Those non-IOS Files on the Flash. Are they useful ?

When you first receive a router from a Cisco warehouse, it comes with a complete collection of IOS add ons. A common question is whether these files are used for anything ?

[sourcecode wraplines="false" gutter="false" autolinks="false"]
Directory of flash:/

1 -rw- 29261512 Oct 19 2006 10:22:46 +01:00 c3825-spservicesk9-mz.124-3f.bin
2 -rw- 1826 Oct 19 2006 10:32:46 +01:00 sdmconfig-38xx.cfg
3 -rw- 4734464 Oct 19 2006 10:33:18 +01:00 sdm.tar
4 -rw- 833024 Oct 19 2006 10:33:34 +01:00 es.tar
5 -rw- 1052160 Oct 19 2006 10:33:52 +01:00 common.tar
6 -rw- 1038 Oct 19 2006 10:34:08 +01:00 home.shtml
7 -rw- 102400 Oct 19 2006 10:34:24 +01:00 home.tar
8 -rw- 714850 Oct 19 2006 10:34:42 +01:00 256MB.sdf
9 -rw- 1684577 Oct 19 2006 10:35:04 +01:00 securedesktop-ios-
10 -rw- 398305 Oct 19 2006 10:35:26 +01:00 sslclient-win-
11 -rw- 600 Nov 13 2006 14:35:52 +00:00 vlan.dat

64016384 bytes total (25210880 bytes free)

The only file you might need is the VLAN.dat which contains the VLAN database – otherwise the other stuff is crapware that Cisco puts on the router to make you feel loved.

SDM is the Security Device Manager ( now deprecated, no one used it or liked it ), 256MB.sdf is the security definition file associated with SDM for the IDS functions. If you are using IOS IDS functions then you will need this file (and you should know what it does)

The common.tar/home.shtp/home.tar files are the web interface that you can use to administer the router (also crap, uses Java when JavaScript would be better – one day Cisco will start using HTML and HTML5 for decent web interfaces). And securedesktop / sslclient are the SSL VPN client you can download and install if you are using the Cisco IOS router as an SSL VPN concentrator.

If you are using the router as router and not as an IDS / Web server / Graphical Configuration then you can delete all of this and not worry about it.

Of course, you should make your own decisions, but if you don’t know exactly what you are doing then take a backup of all these files and then reboot to make sure it still works afterwards. Watch the boot loader screens on the serial console for error messages.

About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Samuel Clements

    SDM has been replaced by the more lovable Cisco Config Professional:

  • Maks_23

    thanks for the article but what about this files ?

    • Greg Ferro

      That’s the NAC client for Windows – you can configure the SSL to check for the NAC client and optionally enable the download and install or upgrade to the remote desktop.

      Sounds good ? Not really, it rarely works quite the way you would expect and takes a lot of lab time to integrate all the parts. NAC is not a good technology.

  • Tom Hill

    If you are studying for the CCNA Security exam, you will need to keep SDM. It is testable material.

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