Cisco MWR 2941-DC Mobile Wireless Edge Router Software Configuration Guide
Cisco IOS Software Basics
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Table of Contents

CiscoIOS Software Basics

Getting Help

Understanding Command Modes

Undoing a Command or Feature

Saving Configuration Changes

Cisco IOS Software Basics

This chapter describes what you need to know about the Cisco IOS software before you configure the router by using the command-line interface (CLI). This chapter includes the following topics:

Understanding this information saves you time as you use the CLI. If you have never used the Cisco IOS software or if you need a review, read this chapter before you proceed to Chapter1, “First-Time Configuration”

If you are already familiar with the Cisco IOS software, go to Chapter1, “First-Time Configuration”

Getting Help

Use the question mark (?) and arrow keys to help you enter commands:

  • For a list of available commands, enter a question mark:
Router> ?
  • To complete a command, enter a few known characters followed by a question mark (with no space):
Router> s?
  • For a list of command variables, enter the command followed by a space and a question mark:
Router> show ?
  • To redisplay a command that you previously entered, press the Up Arrow key. Continue to press the Up Arrow key to see more commands.

Understanding Command Modes

The Cisco IOS user interface is used in various command modes. Each command mode permits you to configure different components on your router. The commands available at any given time depend on which command mode you are in. Entering a question mark ( ? ) at a prompt displays a list of commands available for that command mode. The following table lists the most common command modes.


Command Mode
Access Method
Router Prompt Displayed
Exit Method


Log in.


Use the logout command.

Privileged EXEC

From user EXEC mode, enter the enable command.


To exit to user EXEC mode, use the disable , exit , or logout command.

Global configuration

From the privileged EXEC mode, enter the configure terminal command.

Router (config)#

To exit to privileged EXEC mode, use the exit or end command, or press Ctrl-Z .

Interface configuration

From the global configuration mode, enter the interface type number command, such as interface serial 0/0 .

Router (config-if)#

To exit to global configuration mode, use the exit command.

To exit directly to privileged EXEC mode, press Ctrl-Z .

Timesaver Each command mode restricts you to a subset of commands. If you have trouble entering a command, check the prompt and enter the question mark (?) to see a list of available commands. You might be in the incorrect command mode or be using an incorrect syntax.

In the following example, notice how the prompt changes after each command to indicate a new command mode:

Router> enable
Password: <enable password>
Router# configure terminal
Router (config)# interface serial 0/0
Router (config-if)# line 0
Router (config-line)# controller t1 0
Router (config-controller)# exit
Router (config)# exit
%SYS-5-CONFIG_I: Configured from console by console

The last message is normal and does not indicate an error. Press Return to get the Router# prompt.

Note You can press Ctrl-Z in any mode to immediately return to enable mode (Router#), instead of entering exit, which returns you to the previous mode.

Undoing a Command or Feature

If you want to undo a command that you entered or if you want to disable a feature, enter the keyword no before most commands; for example, no ip routing .

Saving Configuration Changes

To save your configuration changes to NVRAM, so that the changes are not lost during a system reload or power outage, enter the copy running-config startup-config command. For example:

Router# copy running-config startup-config
Building configuration...

It might take a few minutes to save the configuration to NVRAM. After the configuration has been saved, the following message appears: