This documentation is for an older version of the software. If you are using the current version of Cumulus Linux, this content may not be up to date. The current version of the documentation is available here. If you are redirected to the main page of the user guide, then this page may have been renamed; please search for it there.

Quick Start Guide

This chapter helps you get up and running with Cumulus RMP quickly and easily.

What’s New in Cumulus RMP 3.1.2

Cumulus RMP 3.1.2 contains bug fixes only. The release notes contain information about the new features and known issues in this release.

Open Source Contributions

Cumulus Networks has forked various software projects, like CFEngine, Netdev and some Puppet Labs packages in order to implement various Cumulus RMP features. The forked code resides in the Cumulus Networks GitHub repository.

Cumulus Networks developed and released as open source some new applications as well.

The list of open source projects is on the open source software page.


Prior intermediate Linux knowledge is assumed for this guide. You should be familiar with basic text editing, Unix file permissions, and process monitoring. A variety of text editors are pre-installed, including vi and nano.

You must have access to a Linux or UNIX shell. If you are running Windows, you should use a Linux environment like Cygwin as your command line tool for interacting with Cumulus RMP.

If you’re a networking engineer but are unfamiliar with Linux concepts, use this reference guide to see examples of the Cumulus RMP CLI and configuration options, and their equivalent Cisco Nexus 3000 NX-OS commands and settings for comparison. You can also watch a series of short videos introducing you to Linux in general and some Cumulus Linux-specific concepts in particular.

Supported Hardware

You can find the most up to date list of supported switches here. Use this page to confirm that your switch model is supported by Cumulus Networks. The page is updated regularly, listing products by port configuration, manufacturer, and SKU part number.

Setting up a Cumulus RMP Switch

Setting up a Cumulus RMP switch is simple and straightforward. It involves:

  1. Racking the switch and connecting it to power.

  2. Cabling all the ports.

  3. Logging in and changing the default password.

  4. Configuring switch ports and a loopback interface, if needed.

This quick start guide walks you through the steps necessary for getting your Cumulus RMP switch up and running after you remove it from the box.

Upgrading Cumulus RMP

If you already have Cumulus RMP installed on your switch and are upgrading to a maintenance release (X.Y.Z, like 2.5.7) from an earlier release in the same major and minor release family only (like 2.5.4 to 2.5.7), you can use various methods, including apt-get, to upgrade to the new version instead. See Upgrading Cumulus RMP for details.

Configuring Cumulus RMP

When bringing up Cumulus RMP for the first time, the management port makes a DHCPv4 request. To determine the IP address of the switch, you can cross reference the MAC address of the switch with your DHCP server. The MAC address should be located on the side of the switch or on the box in which the unit was shipped.

Login Credentials

The default installation includes one system account, root, with full system privileges, and one user account, cumulus, with sudo privileges. The root account password is set to null by default (which prohibits login), while the cumulus account is configured with this default password:


In this quick start guide, you will use the cumulus account to configure Cumulus RMP.

For best security, you should change the default password (using the passwd command) before you configure Cumulus RMP on the switch.

All accounts except root are permitted remote SSH login; sudo may be used to grant a non-root account root-level access. Commands which change the system configuration require this elevated level of access.

For more information about sudo, read Using sudo to Delegate Privileges.

Serial Console Management

Users are encouraged to perform management and configuration over the network, either in band or out of band. Use of the serial console is fully supported; however, many customers prefer the convenience of network-based management.

Typically, switches will ship from the manufacturer with a mating DB9 serial cable. Switches with ONIE are always set to a 115200 baud rate.

