Configuring ssh on a Netgear GSM7224/GSM7248 switch / 2007-03-29

2007-03-29 Configuring ssh on a Netgear GSM7224/GSM7248 switch
We got a new Netgear GSM7224 managed switch at work, and the procedure to learn it to use SSH is both complicated and not very well documented with Netgear, and it is not something you do every week, so I decided to take notes and document the whole procedure.

The switch I was setting up is named ics-04 so you will see a prompt

(ics-04) >
or in privileged exec mode (usual)
(ics-04) #
First, on another machine, generate ssh server keys, in a directory that can be read by the tftp server, and make sure the tftp server can read them all.
root@athena:/tftpboot/netgear# ssh-keygen -f netgear-ics-04-dsa.key -t dsa -N '' -C ics-04
Generating public/private dsa key pair.
Your identification has been saved in netgear-ics-04-dsa.key.
Your public key has been saved in netgear-ics-04-dsa.key.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
72:79:43:31:3c:42:cd:3a:29:e4:54:96:50:02:af:4b ics-04

root@athena:/tftpboot/netgear# ssh-keygen -f netgear-ics-04-rsa.key -t rsa -N '' -C ics-04
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Your identification has been saved in netgear-ics-04-rsa.key.
Your public key has been saved in netgear-ics-04-rsa.key.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
b4:e9:fa:24:40:86:57:24:8d:6a:fe:ee:0c:46:20:33 ics-04

root@athena:/tftpboot/netgear# ssh-keygen -f netgear-ics-04-rsa1.key -t rsa1 -N '' -C ics-04
Generating public/private rsa1 key pair.
Your identification has been saved in netgear-ics-04-rsa1.key.
Your public key has been saved in netgear-ics-04-rsa1.key.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
8e:25:9e:84:cf:5d:d3:38:2a:a7:05:89:82:e9:0f:c0 ics-04

root@athena:/tftpboot/netgear# chmod a+r netgear-ics-04-*
Now log in to the switch (serial console or telnet) and install the keys:
(ics-04) #copy tftp://131.211.80.9/netgear/netgear-ics-04-dsa.key nvram:sshkey-dsa

Mode........................................... TFTP
Set TFTP Server IP............................. 131.211.80.9
TFTP Path......................................
TFTP Filename.................................. netgear-ics-04-dsa.key
Data Type...................................... SSH DSA key

Management access will be blocked for the duration of the transfer
Are you sure you want to start? (y/n) y

TFTP SSH key receive complete... updating key file...


Key file transfer operation completed succesfully

(ics-04) #copy tftp://131.211.80.9/netgear/netgear-ics-04-rsa1.key nvram:sshkey-rsa1

Mode........................................... TFTP
Set TFTP Server IP............................. 131.211.80.9
TFTP Path......................................
TFTP Filename.................................. netgear-ics-04-rsa1.key
Data Type...................................... SSH RSA1 key

Management access will be blocked for the duration of the transfer
Are you sure you want to start? (y/n) y

TFTP SSH key receive complete... updating key file...


Key file transfer operation completed succesfully

(ics-04) #copy tftp://131.211.80.9/netgear/netgear-ics-04-rsa.key nvram:sshkey-rsa2

Mode........................................... TFTP
Set TFTP Server IP............................. 131.211.80.9
TFTP Path......................................
TFTP Filename.................................. netgear-ics-04-rsa.key
Data Type...................................... SSH RSA2 key

Management access will be blocked for the duration of the transfer
Are you sure you want to start? (y/n) y

TFTP SSH key receive complete... updating key file...


Key file transfer operation completed succesfully
Now, enable ssh:
(ics-04) #ip ssh

Optional, only allow SSH 2 protocol
(ics-04) #ip ssh protocol 2

Optional, set the ssh login session timeout
(ics-04) #sshcon timeout 120

Review the config
(ics-04) #show ip ssh

SSH Configuration

Administrative Mode: .......................... Enabled
Protocol Levels: .............................. Version 2
SSH Sessions Currently Active: ................ 0
Max SSH Sessions Allowed: ..................... 5
SSH Timeout: .................................. 120

Test the new ssh config:
$ ssh admin@ics-04
Warning: Permanently added 'ics-04,xxx.xxx.xxxx' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
admin@ics-04's password:

(ics-04) >
Finally, disabling telnet after testing ssh connectivity:
(ics-04) #configure

(ics-04) (Config)#lineconfig

(ics-04) (Line)#session-limit 0

(ics-04) (Line)#no transport input telnet

(ics-04) (Line)#exit

(ics-04) (Config)#exit

Saving your hard work:
(ics-04) #copy system:running-config nvram:startup-config

This operation may take a few minutes.
Management interfaces will not be available during this time.

Are you sure you want to save? (y/n) y

Configuration Saved!

And now the switch uses secure logins via ssh. Yes, logins start slow, especially on the GSM7224, there is not a lot of cpu capacity available. That is why you have to generate the keys on a different machine.

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