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A Catalyst switch running Cisco IOS displays a "password required but not set" message

Core issue

Failure to configure a telnet password on an IOS-based switch results in the password required but not set message being displayed when attempting to Telnet into the switch.

This applies to any Cisco device running Cisco IOS , whether Telnetting to a router feature card or module running Cisco IOS within a chassis that has a supervisor running CatOS, a separate router running Cisco IOS, or a Catalyst 4000/4500 or 6000/6500 family member running in Integrated mode (Cisco IOS that replaces CatOS). This does not apply to CatOS.


The password required but not set message indicates that a telnet password needs to be configured on the switch. This is done by issuing the following commands through the switch console:

switch> enable
switch# config t
switch(config)# line vty 0 4
switch(config-line)# password
switch(config-line)# exit
switch(config)# exit
switch# write mem

After this configuration is done, a password prompt should come up when Telnetting into the switch.

Community Member

When I attempted to use the above command series, it balked at using the password command with no value...

Therefore, I would recommend a note that when you execute the above series you supply the new password value.


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IOS (tm) C2950 Software (C2950-I6Q4L2-M), Version 12.1(22)EA10a, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2)

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Compiled Tue 24-Jul-07 17:13 by antonino

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