I am a bit confused about the CISCO IOS operating system. My final year research project is based on solving some security vulnerabilities that i dug up that exists in the CISCO IOS, thus i need to find a CISCO router to implement my solution.

This is a very non technical question, but will any of you experts would be willing to help me to find a CISCO product that uses the CISCO IOS or does every product from CISCO use the CISCO IOS?

I tried searching in many ways but could find any :(

Thank you

  • 1
    See gns3.net that runs actual IOS code in a hardware simulator. Nov 9, 2013 at 20:49
  • @generalnetworkerror thank you very much for that information :) if you please, could you tell me if there is an opensource version of firmware that i could use for devices (CISCO 800 series) that uses CISCO IOS operating system? like dd-wrt for standard adsl CISCO E2500/ E4200 routers? Nov 9, 2013 at 21:00
  • 1
    I'm not familiar with opensource for Cisco h/w. Perhaps @Mike Pennington could answer this. Nov 10, 2013 at 8:39
  • @generalnetworkerror oh thank you very much for the info :) Nov 10, 2013 at 8:44
  • Opensource Cisco... NO. That hasn't even been attempted since the days of the 2500 (which used a motorola 68000 cpu with no special ASICs) Those platforms have been dead (probably) longer than you've been alive.
    – Ricky
    Nov 10, 2013 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


Cisco IOS is the standard operating system from Cisco. It runs on 800/1800/1900/2800/2900/3800/3900/7600 routers. It also runs on Catalyst 2960/3560/3750/4500/6500.

Some newer platforms such as Catalyst 3650 and 3850 run IOS XE which is IOS running as a daemon on a Linux kernel.

Then you have NXOS which runs on the Nexus platform.

IOS XR runs on the SP platforms such as ASR9k.

  • thank you very much for the reply :) much appreciated :) how about the CISCO VPN routers? do they run CISCO IOS? RV042/ RV082? Nov 9, 2013 at 16:18
  • or the E1000/2000/4000 router series? Nov 9, 2013 at 16:42
  • 1
    Those do not run IOS. Your best bet would be to use eBay to buy a router that supports the IOS version you wish to test.
    – coxley
    Nov 9, 2013 at 17:34
  • @codey very much appreciate your reply! thanks for the tip :) Nov 9, 2013 at 17:51

I tried searching in many ways but could find any


Cisco Feature Navigator -> Research Software

Select Software Type: "IOS" Select your desired Major Release, and Release. The "Platform" drop down will then include every platform that is designed to run that release.

If you have a specific platform in mind, select "platform" under "search by". Then select your platform from the drop down.

  • 1
    I am kinda new to this whole thing and still in the initial phase of the research :) much appreciate you help on this :) Nov 11, 2013 at 7:08
  • and sorry for the miss communication..much appreciate ur help :) Nov 11, 2013 at 12:08

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