Cisco Support Community
Community Member

Catalyst 6513 and NVRAM

I am in the process of testing a newly received Catalyst 6513, fully populated with two Sup2/MSFC2 modules, one 8-port Gigabit module, and ten 10/100 Ethernet (Telco) modules. The 6513 was delivered with CatOS v6.2(2) and IOS 12.1(8a)E3 installed. I attached two fiber cables between the 6513 and an existing 6506 which has about 10 vlans. No other connections were made to the 6513. Everything was fine until I issued some configuration commands (e.g. setting all ports, save the two ports used for the 6506 connection) and recevied the error message:

%MGMT-4-OUTOFNVRAM: Out of NVRAM space (13, 25372, 524288, 24216).

Considering that the configuration of the 6513 is basically the 'out-of-the-box' configuration, I was suprised that this error message was occurring. I did a show version command to confirm that the NVRAM size was 512K, used was 488K and free space was 23K. I searched the Cisco site regarding this error message. The action listed for the message (neither of which was helpful) was to move the ACL configuration to flash memory (there was no ACL configuration to move in this case) or clear the configuration for modules not in use (I want to use the modules that we paid for!).

In an attempt to resolve the issue, I saved the configuration in bootflash and reset the switch so that NVRAM would be cleared and the bootflash configuration loaded into memory and NVRAM. Although the NVRAM free space size did not change much (it actually went down slightly), the OUTOFNVRAM message has not subsequently reappeared after issuing several configuration commands.

Although things appear to be working okay at the moment, I am concerned about why the OUTOFNVRAM message appeared in the first place and why it isn't now even though the free space is nearly the same. When the switch is put into a production environment, should I be worried about the small amount of free NVRAM space that is available when subsequent configuration changes are made? I realize that the running configuration can be copied to bootflash or flash memory and read-in during a reboot, but it would sure be a pain to have to issue a copy command after every configuration change if NVRAM becomes full.

Community Member

Re: Catalyst 6513 and NVRAM

This is known issue and the solution is convert the system configuration can be changed to a text model that allows deleting some of the binary configuration from NVRAM and saving it to a FLASH text file instead.

Note that not all configuration is deleted from NVRAM when the text model is used. Only QoS and security ACL configuration and module related

configuration is deleted. This includes configuration set by the set qos acl, set security acl, set module, set port, and other commands that require a port as a parameter. The rest of the configuration is saved in the NVRAM

in binary format as before.

The following commands can be used when this NVRAM space limitation is


Use the set config mode command to change the configuration mode from a

binary model to a text model.

set config mode binary

set config mode text {device:file-id}

Syntax Description:

binary - Keyword that specifies to set the system configuration mode to

a binary model.

text - Keyword that specifies to set the system configuration mode to a text


device:file-id - Name of the device and filename where the saved

configuration will be stored.

The default setting of this command is binary, saving the configuration


Use the show config mode command to display the system configuration mode

currently running on the switch.

show config mode

Use the write memory command to upload the nondefault ACL and module

configurations to the file specified in the set config mode text command.

write memory

Use the show running-config command to display the configuration information

currently running on the switch.

show running-config

Use the show config command to display the startup configuration information

that will be used during the next bootup.

show config

The following is an example of how the configuration model can be changed

to text and the configuration saved to the specified text file:

Console> (enable) set config mode text bootflash:switch.cfg

Binary system configuration has been deleted from NVRAM. Configuration

mode set to text. Use the write memory command to save configuration changes.

System configuration file set to: bootflash:switch.cfg

The file specified will be used for configuration during the next bootup.

Console> (enable) show config mode

System configuration mode set to text.

System configuration file = bootflash:switch.cfg

Console> (enable) write memory

Upload configuration to bootflash:switch.cfg

7144600 bytes available on device bootflash, proceed (y/n) [n]? y



Configuration has been copied successfully.

Console> (enable)

After the commands above, the ACL and module related configuration is saved

in the bootflash:switch.cfg text file.

The following example shows how the configuration model can be set back

to binary, assuming there is enough NVRAM space available for this:

Console> (enable) set config mode binary

System configuration copied to NVRAM. Configuration mode set to binary.

Console> (enable) show config mode

System configuration mode set to binary.

After the above command, the configuration is saved in binary format


use the latest 6.3.x code as these commands are available in this releases.

CreatePlease to create content