Cisco IOS Reference



Cisco IOS Modes of Operation

The Cisco IOS software provides access to several different command modes. Each command mode provides a different group of related commands.

For security purposes, the Cisco IOS software provides two levels of access to commands: user and privileged. The unprivileged user mode is called user EXEC mode. The privileged mode is called privileged EXEC mode.

The following table describes some of the most commonly used modes, the resulting prompts, and how to enter these modes. The prompt helps you identify which mode you are in and, therefore, which commands are available to you.

Mode of OperationPrompt / ModeHow to Enter the ModeUsage
User EXEC (aka unprivileged mode)Router>First level accessedChange terminal settings on a temporary basis, perform basic tests, and list system information
Privileged EXECRouter#From user EXEC mode, enter enableSystem administration, set operating parameters
Global ConfigurationRouter(config)#From privileged EXEC, enter configure terminalModify configurations that affect the system as a whole
Interface ConfigurationRouter(config-if)#From global config mode, enter:
interface <interface type> <slot>/<interface #>
Modify the operation of an interface.


Cisco IOS: CLI Configuration

configure terminal

no ip domain-lookup

line console 0
exec-timeout 0 0

logging synchronous

copy running-config startup-config


Cisco IOS: Setting Passwords

  • Privilege mode encrypted password
    • router(config)# enable secret <password>
  • Console password
    • Router(config)# line console 0
    • Router(config-line)# password <password>
    • Router(config-line)# login
    • Router(config-line)# exit
  • Telnet password:
    • Router(config)# line vty 0 15
    • Router(config-line)# password <password>
    • Router(config-line)# login
    • Router(config-line)# exit
  • Encrypt all clear text passwords
    • Router(config)# service password-encryption

It’s also a good practice to set a banner message

  • Router(config)# banner motd # Unauthorized Access is Strictly Forbidden #


Status, Settings, and Diagnostic Commands

Note: The default Console/Serial/COM port settings are: 9600, 8, N, 1, none

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Router#show running-configDisplays the current configuration of all parameters the router is currently using.
show run | section interface
show run | section include router
Router#show interfacesDisplays the status of all interfaces, including if the interface is up or down and if its line protocol is up or down. Lots of details.
Router#show ip interface briefDisplays just the IP address, and the status of each interface and its line protocol. (up or down)

Check that the IP address of each interface is correct, and that “Status” and “Protocol” are both “up” for each enabled interface.
Router#show ip routeDisplays the routing table.

Check that indirect routes are listed. Check that the mask and network address are correct for each “directly connected” interface.
# show run | section router
Router#show ip protocol

Shows the details of the enabled routing protocol service.

  • Check that the proper number of “Type C” networks are listed, and that they have the correct values.
Router#show controllerDisplays the controller state that is specific to controller hardware. Generally useful for diagnostic tasks.
Router#show controller serial 0/0Use to determine if a serial interface is DCE or DTE.
e.g. DCE => DCE V.35, clock rate 9600
e.g. DTE => DTE V.35 TX and RX clocks detected
Router#show ip arpDisplays the mapping of IP addresses to MAC addresses
Router#show ip rip database [ip-address {mask}] 
Router(config)#no ip domain-lookupPrevent “Translating. domain server (” messages after an invalid command is entered on Cisco IOS.
Router#reloadTo reload the operating system, use the reload command in privileged EXEC or diagnostic mode.


Interface Configuration

Set the IP address and enable the interface

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Router#configure terminalEnter Global Configuration mode
Router(config)#interface <interface type> <slot>/<interface #>Tell the device which interface to configure
Router(config-if)#description “<text of description>”e.g. description “Connection to 2621-B”
Router(config-if)#ip address <ip address> <subnet mask>Specify IP address and subnet mask for the interface
Router(config-if)#no shutdownEnable the interface
Router(config-if)#exit or ctrl-z or endExit from interface config mode



Sub-Interface Configuration for InterVLAN Routing

When configuring a sub-interface, if you do not define the encapsulation, before adding the ip address, you’ll get the following error:

% Configuring IP routing on a LAN subinterface is only allowed if that subinterface is already configured as part of an IEEE 802.10, IEEE 802.1Q, or ISL vLAN.

