How to Install Cisco SDM (Security Device Manager)

Cisco SDM (Security Device Manager) makes it simple to care for Cisco Routers through a graphical user interface. This program, created by Cisco, works on the web and is strong. You can install Cisco SDM on a physical computer or a virtual machine. With this program, you can set up the safety stuff for devices in your network using ACL (Access Control List). Also, you can make special networks like VPNs and improve your network.

You can also access the user interface using a web browser and start a step-by-step guide to set things up. Furthermore, this program for managing routers gives you a cool Cisco AutoSecure feature.

How to Install Cisco SDM (Security Device Manager)

How to Install Cisco SDM to Router using GNS3

You typically use CLI (Command Prompt) when configuring a Cisco Router. However, you need to become more familiar with Cisco commands. In that case, you can easily configure your device using the SDM application developed to manage the Router through a web browser.

There are two versions available to install Cisco SDM. These;

  1. Express Package

The Express Pack package has limited features that allow you to perform more basic operations.

  1. Full Package

The Full Packet allows you to configure primary and advanced settings for the Cisco Router. For example, you can configure LAN and WAN connections, enable VPN, and configure the Firewall.

In short, you can enable or configure many features using this software. You can use the CLI command prompt when your software is limited.

When you purchase a new router, you can see the SDM Setup CD/DVD among the equipment on the side. Also, on different Cisco models, this software comes preloaded. Installation requires Java Runtime versions 1.5 or 1.6. The software does not work correctly in current Java versions.

What Do They Use SDM For?

Cisco SDM (Security Device Manager) is a type of software for Cisco Routers. People who work with computer networks, such as network administrators and IT professionals, use it.

SDM gives administrators an easy web interface to set up and control Cisco Routers. So, it makes configuring connections for local and wide-area networks simpler, setting up VPNs, and adjusting the Firewall to make things more secure.

People who care for the network use SDM, which stands for Security Device Manager. This tool helps them handle routers on the web better. It makes the setup more accessible, especially for beginners. Whether you’re just starting or know a lot about it, you can easily adjust many things using its simple interface.

Benefits of Using SDM

Cisco’s SDM software helps you do things without remembering complex commands. So, you can easily set up Cisco network devices using pictures and buttons instead of memorizing complex command lines.

It also helps you set up things from far away. This is handy for caring for routers in places that are not nearby. You can set up your device without actually going to it. It saves you time when you’re doing basic setup stuff.

Cisco SDM also adds a safety layer for managing things securely. It lets you give special permissions and approvals for different users to set up something. This helps stop people who shouldn’t be there from getting in and makes the network more secure.

In short, you can experience configuring routers using this excellent software with GNS3. In this case, you can make and modify most settings on the Router without using commands.

Required Programs

First, download the Cisco SDM V2.5, Java, and Router IOS c3725 image from the following buttons.

SDM V2.5 Software
Java JRE-6u17 Software
c3725 Router

How to Install the Cisco SDM Management Software on a Router in GNS3

You need to add one Router to GNS3 for installation. Then, you must insert a Flash Disk and format the disk with the erase command before running the Router.

Follow the steps below to install and configure Cisco SDM on the Cisco Router.

Step 1

After opening GNS3, create a new project for SDM.

Creating a New Project in GNS3

Step 2

After adding the c3725 IOS image you downloaded from the above button, drag and drop the Router into the workspace.

Adding a Cisco Router to the Workspace

Step 3

Add one Switch and Host to the GNS3 workspace and wire the devices. Then, configure the adapter setting of the VMware virtual machine and Host1 as the VMnet you created on the Virtual Network Editor.

Adding a Cisco Switch to the Workspace

Step 4

After right-clicking on the Router, click Configuration.

Configuring the Router in GNS3

Step 5

Click Memories and Disks to add a Flash disk to the Router.

Adding a Flash Disk to the Router

Step 6

Click on PCMCIA disk0 and configure the disk size.

PCMCIA disk0:

Step 7

After configuring the size of the Flash Disk, click the OK button to save your settings.

PCMCIA disk0: 28MB

Step 8

Start the Router, create a new user, and enable the HTTP or HTTP protocols by following the commands at the CLI prompt.

R1# conf t
R1(config)# interface FastEthernet 0/0
R1(config-if)# ip address
R1(config-if)# no shutdown
R1(config)# ip http server
R1(config)# ip http secure-server
R1(config)# ip http authentication local
R1(config)# line vty 0 4
R1(config-line)# login local
R1(config-line)# transport input telnet ssh
R1(config-line)# exit
R1(config)# username sysnettechsolutions privilege 15 password 123456
R1(config)# end
R1# wr

Enable HTTP/HTTPS on the Router

How to Copy and Set Up the SDM Software to Router

Step 1

After executing the commands, save the settings you made the wr command and check the settings with show running-config.

R1# show running-config

Step 2

The following image shows the creation of a certificate for the HTTPS protocol.

R1# show running-config

Step 3

Ensure that you enable the HTTP protocol for administration via the web browser.

ip http server

Step 4

Now open your host computer’s VMware virtual adapter settings and configure the TCP/IP settings.

Configuring the Host Computer's TCP/IP Settings

Step 5

Likewise, change the TCP/IP settings on your VMware virtual machine as follows, and in addition, select the VMnet you created from the Custom network option.

