Routers Serial Number

Unanswered Question
May 21st, 2007
User Badges:

Hello all,

I was asked to find the serial numbers for the routers at my company (which are all different models and IOS).

What is the one command to see what the routers serial number is similar to how you see it on the switches.

I tried the show diag command but it spits back like 2-3 different serial numbers and not sure which one is the actual whole routers serial number. Is it the PCB serial number or chassis serial number etc? or something else? I hope i dont have the physically go to the router to do this.

Please can someone help me on this.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 0 (0 ratings)
Joe Clarke Mon, 05/21/2007 - 12:48
User Badges:
  • Cisco Employee,
  • Hall of Fame,

    Founding Member

Some devices you will have to physically go to them to get the serial number. Recently, we started adding the serial number into software so that it can be pulled from the CLI and via SNMP. For devices that support this, show ver's processor board ID and will show you the serial number. If your device supports it, so will "show inventory".

As a leading practice, we recommend customers make a habit of setting "snmp-server chassis-id" to the correct chassis serial number before deploying the IOS device. This way, one can always have access to this information.

Richard Burts Mon, 05/21/2007 - 13:11
User Badges:
  • Super Silver, 17500 points or more
  • Hall of Fame,

    Founding Member

  • Cisco Designated VIP,

    2017 LAN, WAN


Joe makes a good point that for some routers there is not a good (reliable) way to get the serial number remotely. I like his suggestion of setting it so that SNMP can pull it, but doing this creates a potential issue when performing maintenance.

I would also add a word of caution about using the show inventory command. Many versions of IOS accept the command and produce output. But many routers do not put the correct serial number into the output. I have had good success with the ISR routers giving the correct value for serial number and I have had generally bad luck with any other router and the output of show inventory.



Joe Clarke Mon, 05/21/2007 - 13:18
User Badges:
  • Cisco Employee,
  • Hall of Fame,

    Founding Member

This is an important point. I wasn't as clear as I could have been. While "show inventory" is a product of having a recent enough IOS version, its output is still dependent on what can be found in ASICs. If the serial number is not there, the "show inventory" will not return proper results.

When I said we have begun work in making serial numbers easier to obtain through software, this meant that newer devices are being built with this capability. Existing devices will still not have easily-obtainable serial numbers. In those cases, a manual inspection will be required.


This Discussion