Thursday, January 7, 2010

Four (4) Key Cisco Shortcuts

I wanted to share four things that speed up my use of the Cisco CLI.
One of the things that slows down your ability to use the CLI is having to navigate up a context by typing EXIT, viewing information, and then returning. The first two CLI tricks help with this issue.
Get Global
If you are in a sub-interface level command, you can enter a different sub-interface without returning to the parent interface.
For example:
(config)# interface fa 0/0
(config-if)# ip address
(config-if)# interface fa 0/1
(config-if)# ip address

 - notice that there was no exit command between the second and third steps.
Another way to avoid the exit in a sub-interface mode is to type a global configuration command without exiting first - really that's what you did a moment ago - you called for a global config command to enter a sub-interface without leaving the interface first. But you can enter any global config command you want!
For example:
CCNA Practice Questions (Exam 640-802) (3rd Edition)(config)# interface fa 0/0
(config-if)# ip address
(config-if)# hostname Router1

 - Notice that the router rip command, a global configuration was issued without leaving the sub-interface context, and then I was left at the global level. Be aware that tab-completion and ? help will not work across contexts.
Do the "Do"
If you are in any configuration mode and wish to issue a command from the enable mode, such as all the show and debug commands, you can do so with the "Do" command. You remain in your config mode, but get the results from the enable mode.

(config)# interface fa 0/0
(config-if)# ip address
(config-if)# no shutdown
(config-if)# do show ip int brief
Interface            IP-Address        OK?  Method    Status                   Protocol
Serial0              unassigned        YES  unset     administratively down    down
FastEthernet0/0       YES  unset     up                       up

-notice that with the do command I was able to verify what I had done at the interface level, saving myself from typing the exit command, the configure terminal command, and the interface fa 0/0 command!
Where do I "begin"?
When you show a long list, such as a mac-address-table or configuration file, it is often inconvenient to try and  find the particular place where an item is located that you want to verify. Fortunately, you can pipe your show command into a begin statement that will actually find what you are looking for and start your results there!
For example:
Router1# show running-config | begin line
Building configuration...
line con 0
  transport input none
line aux 0
line vty 0 15
no scheduler allocate

So - I hope these tools will help you use Cisco's CLI with greater speed and agility, so you can spend less time scanning and more time doing!

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