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New Member

Downloading IOS for home use without purchasing?

Is it legal to download IOS and use it in a home lab environment without purchasing the upgrade or having smartnet? For example I purchased a few used 2500s and they are still running 11.1.

I'm curious as I want to use 12.x in my home lab. I definately want to abide by fair use rights and Cisco's EULA.

Thank you.


  • Other Network Infrastructure Subjects

Re: Downloading IOS for home use without purchasing?

To download IOS you ll need a CCO login, obviously, which has enough privileges to download software from the Software center. A guest level access would not help. You ll need to add a contract number with Cisco.

New Member

Re: Downloading IOS for home use without purchasing?

Thanks for the response.

Given that I run a medium sized enterprize network at work I have no problem downloading any versions of IOS (as long as its the same feature set we're licenesed for, by device.) At work I'm VERY strict on IOS licensing and have smartnet on over 200 devices. So upgrading to a newer version, with the same feature set, is no problem.

But that's work.

This is for a home lab. While I certainly have the ability to download IOS and put it on a home network device...that device is most certainly not under maintenance/smartnet. They were purchased by me for my CCIE study and were licensed for IP only - 11.1. Remeber when Cisco put the "licensed for enterprise" or "licencsed for desktop" on the 2500s?

Reading the EULA and following common sense it seems I cannot upgrade IOS on these 2500s without purchasing the upgrade (keeping IP only feature set of course.)

Thanks again for any guidence.


New Member

Re: Downloading IOS for home use without purchasing?

What I did for my SOHO91 at home is to buy the lowest level of SmartNet that entitled me to software upgrades. In the end, I just went for 8x5xNBD as its really quite cheap for a SOHO.

I'm also using non-Cisco memory (cleaning out your office unearths some very old SIMMs!) in my lab to save spending $$$.