Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a very straightforward question. Unfortunately, its so simple, that I have struggled to confirm the answer and the Juniper KB stops short of answering it when telling you how to set up telnet.

I have a need to write a script for backing up many types of products for end customers. While many of them are accessible in-house, we do not have any Juniper Switches to use in development before doing site testing. On all Cisco Switches, there is never a username required when telnetting into the box. Only a password prompt is used. So the script accounts for this.

However, I cannot confirm for sure whether Juniper switches work the same way. Does a username prompt appear in Juniper Switches when telnetting in (ssh not required at this time)? Is there a way to configure one (meaning I need to plan for both scenarios)?

While I'm at it, this question SHOULD be easy to google, but I might as well ask it. While I already found the command to back up a config (save ftp://user:passwd@host/filename), do you have to be in "enable" mode or can you do this immediately after logging in? I'm guessing you would need to be in "enable" mode. Its frustrating not having a box to play with yet, but hopefully someone here can ease the pain.

share|improve this question

I am fairly certain that by default JunOS will not let root login via Telnet unless you set a command line switch to allow you to do so and its good practice not to allow root to login remotely at all.

When you telnet/SSH in as ROOT, also, you must type CLI and hit return to get to the JunOS command prompt as by default root starts in the Unix shell, not the JunOS shell. There isn't really an equivalent to enable mode, there is operational mode, and configuration mode. From operational mode you type configure to enter configuration mode, and type commit to save and make your changes live.

You can also just SCP the configurations off the box... no need to login and do anything fancy you can just pull them.

share|improve this answer

To clarify, a Cisco device could have a username for telnet access if it's configured to do so.

Juniper and Cisco vary greatly here. When you telnet to a Cisco device and you're prompted for a password (just a password), you're actually only hitting the vty password, not an actual authentication account on the box. When you telnet/ssh to a Juniper device you will be prompted to authenticate against accounts defined on the box. Basically, you will always need a user/pass combo on a Juniper device.

Juniper and Cisco also vary greatly with their "modes". On a Cisco device when you go into "enable mode" you are actually just escalating your privileges. On a Juniper device privileges are defined per user (or user class). When you log into a Juniper device as a user, the user either has rights to execute the command or doesn't. There is no need to go into a special mode.

As @SpacemanSpiff stated, you can't telnet into the root account in Juniper. Also by default telnet is not enabled on the device. Looking into SSH or SCP would be the preferred method to backup configs.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.