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I was given a username and a temporary password on a catalyst switch and I can't figure out how to change my password...

Upon googling, I found this but when I raise my privileges to 15 by typing enable 15 and then type

username gozulin {[1] opensesame} it says:


%invalid input detected at '^' marker

The marker is pointed at the first character after my username.

So, how do I do it?

EDIT: now I type

username gozulin password opensesame it says:


%invalid input detected at '^' marker

EDIT 2: Success!

The system is setup for (md5) encrypted passwords so the command I had to give after was:

username gozulin secret opensesame

Thank you all for your help!

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Are you in enable/privileged mode? It doesn't sound like it. – joeqwerty Jul 13 '12 at 21:03
I am now in enable/privileged mode but I'm stuck at the next step now :). I've edited my post to reflect that. – gozu Jul 13 '12 at 21:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The braces and brackets are just to tell you whether the option is required or not. You need to issue the command like so:

username gozulin password 0 opensesame

The 0 is because you are using an unencrypted password on the command line (and I hope they have service password-encryption enabled!) If you know the encrypted version of your password (normally not, that tends to be used for auto configs) you would set type to 1.

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I tried that but I get invalid input detected at '^' marker with the marker pointing to the s in username. – gozu Jul 13 '12 at 21:55
@gozu and your definatly in configuration mode? switch-name#(config) prompt? – Zypher Jul 13 '12 at 22:03
@gozu Also looking at your command the 0 is REQUIRED for this to work, put the 0 between password and opensesame – Zypher Jul 13 '12 at 22:31

[Edited to cope with your updates]

The full sequence of commands should be as follows:

configure terminal
username gozulin password 0 opensesame
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I have done that but I'm stuck at the next step now :). I've edited my post to reflect that. – gozu Jul 13 '12 at 21:17

switch# config t

Switch(config)#username gozulin privilege 15 password yourpassword


switch# wr

Note#1: you don't need to enter 0 or 7 --- try that. Privilege 15 will give you all the privilege as for a root user.

Note#2: It is always good to not overwrite the previous credential until you know for sure your new user and password are working. If you overwrite it and it does not work, you will lose your access to the switch. If this happened just talk with the person who created your credential to overwrite it for you. Tell him/her that it was a typo. --- Hope this helps

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Any particular reason you chose to bump this four year old, accepted answer, question? – jscott May 19 at 2:17
@jscott He's saying you should set privilege 15 instead of privilege 0 as in the other answer. – Michael Hampton May 19 at 13:13

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