ACI Switches: Password Recovery

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ACI Switch Password Recovery

This article covers the process of how to perform a password recovery on an ACI Fabric Switch (Leaf or Spine) which was removed from a fabric without being decommissioned/wiped, and you do not have the proper credentials to the Switch. If you are looking for how to perform password recovery on an APIC, take a look here!


  • You will need physical access to the device
  • You will need console access to the device

ACI Fabric Switch Password Recovery Process

Unlike the APIC, there is no rescue-user account provisioned to leafs/spines. If you do not know the login credentials for a given switch, you will need to follow the password recovery procedure below:

  1. Gain Console access to the device
  2. Power cycle the device
  3. When boot process on the switch begins, press Control+C to break the boot sequence and get access to the loader prompt (Note – The break sequence may differ depending on which terminal emulator you are using).
  4. cmdline clear_config
  5. dir
  6. Copy the image name (from the dir output) you would like to boot
  7. boot <image_name>
  8. After the device boots, login with admin (no password is required)
  9. Execute the command
  10. Reload the box

Once you have wiped the Switch, it will be ready to join the Fabric!


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