How to do initial device setup – Cisco Nexus 7000

Cisco NX-OS made of two main pieces of software image.

  • Kickstart Image – low level kernel shell with CLI available for managing the device before the system image is initialized
  • System Image- the operating system software that runs the system.

Initializing a Cisco Nexus device first time: 

Upon first time bootup the system will autometically run a system setup script that prompts for:

  • Secure password enforcement (y/n) – Required
  • Admin Password – Required
  • Additional login accounts (y/n)
  • SNMP read and write community strings
  • Switch name
  • Enable license grace period(y/n)
  • Out-of-band (mgmt0) configuration
  • Enable telnet(y/n) or SSH(y/n)
  • Configure NTP
  • ….etc

We can do first two steps then move to command line to finish the rest of the configs.

Once in the CLI mode ,  we should perform few initial startup checks..

Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# sh version

====== output omitted ====
BIOS: version 3.22.0
kickstart: version 5.2(4)
system: version 5.2(4)
BIOS compile time: 02/20/10
kickstart image file is: bootflash:///n7000-s1-kickstart.5.2.4.bin ===> Software version
kickstart compile time: 12/25/2020 12:00:00 [03/08/2012 03:58:13]
system image file is: bootflash:///n7000-s1-dk9.5.2.4.bin =============> Software version
system compile time: 1/28/2012 23:00:00 [03/08/2012 04:59:07]
cisco Nexus7000 C7018 (18 Slot) Chassis (“Supervisor module-1X”)
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU with 8260944 kB of memory.
Processor Board ID JXXXXXXX

Device name: Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1
bootflash: 2048256 kB
slot0: 0 kB (expansion flash)

Kernel uptime is 0 day(s), 16 hour(s), 20 minute(s), 1 second(s) ====> Uptime

====== output omitted ====
Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# sh running-config

!Command: show running-config
!Time: Wed Apr 17 17:10:47 2013
version 5.2(4)
username admin password 5 $1$ObDfvvZUpZz54B6rawM6CbG. role network-admin
Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# sh startup-config

!Command: show startup-config
!Time: Wed Apr 17 17:14:26 2013
!Startup config saved at: Fri Apr 12 18:39:47 2013
version 5.2(4)

Display the currently installed licenses…
Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# show license usage
Feature  Ins  Lic  Status  Expiry  Date  Comments
MPLS_PKG Yes – In use Never -
STORAGE-ENT No – Unused -
FCOE-N7K-F132XP No 0 Unused -

Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# install licenses bootflash:license_file.lic

You can go to config mode and change the hostname also can change username and password

Configure remote management via Telnet or SSH on Nexus 7K

Nexus 7000 telnet ssh setup


Minimum configuration Best Practices :

Nexus 7000 minimum best practice


The last line will make all the make all the interfaces shut down.

Displaying Important System Files:

The most important file system on a Nexus switch is  bootflash: 

Bootflash: stores all the images , to see the content of bootflash we need to do   dir bootflash: command.
Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# dir bootflash:
161980383 Nov 04 06:39:27 2011 n7000-s1-dk9.5.2.1.bin
162744737 Mar 22 16:14:02 2012 n7000-s1-dk9.5.2.4.bin
29471232 Nov 04 06:38:16 2011 n7000-s1-kickstart.5.2.1.bin
29312000 Mar 22 16:05:24 2012 n7000-s1-kickstart.5.2.4.bin
4096 Nov 04 07:20:32 2011 vdc_2/
4096 Nov 04 07:20:32 2011 vdc_3/
4096 Nov 04 07:20:32 2011 vdc_4/

Usage for bootflash://sup-local
511672320 bytes used
1341444096 bytes free
1853116416 bytes total


To delete any file from bootflash: we need to do the following

Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core1# delete bootflash: [file name ]

Restarting the System, Nexus 7K

Nexus 7000 reload



Remember, while you reload any module, it will not pass any traffic ;)  .

Displaying installed System Components: 

We can use show module in nexus 7Ks to see what modules are installed..

Nexus 7000 show module

To monitor system environment, do a show environment command.


Nexus 7000 show module Nexus 7000 show environ


Displaying the System Locator LEDs: 

Locator LEDs can be turned on and off for various components from command line. This helps to locate the right module if you are due to replace them . specially if the filed tech is doing the replacement.

Nexus 7000 locator led


Monitoring Interfaces: 

Show interface brief  , shows all the interfaces , type, mode, status, speed , etc..

Show ip interface brief , shows the layer 3 interfaces, or interfaces with IP addresses.


To verify that traffic is passing on an interface, use the show interface command.


Obtaining Tech-Support details: 

If you need to get a tech-support from nexus 7k , Good Luck !! . The file is huge ! The best option is the save the tech-support to the local flash, and the use FTP or TFTP to get it out.

Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core11# sh tech-support  >> bootflahs: Tech-support.txt 

This file can be around 144 Meg. Nexus has Gzip installed. So we can use it to Zip the file.

Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core11# gzip bootflash:Tech-support.txt 

Even better, save the file in flash as a zip.. the following command will save the show-tech as a zip file on to the flash. This will save you some valuable time.

Tulip-Tech-N7K-Core11# tac-pac bootflash://show-tech


Hope this helps.. very basic steps to bring up and running a Nexus 7000 switch.


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