Get to Know the Question Mark

Previously, I said that you can get the available commands by typing ? at the prompt. You can also use this trick to find the subcommands of any command. For example, if you know you want to use the copy command but cannot remember which subcommand you need, type:

Router#copy ?
 WORD Copy from flash device - format [partition:][filename]
 flash Copy from system flash
 flh-log Copy FLH log file to server
 mop Copy from a MOP server
 rcp Copy from an rcp server
 running-config Copy from current system configuration
 startup-config Copy from startup configuration
 tftp Copy from a TFTP server

Another use of the question mark is to find all commands that match what you have typed so far. For example, if you know the first part of a command, type it, and then type a question mark. The router will return a list of all the matching commands. In the following example, we remember that the configure command begins with "co", but that's it. The router gives us the matching commands:

Router#co?
configure connect copy

Note the important difference between these two examples. In the first example, there was a space before the question mark, which gave us the next command that complements copy. Had there not been a space, the router would have tried to complete the word "copy" for us, not given us the next available commands. In the next example, we did not add the space, so the router tried to complete "co" with all the commands it could find that start with "co".

What if you don't see the command you're looking for? Bear in mind that the router returns only commands that are relevant to the mode you are currently in. For example, if you are in user mode, you are given only commands that apply to that mode.





Cisco IOS in a Nutshell
Cisco IOS in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (OReilly))
ISBN: 0596008694
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 1031
Authors: James Boney
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