Custom Phone Ring Creation

The Cisco Unified IP Phone ships with two default ring types that are implemented in hardware: Chirp1 and Chirp2. Cisco Unified Communications Manager also provides a default set of additional phone ring sounds that are implemented in software as pulse code modulation (PCM) files. The PCM files, along with an XML file (named Ringlist.xml) that describes the ring list options that are available at your site, exist in the TFTP server on each Cisco Unified Communications Manager server.

For more information, see the Custom Phone Ringschapter in the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Features and Services Guide and the Software Upgradeschapter in the Cisco Unified Communications Operating System Administration Guide.

The following sections describe how you can customize the phone rings that are available at your site by creating PCM files and editing the Ringlist.xml file:

Ringlist.xml File Format Requirements

The Ringlist.xml file defines an XML object that contains a list of phone ring types. This file includes up to 50 ring types. Each ring type contains a pointer to the PCM file that is used for that ring type and the text that appears on the Ring Type menu on a Cisco Unified IP Phone for that ring. The Cisco TFTP server for each Cisco Unified Communications Manager contains this file.

The CiscoIPPhoneRinglist XML object uses the following simple tag set to describe the information:







The following characteristics apply to the definition names. You must include the required DisplayName and FileName for each phone ring type.

  • DisplayName specifies the name of the custom ring for the associated PCM file that displays on the Ring Type menu of the Cisco Unified IP Phone.
  • FileName specifies the name of the PCM file for the custom ring to associate with DisplayName.


The DisplayName and FileName fields must not exceed 25 characters in length.

This example shows a Ringlist.xml file that defines two phone ring types:



<DisplayName>Analog Synth 1</DisplayName>




<DisplayName>Analog Synth 2</DisplayName>






PCM File Requirements for Custom Ring Types

The PCM files for the rings must meet the following requirements for proper playback on Cisco Unified IP Phones:

  • Raw PCM (no header)
  • 8000 samples per second
  • 8 bits per sample
  • Mu-law compression
  • Maximum ring size = 16080 samples
  • Minimum ring size = 240 samples
  • Number of samples in the ring = multiple of 240.
  • Ring start and end at zero crossing.

To create PCM files for custom phone rings, use any standard audio editing package that supports these file format requirements.


Set Up Custom Phone Ring 

To create custom phone rings for the Cisco Unified IP Phone, perform these steps:  


Step 1

Create a PCM file for each custom ring (one ring per file). Ensure the PCM files comply with the format guidelines that are listed in PCM File Requirements for Custom Ring Types. 

Step 2

Upload the new PCM files that you created to the Cisco TFTP server for each Cisco Unified Communications Manager in your cluster. For more information, see the “Software Upgrades” chapter in Cisco Unified Communications Operating System Administration Guide

Step 3

Use a text editor to edit the Ringlist.xml file. See Ringlist.xml File Format Requirements for  information about how to format this file and for a sample Ringlist.xml file. 

Step 4

Save your modifications and close the Ringlist.xml file. 

Step 5

To cache the new Ringlist.xml file, stop and start the TFTP service by using Cisco Unified Serviceability or disable and reenable the Enable Caching of Constant and Bin Files at StartupTFTP service parameter (that is found in the Advanced Service Parameters area.)