Basic Configuration and Troubleshooting

Cisco CLI Navigation and Basic Commands

1. Accessing the Cisco CLI

To access Cisco devices via CLI, typically through a console port or SSH/Telnet session:

  • Console Access: Connect a console cable to the device and use terminal emulation software (e.g., PuTTY) to establish a serial connection.
  • SSH/Telnet Access: Access devices remotely over the network using SSH (Secure Shell) or Telnet protocols.

2. Basic CLI Navigation

Once connected, navigate through the Cisco CLI using these commands:

  • Enter Privileged EXEC Mode: Access privileged commands for configuration and management.


  • Enter Global Configuration Mode: Configure global settings for the device.

configure terminal

  • Navigate Between Modes: Use exit to move back through configuration levels or end to return to Privileged EXEC mode.
  • View Command Help: Use ? to list available commands or show ? for command options within a mode.

3. Basic Configuration Commands

Configure Cisco devices using these essential commands:

  • Interface Configuration: Access interface configuration mode to configure specific interfaces (e.g., Ethernet, VLANs).

interface interface_name

  • Assign IP Address: Configure IPv4 address on interfaces.

ip address x.x.x.x subnet_mask

  • Save Configuration: Save configuration changes to non-volatile memory.

copy running-config startup-config

4. Monitoring Commands

Use these commands to monitor device status and operational parameters:

  • Show Command: Display operational parameters and status information.

show running-config

show interface interface_name

show ip interface brief

  • Ping Command: Test connectivity to remote devices.

ping x.x.x.x

  • Trace Route Command: Trace the path packets take from the source to the destination.

traceroute x.x.x.x

Basic Troubleshooting Tools and Commands

1. Ping and Traceroute

  • Ping: Verify end-to-end connectivity between devices. Useful for checking basic connectivity issues.

ping x.x.x.x

  • Traceroute: Determine the path packets take to reach a destination. Useful for diagnosing routing issues.

traceroute x.x.x.x

2. Show Commands for Troubleshooting

  • Show Interface: Check interface status, errors, and traffic statistics.

show interface interface_name

  • Show IP Route: Display routing table entries to verify network reachability.

show ip route

  • Show Running-Config: View current configuration settings to identify misconfigurations.

show running-config

3. Debugging Commands

  • Debug Commands: Enable real-time debugging of specific protocols or events to troubleshoot issues.

debug ip packet

debug spanning-tree events

  • Disable Debugging: Disable debugging to reduce CPU overhead.

undebug all

4. Clear Commands

  • Clear Commands: Clear interface counters or reset specific parameters.

clear interface interface_name

5. Verification Commands

  • Verify Commands: Confirm configuration changes and network status.

show interfaces status

show running-config

Best Practices for Configuration and Troubleshooting

  • Documentation: Maintain up-to-date documentation of network configurations and changes.
  • Backup Configurations: Regularly back up device configurations to ensure quick recovery in case of failures.
  • Test Changes: Verify configuration changes in a lab environment before implementing them in production.
  • Stay Updated: Keep firmware/software versions up-to-date to leverage new features and security patches.


Mastering Cisco CLI navigation, basic configuration commands, and troubleshooting tools is essential for effectively managing Cisco network devices. Hands-on practice and familiarity with CLI commands will enhance your skills and readiness for the CCNP Collaboration 350-801 exam, enabling you to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot Cisco networks efficiently.

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