In setting up a new network switch (Catalyst 2960-S), I did the initial configuration dialog (via the console port), in which it asks for host-name, secret, password, virtual terminal password, and other things.

I set the enable secret, the enable password, and the virtual terminal password. At no point does it ask for a username. If I exit or let it time out, then I need to get back in, at which point it asks for a username/password. What is this username/password?

Is the password one of the three mentioned above that it asks me to create during setup? Is it some default value? Is the username something like "cisco" or "admin"?

The "getting started guide" suggests that the initial web-interface default password is cisco and that it ignores the username field. I tried that.

  • I assume you've tried both cisco and admin? try cisco123
    – Ron Trunk
    Dec 14, 2014 at 20:16
  • I have tried for username: cisco, admin, administrator, and now cisco123 after your suggestion. I have tried for password: all three passwords from setup, leaving it blank, password, admin, cisco, cisco123
    – Loduwijk
    Dec 14, 2014 at 21:03
  • 1
    Just use password recovery; you can ignore the stored configuration and fix it once you've logged in Dec 14, 2014 at 21:17
  • 1
    Aw Mike, where's your sense of adventure? ;p
    – Ron Trunk
    Dec 14, 2014 at 21:40
  • Its because you have login local set on the VT ports or console port.
    – user19084
    Sep 17, 2015 at 3:36

2 Answers 2


On the Cisco 2960-S, the default credentials are cisco/cisco. These get deleted after the first time you login to the switch. There shouldn't be any access control on the console, unless the express setup puts it in there.

Now, if you set the virtual terminal password, then it probably just set a password on the line vty block, this should let you in with Telnet without needing a username. Once you get in to the switch with telnet you can run sh run | inc username. This will tell you what the username is set as, and probably the password if you don't have the password-encryption service on.

If this fails to work, then you will have to do a password recovery on the switch.

  • I had not yet copied run to start, and the password recovery instructions from Cisco require a switch reboot, so I was screwed and had to redo it anyway. This doesn't make your answer any more or less valid though, so accepted.
    – Loduwijk
    Dec 15, 2014 at 19:18

Cisco IOS has no default username and/or password. The admin (or whatever setup wizard used) has to configure authentication to have (and check) user and password. Without a password set on the vty -- or AAA configuration, the only allowed access is via the console. And the console will require no authentication. (that's how you got to the CLI setup in the first place.)

The CLI setup does not create users. (unless Cisco changed it in the 15.x line)

  • Then I'm not sure what I did to make it ask for a username for console access since I had not made the user yet. I had manually entered some commands, and I copy/pasted some chunks from a config on one of our other switches. I didn't think any of it set up a user, but maybe I'm wrong. +1 thanks for the help.
    – Loduwijk
    Dec 15, 2014 at 19:22
  • Ricky: I think some of the smaller devices have default username / password so people can use a webinterface for setup.
    – user2084
    Sep 17, 2015 at 8:39
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    If it has that lame CNP installed on it, then yes, it will because that provided a non-default "default" configuration. write erase is a default configuration, and there will be no users there. Here, he "pasted some chunks from a config" and that is almost certainly where the aaa came from. (I've seen people do things in the wrong order and lock themselves out thousands of times. I've been known to do it myself.)
    – Ricky
    Sep 17, 2015 at 14:39

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