How do I find the correct (.bin?) file on the Cisco website?

I searched for "C3500XL" (from the show version output as shown below) and was presented with Cisco Search Results ... but the links don't actually lead to downloads; they lead me through a maze of product selection menu/web pages.

I know how to access the device via serial console and how to configure TFTP services on my laptop. I can ping the switch from my laptop and the laptop from my switch (using using a cross-over ethernet patch; there are no other switches between the two).

Here's what I know:

sw01>show version
Cisco Internetwork Operating System Software 
IOS (tm) C3500XL Software (C3500XL-C3H2S-M), Version 12.0(5)WC3b, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Copyright (c) 1986-2002 by cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Fri 15-Feb-02 10:51 by antonino
Image text-base: 0x00003000, data-base: 0x00337600

ROM: Bootstrap program is C3500XL boot loader

Once I am able to download the correct file (c3500xl-c3h2s-mz.120-5.WC10.bin according to the search results?) and put it in /private/tftpboot then what commands do I issue from the IOS xxx> prompt to fetch and install the .bin file?

Also how do I check the provenance of the file? Do they publish SHA-256 checksums? Do they GPG sign them? Where do I get their GPG public key?

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1 Answer 1


I doubt that you'll find any downloads for Catalyst 3500XL. They are out of support for many (12) years now.

Downloads for supported devices can be found here. Note: You'll need a Cisco account and most likely a support contract.

Installing an update can be done via (t)ftp.

copy tftp flash

For ftp you have to configure ftp user and ftp password

ip ftp username foo
ip ftp password secret

and then type

copy ftp flash

Make sure you have enough free space (type dir). It might be necessary to delete some files in order to get enough free space. This might leave you with no IOS at all so be careful when doing this. You can recover from this by copying an Image via xmodem but that no fun.

Last time I checked Cisco was only offering MD5 checksums.

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