Is there a way of setting up a Cisco swtich (Cisco Catalyst 3850 12 Port GE SFP IP Base - its not arrived so I don't know the IOS) to allow SSH without specifying a USERNAME

The customer currently has many switches all setup allowing TELNET using

no aaa new-model
line vty 0 4
exec-timeout 15 0
password ThisIsNotAPassword

and I want to covert them to SSH. So I'll need to change their current method of logon.

I've always used aaa new-model and so on and so whilst I don't believe its possible to use SSH without a user I want to know that this is true before I tell my customer.

I've seen some articles about using certificates but nothing specifically about this.

1 Answer 1


You need some sort of credentials for SSH to work. You can either set it up using passwords like normally, or you can use a certificate to authenticate.

Here's a discussion that might be helpful: https://supportforums.cisco.com/t5/security-management/ssh-access-without-password/td-p/1517835

In Cisco parlance, they call it "RSA-based public key authentication".

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