Cisco NX-OS CLI Tip – Feature Enabled, License and CLI Syntax

When working on NX-OS 1 it’s kind of annoying to attempt to use a feature that hasn’t been enabled and get an error message.

For example:

N7K2-POD2(config)# sh vpc ^ % Invalid command at '^' marker.

This doesn’t actually tell you that the feature isn’t enabled and that’s why it doesn’t work. Once the feature is enabled:

N7K2-POD2(config)#sh vpc
^ % Invalid command at '^' marker.
N7K2-POD2(config)# feature vpc
N7K2-POD2(config)# show vpc
Legend: (*) - local vPC is down, forwarding via vPC peer-link
vPC domain id : Not configured
Peer status : peer link not configured
vPC keep-alive status : Disabled

Then the commands starts to work. Why not throw a “feature not enabled” or “not licensed” message ? Would that not make more sense ?

Or is there something that I’m seeing here.


  1. at time of writing, I’m using NX-OS V6.01. ↩
About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at EtherealMind.com and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • http://twitter.com/WMcKain wmckain

    I believe there is a license fee for the
    “feature not enabled” feature.

    • Simonga

      I laughed :)

  • Markku Leiniö

    I think the explanation is in the modular nature of the OS: The commands are not found *anywhere* until you load the actual module. There is no module that contains the commands for all the possible other modules (to enable CLI to show “enable this feature” error message). Just guessing.

  • will

    version 6.x – you’re brave

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