and initrd, the upgrade process is downloading a new kernel and initrd, and updating the boot loader to point to it. The old kernel and initrd are not removed. If there is a problem with your upgrade, you can select the old kernel from the Syslinux bootloader.

Before upgrading to any version, please review the release notes on our releases page in GitHub to review any updates in the release.

Note: If you are using docker-machine then you will not be able to upgrade your RancherOS version. You need to delete and re-create the machine.

Version Control

First, let’s check what version you have running on your system.

$ sudo ros os version

If you just want to find out the available releases from the command line, it’s a simple command.

# List all available releases
$ sudo ros os list
rancher/os:v0.4.0 remote
rancher/os:v0.4.1 remote
rancher/os:v0.4.2 remote
rancher/os:v0.4.3 remote
rancher/os:v0.4.4 remote
rancher/os:v0.4.5 remote
rancher/os:v0.5.0 local

The local/remote label shows which images are available to System Docker locally versus which need to be pulled from Docker Hub. If you choose to upgrade to a version that is remote, we will automatically pull that image during the upgrade.


Let’s walk through upgrading! The ros os upgrade command will automatically upgrade to the current release of RancherOS. The current release is designated as the most recent release of RancherOS.

$ sudo ros os upgrade
Upgrading to rancher/os:v0.5.0

Confirm that you want to continue and the final step will be to confirm that you want to reboot.

Continue [y/N]: y
Continue with reboot [y/N]: y
INFO[0037] Rebooting

After rebooting, you can check that your version has been updated.

$ sudo ros -v
ros version v0.5.0

Note: If you are booting from ISO and have not installed to disk, your upgrade will not be saved. You can view our guide to installing to disk.

Upgrading to a Specific Version

If you are a couple of versions behind the current version, use the -i option to pick the version that you want to upgrade to.

$ sudo ros os upgrade -i rancher/os:v0.5.0
Upgrading to rancher/os:v0.5.0
Continue [y/N]: y
Continue with reboot [y/N]: y
INFO[0082] Rebooting

Bypassing The Prompts

We have added the ability to bypass the prompts. Use the -f or --force option when upgrading. Your machine will automatically be rebooted and you’ll just need to log back in when it’s done.

If you want to bypass the prompts, but you don’t want to immediately reboot, you can add --no-reboot to avoid rebooting immediately.

Rolling back an Upgrade

If you’ve upgraded your RancherOS and something’s not working anymore, you can easily rollback your upgrade.

The ros os upgrade command works for rolling back. We’ll use the -i option to “upgrade” to a specific version. All you need to do is pick the previous version! Same as before, you will be prompted to confirm your upgrade version as well as confirm your reboot.

$ sudo ros -v
ros version v0.4.5
$ sudo ros os upgrade -i rancher/os:v0.4.4
Upgrading to rancher/os:v0.4.4
Continue [y/N]: y
Continue with reboot [y/N]: y
INFO[0082] Rebooting

After rebooting, the rollback will be complete.

$ sudo ros -v
ros version 0.4.4

Note: If you are using a persistent console and in the current version’s console, rolling back is not supported. For example, rolling back to v0.4.5 when using a v0.5.0 persistent console is not supported.

Staging an Upgrade

During an upgrade, the template of the upgrade is downloaded from the rancher/os repository. You can download this template ahead of time so that it’s saved locally. This will decrease the time it takes to upgrade. We’ll use the -s option to stage the specific template. You will need to specify the image name with the -i option, otherwise it will automatically stage the current version.

$ sudo ros os upgrade -s -i rancher/os:v0.5.0

Custom Upgrade Sources

In the upgrade key, the url is used to find the list of available and current versions of RancherOS. This can be modified to track custom builds and releases.

    url: https://releases.rancher.com/os/releases.yml
    image: rancher/os

Upgrade Notes for v1.4.0+

If you are upgrading to v1.4.0+, please review these notes that could alter your RancherOS settings.

Due to changes in the location of user-docker’s data-root, after upgrading to v1.4.0+, you must move or copy the files of user-docker’s data-root. If you do not do this, your data will NOT be available.



system-docker stop docker
cp -a $old_docker_root/* $new_docker_root
system-docker start docker

If you had another bridge IP set for system-docker, you may need to explicitly set it again depending on your upgrade path. Before re-setting it, you can confirm if it’s set.

# Check to see if docker bridge IP is set
$ sudo ros config get rancher.system_docker.bip

# If it is no longer set, re-set the setting
$ sudo ros config set rancher.system_docker.bip