ASA Quick Tip

I’ve always known that you could set the display prompt on the ASA CLI. Today I stumbled across an option in the prompt that I hadn’t realized was there.

ASA(config)# prompt ?

configure mode commands/options:
context   Display the context in the session prompt (multimode only)
domain    Display the domain in the session prompt
hostname  Display the hostname in the session prompt
priority  Display the priority in the session prompt
state     Display the traffic passing state in the session prompt

Of course the default is just hostname. If you’re running a standalone ASA that’s fine but if you have a pair and have HA configured you’ll notice the hostname is the same on each node. If I remember correctly the old PIX firewalls would show you which one you were logged into, active or standby. This is handy in case you login to the wrong one and go into config mode – because when you do that you you break config synchronization. No a huge deal but annoying. This was one thing I did miss when I started dealing with the ASAs.

Well, in the ASAs it’s still there – you just have to enable it with the state option (last option from the above snippet). So, if you change the prompt to state/hostname you’ll always see the state of which one you’re on.

ASA(config)# prompt state hostname
act/ASA(config)# 

Now you have device state listed just in front of the hostname. Here’s what it looks like on the standby node:

stby/ASA# 

Again, this is a minor almost silly thing but in some situations this could be really useful. For example if you say, had an ASA Service Module then I could see this being very useful if you are connecting to the console from the host switch. This is also true for the old FWSMs – in fact that’s how I discovered it.

Happy Friday!

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