Brocade L3 Quick Guide

Getting Started

Brocade's CLI is nearly 90% identical to Cisco, with the majority of the differences being related to VLAN configuration. This short intro will get you set up with an account, SSH, and an in-band IP for the switch on one VLAN. The Layer 3 firmware comes with all ports in VLAN 1 by default, so if you just need layer 2 switching, you can leave the VLAN/virtual interface config as-is and use the out of band management port to talk to the switch.

To enter the enable level:


To make changes you'll need to enter the configure level:

configure terminal

Everything can be shortened as long as it doesn't match another command, so the below would also work instead of the above:

conf t

You also have tab completion so if you're ever curious about a command, type it and hit tab, it'll give you a list of all arguments. You can also just hit tab with no text and it'll show you all commands available at the current level.

Now we need to tell it to start generating our keys, so we can enable SSH:

crypto key generate

Give the switch a name/hostname:

hostname blinkenmaschine

To give the switch an IP that's accessible via the normal ports, we need to a assign a virtual interface to the VLAN you'd like it to be accessible on, and give it an IP. That virtual interface is configurable just like a normal physical interface. At it's config level you can set jumbo frames, IP addr, etc. This is also how you enable inter-VLAN routing, you just give multiple VLAN's a router interface with an IP like below, and that's it.

Enter the config level for a vlan:

 vlan 1

Assign it a virtual interface. The number doesn't have to match the vlan, you could give it ve 10, but it's easier to keep track of if they match:

router-interface ve 1

Exit the vlan config level:


Now we enter the interface config level for the VE we just assigned:

interface ve 1

(NOTE: the above command will give you an error if the VLAN it is assigned to has no ports. So if you're setting up VLAN 2 for example, give it a port member while you're at it's config level, and you won't encounter the error.)

Now we just give that VE interface an IP. Note, addresses for VE's cannot be in the same subnet you've assigned to your out of band management port, for obvious reasons:

ip address

That's it, now anything in that VLAN can access the switch via that IP. Exit the VE config level:


Inter-VLAN Routing

If you'd like inter-VLAN routing, follow this section. if you don't, skip down to Authentication. To enable VLAN routing you just need to do everytihng we did above, but for another VLAN:

vlan 2
untagged ethe 11
#you can also assign ranges of ports, using: untagged ethe 11 to 20 
router-interface ve 2
interface ve 2
ip address

They'll now route between each other, assuming your devices have gateways properly set etcetera.


First we need to tell it to use local user accounts for authentication instead of RADIUS etc. Assuming you're still at the configure terminal level:

aaa authentication enable default local
aaa authentication login default local

Now give the root user a password:

username root password yourpasshere

Now when logging in, it will ask for the user, use root. When you try to enter the enable level, you'll need to enter said password.

If you want no password to leave the switch unsecured, run these commands:

username root nopassword
ip ssh permit-empty-passwd yes

If you want to be able to SSH to the switch without setting up a key pair, run this command:

ip ssh key-authentication no

If you do wish to enable key based SSH login, it's beyond the scope of this intro. Refer to the Security Guide PDF included. It has information on all of the above, SSH, etc.


To quickly enable SNMPv2, follow the below. SNMP v3 is available but you'll have to refer to the included documentation:

snmp-server community public ro

Default Route & DNS

If you'd like the switch to be able to get out to the internet (For example, NTP or ping commands to external hosts or hostnames), do the following, substituting your gateway IP:

ip dns server-address
ip route


To have the switch keep it's time synced via NTP, use the following. If you live in an area that doesn't use Daylight Savings, skip the clock summer-time command. Use tab completion for the timezone command to see what's available:

clock summer-time
clock timezone gmt GMT-05
sntp server
sntp server

You can specify up to 8 or as little NTP servers as you'd like. Only IP addresses are allowed, no hostnames. The IP's in the example above are Google's public NTP servers.

Saving & Conclusions

Now of course none of the changes have actually been saved to flash, so on next boot they'll disappear. To save your current running configuration so they remain on reboot:

write memory

That's enough to get you going. Some more useful general commands:

Show a table of all interfaces:

show interface brief

To show one interface in detail:

show interfaces ethernet 1
#Also works for virtual interfaces:
show interfaces ve 1

Give a port a friendly name:

interface ethernet 1
port-name freenas
show interface brief ethernet 1

To remove commands from your config, just put no in front of them:

interface ethernet 1
no port-name

Show the currently active configuration:

show run

Show the configuration that's saved to flash for startup:

show configuration

Some system info:

show cpu
show memory
show chassis
show version
show log

These have all been very basic commands and most of them will take many more arguments for advanced configuration. We highly recommend referring to the included documentation to continue further.


Jon Sands
Bengt-Erik Norum
fvanlint from STH for being our first method tester


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