I am trying to configure 802.1X authentication on a Cisco switch 2960 in Cisco Packet Tracer software.

Here I found the offical guide: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/lan/catalyst2960/software/release/12-2_40_se/configuration/guide/scg/sw8021x.pdf

On page 23, there's a step-by-step commandline example to configure 802.1X configure terminal aaa new-model aaa authentication dot1x {default} method1 dot1x system-auth-control ...

I dragged out a 2960 switch in Cisco Packet Tracer to the playground, run commands in CLI tab: enable configure terminal When I try to run "aaa", there is no such command. It's a little bit confusing, because my IOS version is 12.2, and the offical pdf guide is based on 12.2 too.

So I upgrade my IOS version to 15.0, then the command "aaa" appeared, cool!

I type: aaa new-model, everything looks ok.

Then I type aaa authentication dot1x {default} method1, confused again, aaa authentication has no dot1x subcommand. And I try next command dot1x system-auth-control, unexpectedly, "dot1x" no such command.

I googled this problem for serveral hours, no result. Please help.


2 Answers 2


Packet tracer does not use real IOS but emulate devices with an IOS-like environment.

This software is really made by Cisco for entree-level Cisco courses, so it includes what is relevant to those courses.

Higher level courses are designed to be taught on real hardware with real IOS or on Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL), not with Packet Tracer.

If you want to run real IOS software you need to use either VIRL or GNS3.

  • I believe it goes against IOS licences to run it in a virtualization system other than VIRL (e.g. GNS3).
    – Eusebius
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 21:53

This is older I understand, but in our class today we were able to configure AAA by upgrading the 2960 image to 15.0(2)SE4 from a server file image. Connect a server to the switch, assign an IP and enable TFTP on the server. Back on the switch, copy the new image c2960-lanbasek9-mz.150-2.SE4.bin to flash, set it as the boot image, then reload.

Switch#copy tftp: flash: Address or name of remote host [IP you assigned]? Source filename []? c2960-lanbasek9-mz.150-2.SE4.bin Destination filename [c2960-lanbasek9-mz.150-2.SE4.bin]?

switch(config)#boot system flash:/c2960-lanbasek9-mz.150-2.SE4.bin switch(config)#end switch#reload

  • Forgot to mention this is for Packet Tracer 7.3.1
    – Larry C
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 16:09

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