Wired Ethernet Management

Switches supported in Cumulus RMP contain a number of dedicated Ethernet management ports, the first of which is named eth0. These interfaces are geared specifically for out-of-band management use. The management interface uses DHCPv4 for addressing by default. While it is generally recommended to not assign an address to eth0, you can set a static IP address in the /etc/network/interfaces file:

auto eth0
iface eth0

In-Band Ethernet Management

All traffic that goes to the RMP switch via an interface called vlan.1 is marked for in-band management. DHCP is enabled on this interface by default, and you can confirm the IP address at the command line. However, if you want to set a static IP address, change the configuration for vlan.1 in /etc/network/interfaces:

auto vlan.1
iface vlan.1

Configuring the Hostname and Time Zone

To change the hostname, modify the /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts files with the desired hostname and reboot the switch. First, edit /etc/hostname:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo vi /etc/hostname

Then replace the IP address in /etc/hosts with the new hostname:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo vi /etc/hosts

Reboot the switch:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo reboot

To update the time zone, update the /etc/timezone file with the correct timezone, run dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata, then reboot the switch:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo vi /etc/timezone
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo reboot

It is possible to change the hostname without a reboot via a script available on Cumulus Networks GitHub site.

Testing Cable Connectivity

By default, all data plane ports and the management interface are enabled.

To test cable connectivity, administratively enable a port using ip link set <interface> up:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo ip link set swp1 up

To view link status, use ip link show. The following examples show the output of a port in “admin down”, “down” and “up” mode, respectively:

# Administratively Down
swp1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state DOWN mode DEFAULT qlen 1000
# Administratively Up but Layer 2 protocol is Down
swp1: <NO-CARRIER,BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state DOWN mode DEFAULT qlen 500
# Administratively Up, Layer 2 protocol is Up
swp1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP mode DEFAULT qlen 500

Configuring Switch Ports

Layer 2 Port Configuration

Cumulus RMP does not put all ports into a bridge by default. To configure a front panel port or create a bridge, edit the /etc/network/interfaces file. After saving the file, to activate the change, use the ifup command.


In the following configuration example, the front panel port swp1 is placed into a bridge called br0:

auto br0
iface br0
  bridge-ports swp1
  bridge-stp on

To put a range of ports into a bridge, use the glob keyword. For example, add swp1 through swp10, swp12, and swp14 through swp20 to br0:

auto br0
iface br0
  bridge-ports glob swp1-10 swp12 glob swp14-20
  bridge-stp on

To activate or apply the configuration to the kernel:

# First, check for typos:
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo ifquery -a
# Then activate the change if no errors are found:
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo ifup -a

To view the changes in the kernel, use the brctl command:

cumulus@switch:~$ brctl show
bridge name     bridge id              STP enabled     interfaces
br0             8000.089e01cedcc2       yes              swp1

A script is available to generate a configuration that places all physical ports in a single bridge.

Layer 3 Port Configuration

To configure a front panel port or bridge interface as a Layer 3 port, edit the /etc/network/interfaces file.

In the following configuration example, the front panel port swp1 is configured a Layer 3 access port:

auto swp1
iface swp1

To add an IP address to a bridge interface, include the address under the iface configuration in /etc/network/interfaces:

auto br0
iface br0
  bridge-ports glob swp1-10 swp12 glob swp14-20
  bridge-stp on

To activate or apply the configuration to the kernel:

# First check for typos:
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo ifquery -a
# Then activate the change if no errors are found:
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo ifup -a

To view the changes in the kernel use the ip addr show command:

br0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP
link/ether 00:02:00:00:00:28 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
inet scope global br0
swp1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP
link/ether 44:38:39:00:6e:fe brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
inet scope global swp1

Configuring a Loopback Interface

Cumulus RMP has a loopback preconfigured in /etc/network/interfaces. When the switch boots up, it has a loopback interface, called lo, which is up and assigned an IP address of

The loopback interface lo must always be specified in /etc/network/interfaces and must always be up.

To see the status of the loopback interface (lo), use the ip addr show lo command:

cumulus@switch:~$ ip addr show lo
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 16436 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Note that the loopback is up and is assigned an IP address of

To add an IP address to a loopback interface, add it directly under the iface lo inet loopback definition in /etc/network/interfaces:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

If an IP address is configured without a mask, as shown above, the IP address becomes a /32. So, in the above case, is actually

Multiple loopback addresses can be configured by adding additional address lines:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback