What is Cisco IOU ?
From the Cisco Engineering Education web site (a long time ago):
IOS on Unix (IOU) is a fully working version of IOS that runs as a user mode UNIX (Solaris) process. IOU is built as a native Solaris image and run just like any other program. IOU supports all platform independent protocols and features.
What operating systems does IOU run on?It is my understanding that, initially, IOU was Solaris (SPARC) only. Nowadays, however, there are also builds for OS X and Linux. Similar to dynamips, IOU allows you to build out a network topology on a computer, without the need for physical routers. This is useful for validating designs, proof-of-concept testing, and certification self-study.
Is this legal?Usage of IOU outside of Cisco (and trusted partners) is a potentially legal gray area. From an old internal-only Cisco web page:
Cisco IOS on Unix is a tool intended for internal use only. Distribution of IOU images to customers or external persons, or discussion of IOU with customers or external persons, is prohibited. Don’t do it or we’ll have to come and kill you.