Primarily, the Cisco IOS offers these modes of operation: the user EXEC mode, the privileged EXEC mode, the Global Configuration mode, and other specific configuration modes such as; the Interface Configuration mode, Line Configuration Mode, and Router Configuration Mode.


The initial prompt you interface with when you first connect to a Cisco network Router or Switch is the user EXEC mode. This is denoted by a text and the greater-than (>) sign to the right of the text. See below an example of user EXEC mode prompt:

 

Router0>

 

The text represents the hostname of the device, which by default is the device type; Router or Switch. In this mode, you cannot edit or view device configurations; you can only view the device’s status and other miscellaneous information. See below a list commands you can execute in this mode:

disable         Turn off privileged commands
disconnect      Disconnect an existing network connection
enable          Turn on privileged commands
exit          Exit from the EXEC
logout          Exit from the EXEC
ping            Send echo messages
show            Show running system information
ssh            Open a secure shell client connection  
telnet          Open a telnet connection
terminal        Set terminal line parameters
traceroute      Trace route to destination

 

In order for you to view and/or edit the device’s configuration, you need to be in privileged EXEC mode. To navigate to this mode, you need to type enable at the user EXEC mode prompt (>) and press enter. The prompt then changes from ‘>’ to ‘#’. See an example from the screenshot below:

 

Press RETURN to get started!

Router0>enable

Router0#

 

As the name suggests, this mode has higher privileges over the user EXEC mode. Some commands you can execute in this mode are listed below:

 

You can exit this mode by entering exit or end or CNTL/Z on your keyboard. Some commands which can be executed in this mode are:

 

clear          Reset functions
clock          Manage the system clock
configure     Enter configuration mode
copy           Copy from one file to another
debug         Debugging functions (see also 'undebug')
disable        Turn off privileged commands
disconnect   Disconnect an existing network connection
erase          Erase a filesystem
exit           Exit from the EXEC
logout         Exit from the EXEC
no             Disable debugging functions
ping           Send echo messages
release        Release a resource
reload        Halt and perform a cold restart
renew          Renew a resource
resume        Resume an active network connection
show           Show running system information
ssh            Open a secure shell client connection
telnet        Open a telnet connection
terminal       Set terminal line parameters
traceroute    Trace route to destination
undebug      Disable debugging functions (see also 'debug')
write         Write running configuration to memory, network, or terminal

 

 

The Global Configuration mode is where you have root access to the device, where you can make system-wide configurations, change the IOS version, backup and restore, etc.
To enter the Global Configuration mode, type configure terminal in privileged EXEC mode and press enter. The prompt will change from Router0# to Router0(config)#. See an example from the screenshot below:

You can exit this mode by entering exit or end or CNTL/Z on your keyboard. Some commands which can be executed in this mode are:

 

access-list              Add an access list entry
alias                   Create command alias
banner                   Define a login banner
cdp                      Global CDP configuration subcommands
clock                    Configure time-of-day clock
config-register        Define the configuration register
crypto                  Encryption module
default                 Set a command to its defaults
enable                   Modify enable password parameters
end                      Exit from configure mode
ephone                  Define ethernet phone
ephone-dn             Configure ephone phone lines (Directory Numbers)
exit                     Exit from configure mode
frame-relay           global frame relay configuration commands
hostname               Set system's network name
interface               Select an interface to configure
ip                       Global IP configuration subcommands
ipv6                     Global IPv6 configuration commands
line                     Configure a terminal line
no                       Negate a command or set its defaults
route-map             Create route-map or enter route-map command mode
router                   Enable a routing process
security                 Infra Security CLIs
service                  Modify use of network based services
telephony-service  Configure Cisco Call Manager Express
track                    object tracking configuration commands
username              Establish User Name Authentication

 

The Interface Configuration Mode is used to configure a specific device interface, such as IP address. To enter this mode, type interface interfacename and press enter in Global configuration mode. The prompt changes to Router0(config-if)#. See example below:

Press RETURN to get started!
Router0>enable
Router0(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0
Router0(config-if)#


The Line Configuration Mode is used to configure details about the console and virtual terminal lines (vty). It is denoted by the prompt Router0(config-line)#. See below how to enter line configuration mode:

Press RETURN to get started!
Router0>enable
Router0(config)# line vty 0 4
Router0(config-line)# 

 

Note: To get the list of supported commands at any prompt or mode, simply type ? on your keyboard.
We hope this piece has been helpful to highlight the various prompts/modes available in the Pocket CLI App.