Put Image Background to IP Phone

Unanswered Question
Jul 22nd, 2008

Dear All,

I tried to put the image to Phone. However it is still failed eventhough I have create the list.img with image and put the file to TFTP:/ at the UC6.0

I have refer the step details from the cisco documentation. However it is still failed.

Do it is mandatory to put the list.xml to Desktop directory in tftp dir at 6.0

How to create that directory at UC6. There is no command to create a directory at U.C. 6.0

Thx for the input.



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Jaime Valencia Tue, 07/22/2008 - 13:25

you do not mention what phone model you're trying to do this so, go to CCO and search something like

7970g administration guide

change the model accordingly and click on the guide for 6.X, then look this topic on the doc:

Customizing the Cisco Unified IP Phone

in there you will see the custom background instructions, the image size is different for each model so make sure to follow the EXACT size

List.xml should not be on root folder

For 7970G

The List.xml file defines an XML object that contains a list of background images. The List.xml file is stored in the following subdirectory on the TFTP server:




if this helps, please rate

demoschairos Wed, 07/23/2008 - 02:11


The phone type is 7971 and CIPC (emulate 7970). I still wonder how to create the /desktops/320x212x12 folder at the UC6.0.

I have navigate to OS administration but there is no such option to create that folder

egrinkin1 Wed, 07/23/2008 - 04:54

Good morning.

You don't have to create the folder. That's the directory you load the files to.

The images and the list.xml have to be in the same folder. You will need to restart TFTP Services for the images and file to work with the phones.

egrinkin1 Wed, 07/23/2008 - 05:10


It must be named List.xml as it is case sensitive.

That messed me up the first time.

Good luck!

Jaime Valencia Wed, 07/23/2008 - 05:58

you DO NEED to create the folder, on the OS admin under the TFTP when you upload files you just need to type in the folder



if this helps, please rate

egrinkin1 Wed, 07/23/2008 - 06:00

Sorry for the miscommunication.

You need to put in the directory string when you load the files in OS admin, TFTP, upload files therefore, creating the folder.

I meant it's not like pre CUCM 5 when you'd be able to create the folder on the PC.

demoschairos Wed, 07/23/2008 - 09:09

Hi there, the folder is finally created succesfully. However image still can't load into my CIPC (7970).

This is already been done.

The folder is : /Desktops/320x216x16

The List.xml is created with the script below



And then I created 2 .PNG file , one is the original size (320x212) and the other one 25% from the original size

And also I have already restarted the TFTP services and reset the CIPC. The message selections unavailable still appearad

Any other clue ?

Thx in advance

demoschairos Wed, 07/23/2008 - 09:50

Hi all,

I find some tips from the Cisco Documentation


If you are manually creating the directory structure and the List.xml file, you must ensure that the

directories and files can be accessed by the user\CCMService, which is used by the TFTP service."

Anyway how to cross check that after the folder is already created


MARTIN STREULE Fri, 07/25/2008 - 03:45


I did some research on the different phonetypes and here is everything you need in one place. (I hope)

"How to create a background image for IP Phones with CUCM 5.x/CUCM6.0"

This is an example. Please use the correct settings for the phone you use. The settings are mentioned below.

- Create a file "List.xml" (this one is not yet on a freshly installed CCM) with the following format:



The name of the file is case-sensitive and it starts with a big L!

There can be up to 50 entries in a List file. The List.xml has to be done per phonetype...

- Create backgroung image files

"tn-xxxx.png" is the thumbnail image - must be 80 pixels (width) X 49 pixels (height).

"xxxx.png" is the "real" pic, must be 320 pixels (width) X 196 pixels (height).

You can create this files using the freeware tool "ImRe".

- Upload the file "List.xml" to the tftp folder, directory "Desktops/320x196x4" *

- Upload the files tn-xxxx.png and xxxx.png to the folder "Desktops/320x196x4". *

* look up the values below!

- Restart tftp service

- restart phone

- enjoy

(You can sniff on the network to see what directory a certain phonetype is looking for).

Here are the phonetypes with the coordinates (size, directory in CUCM)..

7941 / 7961

Full size image- 320 pixels (width) X 196 pixels (height).