Define the encapsulation as dot1q, a.k.a. TRUNK, and set the VLAN ID to be supported by that sub-interface; vlan 10 in the following example:

R1 (config) # interface fa0/0.10
R1 (config-subif) # encapsulation dot1q 10
R1 (config-subif) # ip address



Configure the RIP Routing Process

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Router#configure terminalEnter Global Configuration mode
Router(config)#router rip 
Router(config-router)#network <network address>e.g. network
Router(config-router)#version 2Set to RIP v2. Default is v1. Note: RouterSim v6.0.0 has a bug in RIP v2 that adds invalid routes to the table.
Router(config-router)#exit or ctrl-z or end 

How to remove a network or RIP from a router

  • no network <network address>
    • Note: In RouterSim v5 through v8.x you cannot remove a specific network address. You’ll have to remove the routing process, and then add all the network addresses again.
  • no router rip removes the RIP routing process thus clearing all the defined networks.


Configure the OSPF Routing Process

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Router#configure terminalEnter Global Configuration mode
Router(config)#router ospf <process- id>Process-id: Internally used identification parameter for an OSPF routing process. It is locally assigned and can be any positive integer. A unique value is assigned for each OSPF routing process.
Router(config-router)#network <network address> <wildcard maskarea<area #>A 0 octet in the wildcard mask indicates that the corresponding octet in the network must match exactly. A 255 indicates that you don’t care what the corresponding octet is in the network number.
Router(config-router)#router-id <IP or ID# as 4 octets)e.g. router-id
After setting the router-id, “reload” or “clear ip ospf process” for the new router id to take effect.
Router(config-router)#exit or ctrl-z or end 
Router #debug ip ospf eventsOnly use when troubleshooting OSPF. Remember to turn off debug with the “no” prefix when done troubleshooting.



OSPF Hello and Dead Intervals

OSPF uses hello packets and two timers to check if a neighbor is still alive or not:

  • Hello Interval: defines how often we send the hello packet.
  • Dead Interval: defines how long we should wait for hello packets before we declare the neighbor dead.

Set the hello and dead intervals on interfaces which communicate with neighboring routers.

(config)# interface Serial 0/0
(config-if)# ip ospf hello-interval <seconds>
(config-if)# ip ospf dead-interval <seconds> [ Defaults to four times the value of the hello interval ]

Show the Router ID, Hello, and Dead Intervals on an Interface

2621-A# show ip ospf interface s0/0

Serial0/0 is up, line protocol is up
   Internet address is, Area 0
   Process ID 100, Router ID, Network Type POINT-TO-POINT, Cost: 64
   Transmit Delay is 1 sec, State POINT-TO-POINT,
   Timer intervals configured, Hello 10, Dead 40, Wait 40, Retransmit 5
     Hello due in 00:00:02
   Index 2/2, flood queue length 0
   Next 0x0(0)/0x0(0)
   Last flood scan length is 1, maximum is 1
   Last flood scan time is 0 msec, maximum is 0 msec
   Neighbor Count is 1 , Adjacent neighbor count is 1
     Adjacent with neighbor
   Suppress hello for 0 neighbor(s)




Configure DHCP Server

Prompt / ModeCommandPurpose
Router(config)#ip dhcp excluded-address <start IP> <end IP>Exclude a range of IP addresses to be assigned as static IP’s.
Router(config)#ip dhcp pool <poolname>Creates a name for the DHCP server address pool and places you in DHCP pool configuration mode (identified by the config-dhcp# prompt).
Router(dhcp-config)#network <network address> <mask>Specifies the subnet network number and mask of the DHCP address pool.
Router(dhcp-config)#default-router <Default Gateway IP> 
Router(dhcp-config)#lease <Days> <Hours> <Minutes>e.g. 7 days 1 hour 20 minutes: 7 1 20
Router(config-dhcp)#dns-server <address> [address2 … address8]Specifies the IP address of a DNS server that is available to a DHCP client. One IP address is required; however, you can specify up to eight IP addresses in one command line.
Router(config-dhcp)#netbios-name-server <address> [address2 … address8]Specifies the NetBIOS WINS server that is available to a Microsoft DHCP client. One address is required; however, you can specify up to eight addresses in one command line.

