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89XX and 99XX IP Phone SSH and USBtoSerial Debugging Instructions




The new 89/99xx phones have different SSH AND Console debugging instructions from previous models of IP Phones.


SSH Method


There are two SSH logins needed to access the phone console. The first username/password pair can be set from the CCMAdmin Web Page under the SSH Username and password.


Set these credentials in CCMAdmin and reset the phone.


Login to the first username and password prompt with these admin defined credentials.


You will then be greeted with ANOTHER username and password prompt. At this point you have two options:

Option 1 - Default Linux Shell

Username: default

Password: cisco


The default Linux shell lets you browse the phone's file system. A VERY useful command would be "tail -f /var/log/messages"

Option 2 - Debug Shell

Username: debug

Password: debug


The debug shell gives you a huge number of debug commands. Start with "help commands". Look at all of the cool show and debug commands in here. Sweet right?


USB Console Method


SSH debugging is great when network connectivity to the phone remains constant, and the phone doesn't reboot. If you're having a problem where the phone is rebooting or losing connectivity though, you may be better off by plugging a console cable straight into the phone. But this phone doesn't have a console port? Right - but it does have USB ports.


Here's what you'll need:


1x RS232 Null Modem Cable (This has the blue 9 pin DB9 connectors on each end. Wikipedia can show you how to make your own. If you are doing SMDI you have one of these cables already)


The Null Modem cable I found in my lab was originally an IDS Console Cable 72-1847-01.



2x USBtoSerial adapter + driver. You need one that works with the phone such as IOGEAR USB-serial adapter (Model: GUC232A.). I've also found that the cables Cisco provides with laptops labeled CODi also work for this purpose. The key point is that the USB to Serial converter must be using a supported chipset such as the "PL2303" chipset.


If your computer has a serial port you only need one of these adapters. If your computer does not have a serial port (like most modern laptops), then you'll need 2.


1x PuTTY or Hyperterminal


Here's how you string them all together


IP Phone (Side or Back USB port) ---USBtoSerial Adapter --- Null Modem Cable --- USBtoSerial Adapter --- PC running PuTTY


Configure the PuTTY client to listen to the new COM port. Parameters required as follow.

Screen shot 2011-09-06 at 9.36.43 AM.png


You should immediately see debug information in your PuTTY session. Best of all, when the network connection breaks or the phone reboots, you'll keep getting debug output.


Here's what everything looks like:




Persistent Logging via SSH

Sometime it is necessary to collect debugs spanning a large period of time. This is usually done at the request of Cisco TAC to troubleshoot intermittent phone problems that are difficult to reproduce. The following steps uses the methods above to collect phone debugs over an extended period of time.


1. Configure console logging on your SSH client of choice.


2. SSH to the phone using the credentials configured in CCMAdmin

$ ssh cisco@

cisco@'s password:


3. Login to the Default Linux Shell (default/cisco)

(none) login: default



Welcome to MontaVista(R) Linux(R) Professional Edition Blackfoot (0702518).

Cisco IP Phone 9951 9-2-4-19




4. Enter the command '/usr/sbin/debugsh' to enter the Debug Shell

$ /usr/sbin/debugsh




5. Enable the debugs required by Cisco TAC. The following is an example of a setting a couple debugs

DEBUG> debug jvm UserIO debug

Successfully executed the command.


DEBUG> debug jvm SessionUI debug

Successfully executed the command.




6. Use the 'exit' command to return to the Default Linux Shell

DEBUG> exit

Exiting shell...


Logging out...



7. Use the command '/user/sbin/sdump' to being dumping the debugs to the terminal. This will continue to dump until an interrupt is sent (Cntrl-C).

$ /usr/sbin/sdump

sdump: PID = 3053

6 - Cisco Systems - # RELEASE Model=9951 Version=9-2-4-19

[TZ=GMT+4:00] Mon Nov 12 15:55:49 2012


6482 NOT 15:55:49.136029 CVM-



Error Messages / Troubleshooting

If the phone displays the error message:


The <Name of the USB To Serial Converter>  has been detected but is disabled by the Administrator.


That means you're not using a supported USB to Serial Converter. Ask some friends and find a different model to try. I'm sure someone has one in a desk drawer somewhere.


  I have configured the first username/password pair from the CCMAdmin Web Page to my 9971 Ip phone, but when i try to coonect under the SSH using this username and password after the ip phone is reset, i receive a Password authentication failed message. What is the issue?


Where exactly is the username/password field in the CCM Admin page?  I'm running CUCM 11.x and it is NOT in the Phone Device >> Protocol Specific Information section.







Disregard previous statement.  Location of the SSH credential is now in a separate field titled "Secure Shell Information" in the Phone Configuration page.. 


on a 8821 phone i am able to ssh into the phone with my set credentials, debug/debug works but cisco/default does not. Any ideas? my goal is to enable the webadmin of the phone. I am using cucme and cannot seem to get the webadmin to work through cucme settings

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