Configuring IPX

Configuring IPX addresses and related settings isn’t really any more difficult than IP, although there are a few extra steps involved.

The first step in configuring a router to use IPX involves enabling IPX routing globally. This is done from global configuration mode, using the ipx routing command.

cisco2501#config t
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
cisco2501(config)#ipx routing

The next step is configuring an interface with an IPX network number. Remember that IPX addresses are 80 bits in length. The first 32 bits represent the network, and the last 48 bits are assigned automatically as per the interface MAC address. Because of this, we actually don’t need to specify the complete address – only the network number, which will ultimately have the interface MAC address appended to it. In this case, we’ll configure interface Ethernet 0 to be part of IPX network 101A. Recall that IPX addresses are listed in hexadecimal, and that any leading 0s can be left off the address.

cisco2501(config)#int ethernet 0
cisco2501(config-if)#ipx network 101A

The interface is now configured to run IPX. However, you may recall from Chapter 4 that IPX can be configured to use different incompatible frame types. Table 7-3 outlines the four IPX frame types used in Ethernet environments. The default is novell-ether (the Ethernet 802.3 frame type), unless you specify otherwise.

Novell Ethernet frame types and their Cisco IOS encapsulation names:

Ethernet 802.3: novell-ether
Ethernet 802.2: sap
Ethernet II: arpa
Ethernet SNAP: snap

In order to set the frame type for an interface, add the encapsulation command when configuring the interface network number, as shown below.

cisco2501(config-if)#ipx network 101A encapsulation sap

In this case, we set the interface encapsulation to Ethernet 802.2, or sap. An IPX interface can actually be configured for multiple frame types. However, different frame types use different network numbers, since they cannot communicate with one another. To add an additional IPX frame type to an interface, use the ipx network command, followed by the secondary keyword.

cisco2501(config-if)#ipx network 101B encapsulation arpa secondary

In this case, we configured interface Ethernet 0 to use arpa (Ethernet II) encapsulation for another IPX network, 101B.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.