Many of you have probably heard of Cisco VIRL or what is now called Cisco Modeling
Labs (CML). CML is due for release later this year and is supposed to include
support for IOS, IOS XE, NXOS and IOS XR.

Last year Cisco released the Cloud Services Router (CSR1000v) which is a virtual
router running IOS XE.

Now Cisco has released the XRv which is a virtual router running IOS XR. This is
great news for anyone that wants to learn IOS XR or to test changes and to try
different concepts on IOS XR.

The VM can be run on ESXi or KVM/QEMU which gives flexibility. The installation
guide is located here.

To find the download path on CCO, this is what it should look like.

Download path

Every VM needs 3GB of RAM to start but when it’s running it seems to only use 1GB
and has a very low CPU usage.


At this moment the download is restricted but Cisco is working on moving the restriction.
Expect this to be solved this coming week. XRv will be available in three packages.


There is restriction on 2 Mbit BW which should not be an issue for labbing purposes.

The initial release has some nasty bugs. So make sure to not use more than one CPU.


To be able to run the image the server must meet the following requirements.


The complete list of release notes are here.

After you have deployed the VM, which can be done with OVF template or by creating
a VM and using VMDK, don’t forget to create a serial interface and tie this to the
network or you will not be able to see any output from the VM. This is described
in the release notes.

Cisco also provides a free workbook with some basic concepts for IOS XR which can be
found here.

I would also recommend this also free IOS XR workbook by Jeffrey Fry. It’s a great
contribution to the community and it can be found here.

Have fun learning IOS XR!

Cisco XRv has been released
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14 thoughts on “Cisco XRv has been released

  • February 10, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the details! I would like to ask you which hypervisor is better to use for this?

    WMware workstation or ESXi?

    • February 10, 2014 at 7:05 am

      I don’t think it matters much as long as you can throw the quantity of RAM at it. Did you read the requirements on CPU? It requires an Intel Nehalem CPU with at least 2GHz.

      I like to use my laptop to lab but both CSR1000v and XRv require around 3GB RAM to start, it doesn’t scale that well for a laptop. I think what we will see happen is that it makes sense for people to either build their own ESX labs and put lots of RAM in or rent capacity from cloud and run it there.

      For a small lab it’s perfectly valid to run it locally.

  • February 10, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Hi Daniel,

    Interesting news you’re sharing. I would be more interested in the learning capabilites of CML for now, specifically to run IOS code (I still haven’t come across IOS XR). My next comments are comming from this perspective.

    So, is this the learning platform people have talked about for learning CCNP and beyond (like CCIE)? I have heard CCIE R&S v5.0 will have much more virtualization (I’m just trying to catch up with the news, I’m not on the CCIE road yet). What would you say about those whose focus to use Cisco stuff is to learn for certification? If I understood it well, this Cisco XRv promises to be the real deal for learning – I think it is intended to run on routers more powerful than those that run IOS code, according to what I read on Wikipedia -, right? I think the more people use it, the more stable the software will be and, since it is expected to run IOS too, it should benefit many students.

    I also noticed the requirements are very high for a PC (at least mine is not so new). At least 3GB of memory is a whole lot of memory (it is what I have and I can exceed 4GB because of my hardware limitations).
    Would you say it is time for students save money to invest in a strong (relevant) computer in, say, 1 or 2 years? If so, it would be interesting to seek prices around where I live, as well as expected availability in the maket where I live.

    Thanks in advance.


    • February 10, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Hi Elias,

      I haven’t had a chance to try CML yet but from what I’ve heard the main focus for it is to create models, proof of concepts and such. It can still be used as a learning tool but the learning curve is a bit steeper compared to using GNS3. I think it will get better for each version and eventually will replace GNS3 as the learning tool for Cisco certifications.

      As you have noticed, these new images require a lot of RAM. I think what we will see happen here is that people will either build their own Vmware labs or rent capacity in the cloud. This might be a bit costly to start out but one idea is to come together a few people and build it together. Hopefully you won’t use it all at the same time. So it could make sense to share it with people in different time zones in that case. Also when the VM is running it doesn’t seem to use all of the RAM assigned which allows for a bit of oversubscription.

      Good luck with your studies.

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  • February 22, 2014 at 9:33 am


    Do you know if the image is still available? I tried to find it but I couldnt


  • February 23, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Got it! Many thanks, Daniel.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Reaper, your link is asking for username and password. will it be cco account?

  • February 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    got it thanks. it was cco account

  • March 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Does XRv supports Route Processor Redundancy. I would like to simulate HA features such as SSO.


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