In a typical Cisco router or switch when we give the command "show file systems" it gives a list of file systems available.

Some of those are bootflash: flash: slot0: slot1:

Could you please help me understanding the differences among them, specially between bootflash and flash. Thank you in advance.

  • 1
    It's highly dependent on the particular hardware, and some names have replaced others. What router model are you referring to?
    – Ron Trunk
    Sep 18, 2017 at 0:10
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 19, 2018 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


The list of available file systems differs by platform and operation. Refer to your product documentation or use the show file systems EXEC command to determine which prefixes are available on your platform. File system prefixes are listed as following:

  • bootflash: Boot Flash memory. Bootflash is a generic term normally used for the flash of both route flash and switch flash.
  • disk0: Rotating media.
  • flash: Flash memory. This prefix is available on all platforms. For platforms that do not have a device named flash:, the prefix flash: is aliased to slot0:. Therefore, you can use the prefix flash: to refer to the main Flash memory storage area on all platforms.
  • flh: Flash load helper log files.
  • ftp: FTP network server.
  • null: Null destination for copies. You can copy a remote file to null to determine its size.
  • nvram: NVRAM. Also where the configuration is saved when you copy run start.
  • rcp: Remote copy protocol network server.
  • slavebootflash: Internal Flash memory on a slave RSP card of a router configured for high system availability (HSA).
  • slavenvram: NVRAM on a slave Route/Switch Processor (RSP) card of a router configured for HSA.
  • slaveslot0: First PCMCIA card on a slave RSP card of a router configured for HSA.
  • slaveslot1: Second PCMCIA card on a slave RSP card of a router configured for HSA.
  • slot0: First PCMCIA Flash memory card.
  • slot1: Second PCMCIA Flash memory card.
  • system: Contains the system memory, including the running configuration. tftp: TFTP network server.
  • xmodem: Obtain the file from a network machine using the Xmodem protocol.
  • ymodem: Obtain the file from a network machine using the Ymodem protocol.

Source: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/ios/12_2/configfun/configuration/guide/ffun_c/fcf006.html

  • Thanks for the answer. The switch model is Cisco WS-C4506-E When I do show file systems it shows me (including other filesystems of type network, opaque) only bootflash: and not the flash: One is slot0: Does it mean that bootflash: memory resides indide the ROM and flash: resides in an external media (just like a pen drive). May be my thoughts are incorrect. Would appreciate if you could help in comparing these components (flash: bootflash: slot0: slot1:) with any regular computer CPU. I am just a rookie in this..and trying to understand the concepts.. Thank you again for all your inputs :-)
    – aliza
    Sep 18, 2017 at 10:35
  • Bootflash and flash are the same, slot0: is for a flash memory PCMCIA card. Bootflash: is onboard on the supervisor and you can change it, but you will need to shutdown the supervisor and unplug it to change it.
    – user36472
    Sep 18, 2017 at 12:24

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