In this continuation of getting familiar with the CLI (Command Line Interface) of your Cisco or Stratix switch, we will go beyond getting connected and look at basic setup features that will need to be utilized in setting up your switch for any environment whether it would be IT or OT. We will just jump right in and get started.

Image by Brandon Cooper

Setting the name of the switch:

  • Switch(config)#hostname HMINET1

Image by Brandon Cooper

Setting the switch clock:

  • HMINET1#show clock (to see the clock time)

Image by Brandon Cooper

  • Before setting the clock, you will want to set up the time zone for your area

Image by Brandon Cooper

  • Set the clock with the “#clock set” command
  • Then #show clock to see that the clock is updated

Image by Brandon Cooper

Saving Configuration:

  • Any time you are making changes to a switch, you are modifying the “Running Configuration”. If the switch is rebooted, then the “Startup Configuration” will be loaded.
  • Any changes made to the running configuration must be made to the startup configuration or they will be lost at the next reboot of the switch
  • To Save the configuration, use the “#copy running-config startup-config” command, then hit the ENTER key twice

Image by Brandon Cooper

To reboot a switch:

  • To reboot a switch, you use the “#reload” command
  • Most switches do not have a power switch. You must either cycle the power with the power chord or use this command to reboot them.

 Setting the Password:

  • First, I recommend turning on password encryption
  • Then, I recommend using MD5 hash by using the “secret” password command
  • Make passwords unique and don’t give them out to anyone. Something like pwtest is obviously only for training purposes and would never be used in any kind of secure network.

Image by Brandon Cooper – PWSetup.png

  • Here we type the “#show running-config” command to see our results in the running configuration. It shows us in the first line that the service for password encryption is turned on and the enable secret password is encrypted with MD5 hash and it hides the password as encrypted below.

Image by Brandon Cooper

Other useful information about your switch:

  • Use the “#show version” command to see useful information about your switch and its operating system. This command will give you information including operating system, serial numbers for your system and so much more. At the end of the information, you will see the software version which is essentially the version of the IOS that you are running on your particular switch.

Image by Brandon Cooper


The Cisco CLI is an important skill to have. I equate it with learning how to program a DCS, PLC or Historian System.

It is the foundation for the communication bridge between devices. It must allow needed communication and block unwanted communication and incorrect settings can make your network vulnerable to downtime.

Written by Brandon Cooper
Senior Controls Engineer and Freelance Writer

Have a question? Join our community of pros to take part in the discussion! You'll also find all of our automation courses at

Sponsor and Advertise: Get your product or service in front of our 75K followers while also supporting independent automation journalism by sponsoring or advertising with us! Learn more in our Media Guide here, or contact us using this form.

Brandon Cooper



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here