Configure the IP block of VMnet3 that you created on Virtual Network Editor as

Configure TCP/IP Settings for a Virtual Machine

Step 6

Copy the Java JRE and SDM setup files you downloaded to your computer and the virtual machine.

JAVA Installation in Virtual Machine

Step 7

Run the Java JRE setup file as an administrator.

Run as an Administrator

Step 8

After installing Java JRE, open the settings in the control panel.


Step 9

After opening the Java Control Panel, enter in the Runtime Parameter section of the Java / User tab and click OK.


Step 10

Execute the show file system command on the Router and check the size of Flash. As you can see in the image below, flash is not ready now.

erase flash:

Step 11

If you do not format the Flash Disk, you will get a no disk space error when installing Cisco SDM. Therefore, run the erase flash command in privileged mode.

Formatting the Router's Flash Disk

Step 12

Check the status of the Flash Disk again with the command show file system.

show file system

Step 13

Now, run the SDM setup file on your virtual machine or computer.

Starting Installation

Step 14

Click Next in the Installation Wizard window.

Installation Wizard

Step 15

Select I accept the license deal and then click Next.

Accepting the License Agreement

Step 16

The installation options window asks where to install the Cisco SDM program. Select the Cisco Router option and click Next.

Choosing the Cisco Router Option

Step 17

In the Router Authentication window, type the FastEthernet 0/0 IP address of the Router, the user name and password you created, and click Next.

Entering Router Hostname and User Information

Step 18

Wait while Setup connects to the Cisco Router.

Connecting to Router

Step 19

Continue with the Typical option in the Finish Installation Options window.

Typical Installation

Step 20

In the Components window, select both options as follows and click Next.

Device Manager

Step 21

In the window that says Ready to Install the Program, click on Install.

Starting the Program Installation

Step 22

Just wait as the Cisco SDM wizard gets everything ready for the installation.

Installing the Software

Step 23

Wait for the copying of SDM to the Router.

Copying Required Files

Step 24

When you complete the steps to install Cisco SDM, select Launch and click Finish.

Starting Cisco SDM

Step 25

When the Internet Explorer web browser opens when you click Finish, check Don’t use recommended settings and click OK.

Not Using the Recommended Settings of the Web Browser

Step 26

Click the Enable button at the bottom of the browser to confirm the operation of the Plug-in.

Internet Explorer Certificate Error

Step 27

Continue by clicking the Continue to this website option.

Internet Explorer - Continue to this Website

Step 28

Enter the username and password you created to connect to the Cisco Router Security Device Manager on this screen.

Entering the Router's User Name and Password

Step 29

Click OK again to log in.

Logging in to the Router

Step 30

When a browser compatibility error such as the following appears, click OK directly and go to the next step.

Browser Compatibility Error

Step 31

From the browser developer options, set the browser compatibility mode to version 7. If you encounter a Popup Blocker error, go to the next step.

Popop Blocker Alert

Step 32

Click on the Privacy tab in Internet Explorer and deactivate it if the Turn on Popup Blocker option is enabled.

Disabling the Popop Blocker

Step 33

Click OK to change the setting.

Internet Explorer - Privacy Settings

Step 34

Reopen the Internet Explorer features, and then click the compatibility view option.

Certificate Error

Step 35

In the open compatibility view window, add the IP address to the compatibility list.

Configuring the Router's IP Address for Compatibility

Step 36

Select Always trust content from this publisher to access the Router’s management interface and click Yes.

Always Trust This Publisher

Step 37

In the Java Authentication Required window, enter the account information you created.

JAVA User Information

Step 38

Click OK to log in.

Entering JAVA User Information

Step 39

Enable the option again in the same error window and click the Run button.

Run Software

Step 40

In the Security Alert window, click the Allow Access button.

Allow a Program on the Windows Firewall

Step 41

Wait while the Cisco Router and Security Device Manager (SDM) opens.

Cisco Router Manager

Step 42

It sends the settings of the Cisco Router to the software.

Scanning Router's Settings

Step 43

You can see that you have successfully installed the SDM software on the Router.

SDM Software Smoothly Running


Frequently Asked Questions About Using SDM (FAQ)

  1. Who uses Cisco SDM?
People who work with Cisco network routers use SDM software. It has an easy interface, which is a big plus. Also, people who know just a bit about networks find it helpful as a guide tool.
  1. What are the benefits of using Security Device Manager?
The best thing about having and using SDM is that you don’t have to use any commands. So, you don’t need to remember or type commands to set up your Cisco Router devices.
  1. What are the system requirements for SDM?
To use the Security Device Manager software on your PC, you need Java Runtime version 1.5 or 1.6. Unfortunately, it requires this Java requirement due to its older nature. Thus, you won’t be able to use SDM with newer Java versions. Additionally, there is no version rule, such as Windows 11, 10, or 8.
  1. How do I install SDM?
You only need Java Runtime and the Router IOS c3725 IOS to run the Cisco router management program. Once you have these things, you can install the software on your Router.


Nowadays, you can easily manage many Routers or Switches on a web-based basis without using CLI. Please note that you can work with older Cisco models with this software. Thanks for following us!

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