UniFi Switch: How to access the CLI & Config via SSH

UniFi Switch: How to access the CLI & Config via SSH

In this article, I will show you how to access a UniFi switch’s CLI interface and configuration. As you know, UniFi Switches are controlled and configured through the UniFi Controller. When you SSH to the switch you only get a linux shell prompt rather than a command line interface.

Here is how to connect to the UniFi switch CLI

  1. SSH to the switch & login.
    The credentials can be found in your UniFi controller’s settings.
  2. At the # prompt, telnet to
  3. At the (UBNT) > prompt type “enable
  4. Type “show run” to output the running configuration of the switch
BusyBox v1.19.4 (2017-07-12 21:42:26 PDT) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

US.v3.8.6# telnet

Entering character mode
Escape character is '^]'.

The changes may break controller settings and only be effective until reboot.

(UBNT) >enable

(UBNT) #show run

!Current Configuration:
!System Description "USW-48P-500,, Linux 3.6.5"
!System Software Version ""
!System Up Time          "61 days 16 hrs 24 mins 2 secs"
!Additional Packages     QOS,IPv6 Management

Once you have reached the (UBNT) # prompt you are effectively configuring an EdgeSwitch, here is the EdgeSwitch CLI command reference.

If you want to backup the configuration file you can use one of the following commands.

# Backup unifi switch config over FTP
(UBNT) # copy system:running-config ftp://user@

# Backup unifi switch config over TFTP
(UBNT) # copy system:running-config tftp://


To make changes to the switch configuration use the configure command to enter config mode. Here is an example of how to change the description for interface 0/1

(UBNT) #config

(UBNT) (Config)#interface  0/1

(UBNT) (Interface 0/1)#description "Port 1 Testing"

(UBNT) (Interface 0/1)#exit

(UBNT) (Config)#exit

(UBNT) #exit
Note: Configuration changes you make to the switch via the CLI will be overwritten by the UniFi controller when the switch is restarted.

8 Replies to “UniFi Switch: How to access the CLI & Config via SSH”

  1. Thanks for this post. You helped me recover a switch when I accidentally put it on a vlan which was incompatible with its static IP config. logged in and ran a “no network mgmt_vlan” and it connected to unifi.

  2. Thank you for this useful info.
    The problem is that I tried on different versions of firmware for a Tough Switch and I did the following steps:

    1. ssh
    2. telnet localhost
    SW.v1.3.2# telnet localhost

    Entering character mode
    Escape character is ‘^]’.

    TOUGHSwitch PoE PRO login:

    After telnet localhost I am prompted with login insteand of (UBNT)> which means that I can not send “enable” command.

    If I pass used and password I go back to the linux shell.

    Any ideas how can I manage to enter CLI menu ?

    1. Toughswitch is a very different device from a EdgeSwitch or UniFi Switch

      To output vlan info on a toughswitch type…
      bcmtool -c dump

      VLAN: 1; TAGGED: 0 1 2 3 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 50; TAGGED: 1 2 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 107; TAGGED: 1 2 3 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 108; TAGGED: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 109; TAGGED: 1 2 3 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 110; TAGGED: 1 2 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 201; TAGGED: 1 2 7 ; UNTAGGED:
      VLAN: 202; TAGGED: 1 2 8 ; UNTAGGED:

      if you want to see the toughswitch configuration file…

      cat /tmp/running.cfg

      I hope that helps you out.

  3. copy system:running config to ftp work only on edgeswitch not on USW. There are only nvram:factory-defaults and nvram:startup-config possibilitiess as a destination

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