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Core Issue

A TFTP transfer of a larger file over a slow connection may time out after 10 minutes. This occurs because, by default, the exec-timeout is set to 10 minutes. This issue causes the Telnet, or console session, to time out after 10 minutes of inactivity. Because no commands are entered once the TFTP transfer begins, this is considered inactive.


If a TFTP transfer is working, but times out after 10 minutes, extend the timeout period by issuing the exec-timeout [minutes] [seconds] line configuration command. For example, to set the timeout to 30 minutes and 30 seconds on the console port,  issue these commands:

router#configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
router(config)#line con 0
router(config-line)#exec-timeout 30 30

To verify the configuration, issue the show run command and scroll toward the end of the configuration. These lines should be present:

line con 0

exec-timeout 30 30

If the TFTP is being done through a Telnet session, the same command would be issued under line vty 0 4, as shown in this example:

router#configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
router(config)#line vty 0 4
router(config-line)#exec-timeout 30 30

The show run command should then show these lines:

line vty 0 4

exec-timeout 30 30

After this is configured, the session will not time out until 30 minutes and 30 seconds.

To disable the timeout completely, issue the  exec-timeout 0 0 line configuration command.

To set the timeout back to the default, issue the exec-timeout 10 0 line configuration command.

For more information on line vty, line con and line aux, refer to Telnet, Console and AUX Port Passwords on Cisco Routers Configuration Example.

Community Member

Actually, telnet session is maintained by transfer feedback - exclamation marks. So it's not clear when the situation described may occur.

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