Our WLC 5508 pair is going EOL. I need to migrate the complete configuration (including secrets) to a new pair of CT3504 WLCs.

The problem I have is when I run show run-config commands, username / password secrets are obfuscated with ****.

I need those secrets as plaintext so I can paste the full configuration into the new WLC pair without loosing any configruation items. For instance, the mgmtuser entries are all obfuscated:

mgmtuser add mpenning **** read-write

I already tried config switchconfig secret-obfuscation disable and this still leaves many secrets obfuscated.

How do I get a full WLC configuration including all secrets as plaintext?

  • Have you tried "transfer upload"? You'll probably get hashes, but at least you can copy them.
    – Ron Trunk
    Jul 18, 2019 at 18:09
  • @RonTrunk, I have not tried transfer upload. Are you sure that this won't obfuscate secrets? Jul 18, 2019 at 18:11
  • Not sure, but I don't have a controller at the moment to test it on.
    – Ron Trunk
    Jul 18, 2019 at 18:12
  • Just checked. They're hashed.
    – Ron Trunk
    Jul 18, 2019 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


You can use transfer upload (via CLI or GUI).

You should use transfer upload datatype config and transfer encrypt disable from the CLI to get the WLC's text configuration.

WLC Transfer upload screen

In both cases, the passwords are hashed, but not obfuscated.

  • transfer upload is completely broken for both FTP and TFTP in my version of aireos... I have spent an hour trying so far Jul 18, 2019 at 19:19
  • For future users of this answer: it seems that transfer upload is rather finicky about the TFTP server being used. tftpd32 v4.64 on Windows 10 works; however, ptftpd running under python (as root) fails. Jul 18, 2019 at 19:30
  • I used SFTP with no problems on
    – Ron Trunk
    Jul 18, 2019 at 19:52

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