I'm studying CCNA1. following netacad course notes and sending "show mac address-table" to a switch (in packet tracer) I should get a list of the available MAC addresses. I only get the table header with no entries?

I've tried this on a configured switch and a "new" switch. The only issue i can think of is the course notes say i should be using IOS V15 but on the latest version of packet tracer the IOS seems to be V12

Cheers Les

  • 2
    Does the switch have traffic on it?
    – Ron Trunk
    May 5, 2019 at 10:58
  • Do you use a (virtual) serial console to, onnect to the device? Because then this console session does not require a TCP connection (and therefore Mac entry).
    – eckes
    May 6, 2019 at 9:56
  • 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
    Dec 15, 2019 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


MAC addresses aren't configured on a switch, they are learned - a switch is a self-learning MAC bridge.

So, unless there are nodes connected to the switch and they've already sent frames across the switch the MAC table is empty.

While in real life nodes are likely to send frames once their link is up even if there's no "serious" traffic, packet tracer might not simulate that traffic and show an empty address table.

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