Cisco IOU CCIE v4 Rack LiveCD v2.0 Installation on Qemu Image

IOU CDlive is absolutely perfect. There is a complete CCIE R&S v4 topology presented inside a single bootable CD using  Cisco IOS-On-UNIX (IOU) images. Thanks to low CPU requirement, old computers can use this CD without necessity of buying expensive hardware. In other words, your way to CCIE certification can be done with extremely low budget.

Although the author of the CD claims that configuration of routers presented on CD should be saved, they are many users on the web complaining about this behavior. Even there is a presence of the NVRAM file for each of the routers, these NVRAM files keep changes only if LiveCD is not restarted.  It is logical because the live CD containing CDlinux  is loaded to the RAM thus all the changes are done in RAM of PC. As we know information stored in RAM is not kept when  power is removed.

I decided to avoid this "hostile" behavior and I installed live CD with CDlinux containing Cisco IOU images to the Qemu image.  In this case, changes in configuration file in NVRAM are  kept  after restart of the Qemu image but don't forget to call  copy running-config startup-config command on router. There is only one disadvantage of it - you cannot boot your physical PC with the Qemu image because it a considered as a virtual machine and not  Live CD. It could not be a big issue because many users use either VMware or Qemu  to run Cisco IOU CCIE LiveCD. Personally, I rather prefer possibility to save configuration to mobility feature.

I am not supposed to share any Qemu image but following few steps are really easy to follow in process of  installation Live CD to Qemu image.

 IOU Live CD Installation on the Qemu image

1) Download LiveCD (check if new version exists)

2) Create qemu image disk

/usr/local/bin/qemu-img create -f qcow2 /home/brezular/iou-image.img 100M

3) Run liveCD

sudo /usr/local/bin/qemu -m 1G -boot d -hda /home/brezular/iou-image.img -cdrom ./cisco-iou-ccie-v4-ts-rack-livecd-v2.0.iso -localtime -net nic,vlan=1,macaddr=00:aa:00:60:00:01,model=e1000 -net tap,vlan=1,ifname=tap0,script=no --enable-kvm

4) Create a new bootable primary Linux partition

fdisk /dev/sda

#Enter "n" to create partition

#Enter "p" to choose primary partition

#Enter "1" for partition number

#Press "ENTER"  for the first cylinder

#Enter "ENTER" for the last cylinder

#Enter "a" to make new created partition bootable

#Enter "1" to select new created partion to make it bootable

#Enter "w" to write changes

5) Format partition - create ext4 file system on /dev/sda1

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1

6) Add /dev/sda1 to /etc/fstab

vi /etc/fstab
/dev/sda1  /mnt/sda1 ext4  users,exec  0 0

7) Create mount point /mnt/sda1 and mount partitions in /etc/fstab

mkdir /mnt/sda1/
mount -av

8) Copy content of installation media to /mnt/sda1/

cp -rv /media/CDLINUX/* /mnt/sda1/

9) Create /boot/grub directory and copy grub files from CD to the directory

mkdir -p /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/
cp -rv /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/* /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/

10) Edit grub configuration file

Edit content of file menu.lst

- change all the row with appearance of (cd) to (hd0,0)
- change timeout parameter from 20 to 5

vi /mnt/sda1/CDlinux/boot/menu.lst

11) Run grub


grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> quit

12) Shutdown Qemu image

qemu /home/brezular/iou-image.img -m 1G --enable-kvm

13) Start either TS1 or TS2 instance and telnet to the router


telnet 2010



13 thoughts on “Cisco IOU CCIE v4 Rack LiveCD v2.0 Installation on Qemu Image

  1. Hello..

    Thanks for sharing..nice info
    but, i've tried its just moving the media from CD to HD
    still i can't saved any change and adds
    i guest maybe because its still load the compression module at CDlinux..

    • Hi,
      I've tried to reproduce it with my Qemu image but configuration is always saved. Did you issue copy run start command on router?

  2. i was wondering if you can help creating an ISO image for CCIE security LAB " INE topology ", the ASA firewall can be emulated, now using L2IOU cisco switches can be emulated also.
    can u help !!!

  3. Some issue on step #10

    #10/ Edit grub configuration file
    Edit content of file menu.lst

    - change all the row with appearance of (cd) to (hd0,0)
    - change timeout parameter from 20 to 5

    vi /mnt/sda1/CDlinux/boot/menu.lst

    in my installation i need to do the following steps:
    cp /mnt/sda1/CDlinux/boot/menu.lst /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/menu.lst
    vi /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/menu.lst
    grub install as reported on step #11

  4. I tried as you suggested but I couldn't boot Qemu image. It seems that only /mnt/sda1/CDlinux/boot/menu.lst is considered as a valid grub config file.

  5. Hi!

    I want to configure frame-relay switch in IOU. How can I do that? Could you please help me?



  6. Does anyone know if there is any way to display the VLAN configuration when you are using a IOU device as a switch?

  7. Hi , Thanks for good tutorial bt need help cant able to do step 2
    error comes no such directory , can you tell me is i have to keep live cd in the respective qemu folder

  8. just boot the livecd, make your changes, save the configs, then copy them off to another server via scp. the next boot, before starting the routers, copy the configs back to the proper directories on the livecd via scp, start the routers, and away you go.

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