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Feb 17 / Greg

Flash A Cisco 7960 To SIP

I have to say it was a painful process…it took me about an hour of tweaking…mostly my own fault…hehe. Most of you guys have seen a Cisco phone at some point. If you’ve ever watched a show on Fox, you most likely have seen one…hehe They make great phones, and not just for CallManager. You can flash these guys from skinny to SIP. The process isn’t that bad once you get the steps down. Here’s what I did.

You will first need two things:

  • SIP Firmware(Please don’t email me asking for the files, because I can’t help you.)
  • TFTP Server
  • DHCP Server *optional*
  • *Firmware

    When choosing your firmware version, reference this matrix. Certain versions of SCCP(skinny) have to be flashed to certain versions of SIP and vice versa. Once you get to the requisite version of SIP or skinny, you can then upgrade as you like.

    When you go to download your firmware, the zip will be named something like You want to make sure that the package is listed as for 3rd party SIP call control environment. Extract these to a folder somewhere.

    *TFTP Server

    I used tftpd32. This is a great windows prog that will run a DHCP server, TFTP server, syslog server. Using this, set the files folder to that of the firmware folder we just extracted.

    *DHCP Server

    This is optional because you can simply set all of this up statically on the phone. I chose to use it. In the DHCP server section of tftpd32, fill out the normal information and add option 66 as the IP of your TFTP server.

    *Create Config Files

    Grab the MAC address off of the back of you phone and create a file by combining SEP *phones mac* .cnf.xml. The contents should resemble the info below:

    <loadInformation model="IP Phone 7960">P0S3-8-12-00</loadInformation>

    This guy will need to be tailored to whatever the firmware matrix page says. The loadInformationX section needs to correspond to your version of SIP. X = version number.

            <member priority="0">
      <loadInformation8 model="IP Phone 7960">P0S3-8-12-00</loadInformation8>

    *Loading Image

    You will want to watch the log tab on the TFTP server to see which files the phone is requesting. It appears that it requests the file names differently depending on what version it is currently running.

    Once you get it all rocking and rolling, you can follow this guide to setup your Asterisk/trixbox. It also contains basic configs for the phones.


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    1. steve / Feb 23 2010

      But, can you go back the other way, SIP to skinny? I’m thinking no, only because we bashed our heads against the wall for a week trying to do it, but then we are only mortals.

    2. Greg / Feb 24 2010

      Indeed you can. You need to use the version matrix to flash to the correct skinny image. It is done much the same way, though. If I ever have the need to revert to skinny, I’ll put up the how to 😛

    3. Arthur S / May 24 2013

      Concise instructions that work. Got the phone working in SIP mode. Finally! Thanks.

    4. WJCarpenter / Dec 1 2015

      I found your notes helpful; thanks!

      It’s probably some dumb little point release difference or something, but I found that the phone got confused looking for configuration files if I didn’t include DHCP option 150 with the TFTP server IP address. Just using DHCP option 66 with either the name or the IP address (as a string) was not good enough. This might only matter if your TFTP server is different from your DHCP server. Mine is. The phone used the IP address of the DHCP server and was just confused until I added option 150.

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