Display IP address lease bindings on the Cisco IOS DHCP Server

  • show ip dhcp binding

DHCP Configuration for IPv6

R1(config)#ipv6 dhcp pool PoolOne
R1(config-dhcpv6)#address prefix 2001:db8:1::/64
R1(config-dhcpv6)#dns-server 2001:db8:2::100

Then configure the interface to join the multicast group and listen for DHCP requests

R1(config)#int f0/0
R1(config-if)#ipv6 dhcp server PoolOne
R1(config-if)#ipv6 nd managed-config-flag
(For router advertisements set the M bit to 1)
(nd = network discovery)

Check the DHCP configuration

R1#show ipv6 dhcp pool
DHCPv6 pool: PoolOne
Address allocation prefix: 2001:DB8:1::/64 valid 172800 preferred 86488 (0 in use, 0 conflicts)
DNS server: 2001:DB8:2::100
Doman name:
Active clients: 0

show client that received IP

R1#show ipv6 dhcp binding

Show Interface configuration

R1#show ipv6 int f0/0

R1#show ipv6 neighbors


Switch: VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network)

Configuring a VLAN

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Switch#configure terminalEnter Global Configuration mode
Switch(config)#vlan <number>Create a VLAN
Switch(config-vlan)#name <name/description>Add a name or description to the VLAN.
Switch(config)#interface <type> <mod/port>Enter the interface configuration mode.
e.g. interface fastethernet0/1
Switch(config-if)#switchport mode accessConfigure the port mode.
Switch(config-if)#switchport access <VLAN ID>Enter the VLAN membership mode for the port.
Switch#show vlanVerify the VLAN configuration.

Configuring a Trunk Port

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Switch(config)#interface fa0/24 
Switch(config-if)#switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q 
Switch(config-if)#switchport mode trunk 
Switch#show interface trunkverify your trunk port
Switch#show interface Fa0/15 switchportVerify the switchport configuration

Configuring an IP Address on a Switch

The Management VLAN interface, is a routed interface on every Cisco switch and is called interface VLAN 1.

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Switch(config)#interface vlan 1 
Switch(config-if)#ip address 
Switch(config-if)#no shutdown 


Switch Diagnostics & Information

Prompt / ModeCommandDescription
Switch#show interface vlan 1 
Switch#show mac address-table 
Switch#show ip int brief 
Switch#show port-security 
Switch#show port-security int f0/3 
Switch#show running-config 
Switch#show spanning-tree detail 




Show Output Modifier: Pipe |

Router# show run | ?

Router# show run | begin interface

interface FastEthernet0/0
     description WAN Connection to Sales Branch Office
     ip address
     duplex auto speed auto  

Router# show run | begin router

router rip
  <output cut> 

Router# show running-config | section include router

router rip

Router# show ip route | include

Router# show running-config | section include interface

interface FastEthernet0/0
  ip address
  duplex auto
  speed auto
 interface FastEthernet0/1
  ip address
  duplex auto
  speed auto 

Router# show interface | include ( is )

FastEthernet0/0 is up, line protocol is up (connected)
   Hardware is Lance, address is 00d0.584e.a701 (bia 00d0.584e.a701)
   Internet address is
   Full-duplex, 100Mb/s, media type is RJ45

FastEthernet0/1 is up, line protocol is up (connected)
   Hardware is Lance, address is 00d0.584e.a702 (bia 00d0.584e.a702)
   Internet address is 
   Full-duplex, 100Mb/s, media type is RJ45 


Cisco IOS Tutorials