How to Create Custom Ringtones for CallManager Express


Cisco’s CallManager Express (CME) is used in conjunction with the Cisco IP phone and Integrated Service Router in to meet the voice and video communication needs of various office environments. Depending on the IP phone installed, the CME has features such as call waiting ring, call forwarding, all restriction control, and on-hook dialing. With the flexibility that CME provides end users, you can create up to 45 ringtones on CallManager Express.

  • Access a computer with an earlier version of Windows OS installed, preferably Windows XP. Click on the “Start” button, select “All Programs” and choose “Accessories.” Select “Entertainment” from the “Accessories” menu and click on “Sound Recorder” to start the program.

  • Drag and drop the music file onto the Sound Recorder to play it. The file should be in .WAV format. If not, refer to the "Resources" section to download a music file converter to convert your current file to .WAV format.

  • In the sound recorder, click on “File” and choose “Save As.” In the “Format” option in the “Save As” dialogue box, click on “Change.” Change the format to “CCIT u-Law” and “8.000khz, 8bit.” Save it with the “.RAW” file extension format.

  • Open Notepad from your computer. Copy the command below, paste it in “Notepad” and save it with the file name “RingList.xml.” Replace the “Display Name” and “File Name” with as many ringtones as you would like to be available on the CME.


  • Access a “TFTP” server of your choice and type the commands “copy tftp flash:RingList.xml” and ”copy tftp flash:YOURringTONEname.raw” to upload the ringtones and ring list file to the CallManager Express router.

  • Type the commands “tftp-server flash:RingList.xml” and” tftp-server flash:YOURringTONEname.raw” using the TFTP server command terminal. These commands will enable the TFTP process on the router to deliver the “RingList.xml” and specific ringtones to the IP phones.

  • Reset an individual phone that you’ve successfully uploaded the ringtone file to. Upon startup, go to “Settings” and select “Ringtype.” Browse and select the ringtone you uploaded from the list to preview it on CallManager Express.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process is very technical and should not be attempted if you aren’t familiar with the CallManager Express and Cisco server systems that your office might be using. If you are not familiar with it, don’t attempt the project without supervision or authorization to do so.

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  • Photo Credit Red Phone image by Gerald Bernard from
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