Cisco Pkg vs Bin: Difference and Comparison

Cisco IOS File System (IFS) is a feature that acts as a single interface for all the files in the system that are available on the routing device. It is an integrated file system.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cisco PKG files contain software updates and patches, while BIN files contain firmware updates for Cisco devices.
  2. PKG files are used for upgrading software on Cisco routers and switches, while BIN files are used for upgrading the firmware on Cisco devices.
  3. PKG files can be installed using the Cisco CLI, while BIN files require special tools such as TFTP.

Cisco Pkg vs Bin

Cisco pkg means the package file that is used in booting the device when it is in install mode and contains different formats of files that can be installed on a device. Cisco bin means a bundle file that helps in booting a device during bundle mode and contains compressed binary files with two storage options.

Cisco Pkg vs Bin

Pkg contains several formats of files and can be installed on the device. It gets stored in the system board of the flash memory. The Cisco pkg file contains bundles of software and is termed a set of Cisco IOS XE packages.

While the bin contains compressed binary files, bin files in Cisco are used to fasten the booting process. It has two options for storage.


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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCisco PkgCisco Bin
Function Pkg file is used to boot the device in install mode from the IOS XE bundle itselfBin file is used to boot the device in a local or remote location
Storage location In installed mode, the pkg files are stored in the system board of flash memoryIn bundle mode, the bin files can be stored in the system board flash memory or USB flash memory
Retrieve informationInformation about pkg file can be displayed using show version running in privileged EXEC commandInformation about bin file can be displayed using show software package in privileged EXEC mode
Upgrade procedure Package (pkg) files are expanded, copied to flash, provision files are updated, new installation packages are reflected, and reload is promoted The bundle (bin) file is downloaded to local storage media, the boot system is configured to variable point in the bundle file and switch is reloaded
Boot modeThe switch runs in the install modeThe switch runs in the bundle mode

What is Cisco Pkg?

Cisco pkg stands for Cisco IOS XE package files. These packages (pkg) files can be installed or the IOS XE bundle and can boot the switch from itself.

The command show version displays different information in different modes. If the switch is in installed mode, it displays the location and name of the booted file, which could be a provisioning file or a pkg file.

The Cisco pkg can be copied from one stack member to another using the command software install source switch. The stack members may be running differently and can be swapped from one stack to another.

Another command called software install source switch can be used for switching from current standby switches to active switches. These files are a package of installer files that are compressed and useful while installing a program.

What is Cisco Bin?

Cisco bin stands for Cisco IOS XE bundle files. These bundle (bin) files use the command called show software package to view information about the file. This command is used in privileged EXEC mode.

The method of upgrading in the bundling mode of Cisco IOS XE software is by downloading the bundle or bin file and copying it to local storage media, configuring the boot system of global configuration from the variable.

It points to the bin file, and then a copy of the running configuration is saved. In the end, the switch is reloaded. The Bin file helps boot the device in bundle boot mode. It provides packages like the boot, runs, or mount.

During loading, it uses memory space like RAM. Bin file makes booting faster. It loads directly on a chunk of memory and does not need initialization or interpretation of the binary code.

Main Differences Between Cisco Pkg and Bin

  1. Pkg file works in the install mode of Cisco, while the bin file works in the bundle mode of Cisco.
  2. The information and content from the pkg file can be retrieved by using the command show version running, while information retrieval from the bin file can be done by using the command show software package.

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