Would you like to learn how to enable Cisco SSH remote access using the command-line? In this tutorial, we are going to show you all the steps required to configure the SSH remote access on a Cisco Switch 2960 or 3750 using the command-line.

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Tutorial - Enable Cisco SSH Remote Access

First, you need to access the console of your Cisco Switch.

In our example, we are going to use an Opensource software named Putty and a computer running Windows.

The Putty software is available on the putty.org website.

After finishing the download, run the software and wait for the following screen.

Putty windows

To access the console of a Cisco Switch model 2960 or 3750, you will need to select the Serial Connection category and use the following options:

• Connection type: Serial
• Serial line: COM1
• Speed: 9600

If COM1 does not work you will need to try to use COM2, COM3, COM4 or the next.

cisco switch terminal settings

Using either the console, telnet or ssh, connect to the command-line of your switch and log in with a user who has administrative privileges.

On the prompt screen, enter the administrative login information.

After a successful login, the console command-line will be displayed.


Use the enable command to enter the privilege mode.

Switch> enable

Use the configure terminal command to enter the configuration mode.

Switch# configure terminal

Use the following command to create the needed  encryption keys:

Switch(config)# crypto key generate rsa
Switch(config)# ip ssh version 2

If the system asks for a key size, you should inform the highest number available to your switch.

On my Switch, the maximum value was: 4096

You should also enable the SSH version 2 which is more secure and has a lot of cool features.

Create user account to the remote users.

Switch(config)# username kakarot privilege 15 secret kamehameha123
Switch(config)# username yamcha privilege 1 secret lostbuma123

In our example, the kakarot user has read-write privilege while yamcha has read-only.

Configure the virtual terminal to use local authentication.

Configure the virtual terminals to allow SSH remote access.

Switch# configure terminal
Switch(config)# line vty 0 15
Switch(config-line)# login local
Switch(config-line)# transport input ssh
Switch(config-line)# exit
Switch(config)# exit

Don't forget to save your switch configuration.

Switch# copy running-config startup-config

You have successfully enabled the Cisco SSH remote access feature.

You have successfully configured the remote terminals to accept remote connections.

You have successfully created user accounts with different privilege levels.