How Do I Use SFTOS to Log In to the Console?


This document focuses on use of the default parameters to connect and configure management terminals. While the S2410 has a dedicated Ethernet management port, along with a console port, the other S-Series models have only the console port (along with the ability to manage the switch by telneting into 10/100/1000 ports that you have configured with IP addresses).

The console port is on the right end of the faceplate on the S50 and S2410, as shown below.
On other S-Series models, the console port is on the left end.

Usernames and passwords: By default, the S-Series comes configured with one read/write user named “admin”, with no password. You can add the password, and you can create up to five more read/write users with the username command in Global Config mode, as shown below in Step 9.

Note: For access to the Privileged Exec mode, SFTOS supports a separate password (commonly called the “Enable” password). See the Getting Started chapter in the SFTOS Configuration Guide for details.

Step 1: Set up the serial port.

Use the show serial command to identify the serial port settings. The defaults are:

(Force10)>show serial

Serial Port Login Timeout (minutes)............ 5

Baud Rate (bps)................................ 9600

Character Size (bits).......................... 8

Flow Control................................... Disable

Stop Bits...................................... 1

Parity......................................... none


You can change the settings with the serial command.

Force10 #configure
Force10 (Config)#lineconfig
Force10 (Line)#serial baudrate ?

115200 Set serial speed to 115200.
1200 Set serial speed to 1200.
19200 Set serial speed to 19200.
2400 Set serial speed to 2400.
38400 Set serial speed to 38400.
4800 Set serial speed to 4800.
57600 Set serial speed to 57600.
9600 Set serial speed to 9600.

Step 2: Locate the supplied DB-9 adapter.

The S-Series comes with a DB-9 adapter to connect a PC to the system’s console port.

Note: If you are connecting the S-Series’s console port to a terminal, you must supply an RJ-45-to-DB-25 female DTE adapter.

Step 3: Locate a straight-through cable.

Use either a straight-through RJ-45 copper cable or an Ethernet cable (except for the S2410 model of the S-Series).

Note: Force10 Networks’ C-Series and E-Series and many other vendor's switches use a rolled (crossover cable) for a console connection. These cables will not work with an S-Series.

Note: If connecting to a Cisco terminal server via an octopus cable, you must connect another rollover cable to effectively create a straight-through cable connection.

Step 4: Connect the supplied RJ-45/DB-9 adapter to the RJ-45 cable. 

The S-Series console port pin-out is as follows:

Pin 1 = NC

Pin 2 = NC

Pin 3 = RXD

Pin 4 = GND

Pin 5 = GND

Pin 6 = TXD

Pin 7 = NC

Pin 8 = NC


TxD = Transmit Data

RxD = Receive Data

GND = Ground

Step 5: Connect the adapter end to the PC. 

Step 6: Connect the other end of the RJ-45 cable to the S-Series.

Step 7: Configure and run the VT100 terminal emulation software.

The PC or terminal must support VT100 terminal emulation. The terminal emulation software—frequently a PC application such as Microsoft Windows HyperTerminal or Symantec Procomm Plus—makes possible the communication between the switch and your PC or terminal during the setup program.

Configure the baud rate and character format of the PC or terminal to match the console port characteristics, as set in Step 1, above.

Step 8: Troubleshoot the connection.

If you have trouble connecting to the console, perform these tasks:

  • Verify that the rollover or straight-through cable is a known good cable. (Do not use a crossover cable.)
  • Try to use a different DB-9 adapter that connects to your PC.
  • Verify that your terminal emulation software settings are 9600 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit.  Also, try to set the flow control to none, instead of hardware.
  • Make sure that the rollover or straight-through cable terminates into the console port on the S-Series. The cable should not terminate on the AUX port.
  • Try to connect to the console port of the S-Series from another PC or terminal.

Step 9: Log in to the switch.

The S-Series comes installed with one read/write user named “admin”, with no password. You can add that password, and also create up to five more read/write users with the username command in Global Config mode. The command edits the username and password in one statement, as shown below.

(Force10)(Config)#username admin passwd apassword
User login name and password are set.

Information to Collect if You Open a TAC Case

If you would like assistance from Force10 Networks after following the steps above, please use the Create Service Request form on the iSupport page and include the following information if available:

  • Console captures showing the steps taken
  • Output from the show tech-support command to capture the installed hardware and the SFTOS version
  • Network diagrams or other descriptions of the network design, including VLAN configurations and IP address ranges
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