IOS Naming Convention Explained!!!

Understanding the IOS File Name Convention 
Before planning an upgrade or install of an IOS file, you will need

to understand the meaning of the name of each IOS file.  The IOS file name is usually similar to this form:

1. The xxxx is the platform. For example:

c1005 – For 1005 platform

c1600 – For 1600 platform

c1700 – For 1700, 1720, and 1750 platforms

c2500 – For 25xx, 3xxx, 5100, and AO (11.2 and later only) platforms

c2600 – For 2600 platform

c2800 – For Catalyst 2800 platform

c2900 – For 2910 and 2950 platforms

c3620 – For 3620 platform

c3640 – For 3640 platform

c4000 – For 4000 platform (11.2 and later only)

c4500 – For 4500 and 4700 platforms

 2. The yyy is the feature set. For example,

b – For Apple talk support

c – For CommServer lite (CiscoPro)

g – For ISDN subset (SNMP, IP, Bridging, ISDN, PPP, IPX, and AppleTalk)

i  – For IP sebset (SNMP, IP, Bridging, WAN, Remote Node, and Terminal Services)

n  – For IPX support

q  – For asynchronous support

t – For Telco return (12.0)

y – For reduced IP (SNMP, IP RIP/IGRP/EIGRP, Bridging, ISDN, and PPP)

(c1003 or c1004)

z – For managed modems

40 – For 40 bit encryption

50 – For 50 bit encryption

 3. The ww is for the format (where the IOS file runs in the router)

f – For flash

m – For RAM

r – For ROM

l – For the image will be relocated at run time

The file might also be compressed. The following letters denote the compression type,

z  – For zip compression

x – For mzip compression

w  – For “STAC” compression

 aaa-bb represent the version of the IOS. It is usually read like this

“Version aa.a(bb)”. The last part of the IOS file name might contain

letters like T (new feature release identifier), S (individual

release number), or XR (modular packages).




3 Responses to “IOS Naming Convention Explained!!!”

  1. tx BULLY 4U Says:

    Man I don’t know where to start, but say I love your site and it seems you busted your ass. You have motivated me and given me a lot of resources.

    please don’t stop big daddy

  2. tx Bully 4u,
    I did bust my ass..and you can too! Most of the stuff on here I used to study for the also need to get a good question /answer set some where. I used Bryants Material which is good, but try to find a variety of questions and answers along withyour study..I pretty much tell it like it is…Subnetting and NAT/ACLs/frame-relay/eigrp/rip/vtp/stp are key components to CCNA level exam and job requirements..I have lots of resources here that are very good. Enjoy! 😉 but don’t forget to have fun playing!

  3. Nick
    you can teach old dogs new tricks; surely if I 42 can finish my BS degree in college CS major holy crap! and work on my CCNP
    you can too my friend; you are going to shit once you are done and think wow that wasnt really that bad; it looks like a lot of stuff and it is but once you are done you will think wow compare to ccnp it ant shit! ahhaha no worries man
    check out chris bryant site I studied and will study under him; he is fantastic!

    Thanks for this info. Just what I needed and saved me digging though the official Cisco document (for today anyway…). I’ve made a rather late start on my CCNA, trying to prove to myself that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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