TFTP Servers

Trivial File Transfer Protocol or TFTP is a service used to transfer small files across a network. You can use it to back up your configurations (vital on production networks) as well as to upgrade router IOS images.

In order to get TFTP working you will need Ethernet connectivity across your network between your router and laptop or PC running TFTP server software. There are several version of TFTP server software (an application which runs the TFTP service for you) but the most popular seems to be by Solarwinds. Feel free to find one you prefer though.

Step 1 – install the TFTP software on your laptop (or PC). You will need a folder on your C drive called TFTP-Root (exactly that name). You can drop your IOS images into this folder.









Step 2 – ping between your laptop and your router. It is best to use the Ethernet interface on your router and have the IP addresses in the same subnet. You may need to turn the firewall off if you have it active on your laptop because it can block ICMP (ping) messages. Of course, ensure your internet connection is disabled if you do this.

Step 3 – start the TFTP server software and ensure (if you are using Solarwinds) that it is set to send and receive images.

Step 4 – issue the copy tftp command from your router and press enter. You will then be prompted for the IP address and image name (stored in your TFTP-Root folder).

You will need to add the word .bin to the end of the file name.








You should then see the router access the TFTP-Root folder and the file begin to transfer. It it cannot find the file then please double check that you can ping the laptop from the router, that the filename is correct and ends in .bin.






You can also copy your IOS to tftp with the copy flash: tftp: command. Your startup configuration can be done with the copy start tftp: command. Always use the default name Cisco IOS looks for when restoring it.

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