Cisco 7940/7960 SIP Firmware

October 2008 UPDATE: It seems that Cisco has re-arranged things on their website again and I can no longer find a free SIP image. If I find them on the Cisco site again I’ll post updated information, until then Google is your friend and Cisco SIP images are easier to find floating around the Internet than they were when this was originally written.

When I first started using Cisco 7960 phones with the open source Asterisk PBX I had to jump through a lot of hoops like getting SMARTNet contracts and CCO access to download SIP firmware (to replace the SCCP protocol based one) I could use on the phone. Since that time things have gotten much easier (much being a relative term). If you have a phone with very old SCCP or SIP firmware you may still need CCO access to download older SIP firmware and upgrade the firmware loader but if your phone has newer SCCP, MGCP or SIP firmware you can now download the SIP v8.2 firmware (without Cisco CallManager support) for free from the Cisco website. The two other catches are that the firmware isn’t quite the newest (at writing the newest is v8.6) and that the links are quite difficult to find on the Cisco site.

Lucky for you I’ve located this page on the Cisco website which allows you to download v8.2 and the relase notes that go along with it for free. Of course, like most Cisco products, the 7960s are not designed for consumer use but to be managed in large numbers by trained IT staff. I think this is one reason that Cisco has been slow to make firmware available for free. If you look on various message boards and websites you’ll see a lot of people who are unsuccessful in getting these phones to work. I hate to say it but most of the time this is because they have no idea what they’re doing. The phones themselves are not faulty and there are specific reasons why things like TFTP configurations are recommended (easy central management in a large company) and there is poor configuration through the phone itself and no web configuration interface (saves image space). On the other hand, if you take the time to learn “the Cisco way” you’ll find you have an excellnt phone that sounds and operates remarkably better than the consumer based options.


  1. Thanks Ben. Awesome info.

  2. Link looks right, but it takes you to a link that requires a login and password – so no joy on the Firmware.

  3. Ignore previous comment – I must be too tired to do this…

  4. Hmmm, now they say to use anonymous and your email address but that fails. I guess Cisco isn’t so keen on giving anything away for free

  5. That link now takes you to a list of files, however there is only 1 file & its a pdf, not the zip i hoped for.

    I am trying to get the latest(ish) SIP firmware for a 7960, according to its 8.11, but after creating an account, the file is still padlocked :/

    Can anyone post a link to the 7960 SIP firmware please? This phone is useless without it, work gave it to me & i want to use it at home via my vsp. I also have a siemens gigaset C470IP wireless voip handset at the moment & it works great.