Thumbnail image- 80 pixels (width) X 49 pixels (height).

Directory "Desktops/320x196x4"

7942 / 7962

Full size image-320 pixels (width) X 196 pixels (height).

Thumbnail image-80 pixels (width) X 49 pixels (height).

Directory "/Desktops/320x196x4"

7945 / 7965

Full size image-320 pixels (width) X 212 pixels (height).

Thumbnail image-80 pixels (width) X 53 pixels (height).

Directory "/Desktops/320x212x16"

7970 / 7971

Full size image-320 pixels (width) X 212 pixels (height).

Thumbnail image-80 pixels (width) X 53 pixels (height).

Directory "Desktops/320x212x12"


Full size image-320 pixels (width) X 216 pixels (height).

Thumbnail image-80 pixels (width) X 53 pixels (height).

Directory "/Desktops/320x216x16"

If a background image just does not want to show up, it's a good idea to browse to the phone web site and check the Console Log for failures (xml parsing, ...)



demoschairos Fri, 07/25/2008 - 14:22

Hi All,

Thx to all your response. Now it is already success to upload the PIC to the Phone.

fgasimzade Thu, 01/29/2009 - 04:27

Thank you, it was extremely helpful!

Another question - is the any chance to make the new background image to be the default image?

Thank you

arrrghhh3 Tue, 08/25/2009 - 09:02

This is an excellent guide - the one problem I'm having is "forcing" the image - I can see the image when I go thru user prefs, but we don't want users to have to select the BG image... In fact, we'd probably prefer they can't change that at all and we just force the BG down onto the phones... makes sense for an enterprise, is this feature not available? I can't figure it out, any help is much appreciated, thanks!

vpreenja Sat, 07/26/2008 - 12:50

Hi Suryanto,

You do not need to create the directory. Just type in "/Desktops/320x212x12 " in directory option while uploading the list.xml file and images on the TFTP server.

Tod Larson Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:02

Can you put certain images on some phones and certain images on other phones?

Mainly I want to be able to put images on my phone so I can test how they look before pushing them out to everybody.

Thank you.

arrrghhh3 Fri, 01/22/2010 - 08:15

Phone designer is nice, but it's really only for one phone.

You can certainly have more than one image available to the IP phones, but users have to set the backgrounds by hand.

I used autohotkey and a script that hammers thru all the IPs in the subnet for our phones, just did it off-hours to push the image to the phones.  Mine was easy, one image... but autohotkey can be tailored to any setup.  It wasn't easy, took a lot of trial-and-error, and I had to use some GNU tools in windows, but I got it working and it's pretty consistent.  Just a PITA, I'm hoping that with v8 Cisco will have a method to administer things like ring tones and background images.

guachos2003 Wed, 07/14/2010 - 08:10

Hello, can you explain detailed how to execute the autohotkey script? where is the script is executed? how can you hammer a range of phones?

arrrghhh3 Wed, 07/14/2010 - 08:41

Please Google AutoHotKey... AutoHotKey is a scripting language, I wrote the software myself.  The script is executed on my PC...  I hammer a range of phones via the script.  I specify an IP range, and the script increments the IP and tries the set of commands on every single IP within the range I specify.

James Matthews Thu, 07/19/2012 - 02:21

I appreciate this post was a while ago, however, I'm trying to do exactly the same thing but I'm getting stuck.

If I use wget (for windows), I can get the script to change the background on my phone no problem. The part I don't get is how you apply this to multiple (5000+) users without manipulating the script to account for every un/password?

I'm also a bit lost  with AutoHotKey and how to code the IP ranges?

Any help would be much appreciated!

Aaron Harrison Thu, 07/19/2012 - 02:41

Hi James

Re: usernames and passwords, you can create a user on CUCM and then associate that to all the phones on the system. Then you just need one username/password.

I've not used AutoHotKey but the principles would be the same in any script I guess - you need to get a list of IPs from somewonder and loop through them. Different phones might need different format images etc as well.

Or take the lazy route :http://www.ipcommute.co.uk/cisco-ucm/5-phone-customiser-for-cisco-ucm-evaluation.html



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