Switches and routers have some firmware (similar to BIOS (UEFI) on PC). It represents a "step" before the OS (maybe I'm wrong). Can we manage this firmware just like BIOS or UEFI on a PC? On cisco catalyst 2960 switch for example. If we can, how approximately does it happen? Through a console cable or something?

  • That depends on the device model. Different vendors do it differently, sometimes between different model of the same vendor. Which models do you mean?
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 17, 2021 at 17:54
  • cisco catalyst 2960 switch for example
    – Alexander
    Aug 17, 2021 at 17:57
  • 1
    Stop deleting and re-asking the same thing. [ networkengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/75885/… ]
    – Ricky
    Aug 17, 2021 at 17:58
  • Are you asking how to upgrade? How to see what version you have?
    – Ron Trunk
    Aug 17, 2021 at 17:58
  • Yes, they have a "BIOS". No, you don't generally mess with it. If a "BIOS" update is needed, the software update process will usually handle it. (i.e. NX-OS on a nexus switch) On older ROMMON based platforms, you can load an "upgrade ROMMON", but the original ROMMON code will still be there, unchanged.
    – Ricky
    Aug 17, 2021 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


Most embedded devices have a bootloader - rudimentary hardware initialization (CPU, RAM, flash) - and a more fully fledged firmware that contains the hardware drivers and the OS for normal operation.

On some devices you can access the bootloader (ROMMON on some Cisco devices) via serial console , e.g. to reset passwords, clear settings, or to recover the actual firmware after a failed update. Some devices even allow access to the bootloader over the network. On other devices you can do no such a thing. In any case, operation is usually limited to device recovery and there isn't much interesting stuff.

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