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How many commands are in the Cisco Router IOS. Current Version.

What is the number of commands.

Rising star


Your question is impossible to answer.

IOS are many different versions for different hardware platforms and different feature sets.

to add to that there are hidden commands and commands that works with only certain hardware and other commands that are "not in use" or deprecated.

Good luck


Rising star

For a rough order of magnitude, go to a command reference index. that will give you a rough measure of how many commands are available.

Leo L
VIP Community Legend

What is the number of commands.

Aside from the previous two reponses, your question is, how shall I phrase it, VAGUE.

You want to know how many commands are possible in an XYZ router using ABC IOS?  What Feature Set?

Heck, I'll even throw you a "gotcha" ... Does your question include HIDDEN COMMANDS????


No hidden commands

No feature sets.

Baseline IOS, 800 Series.

It would be nice to have the hidden commands and feature sets.

But not going to affect the reason I am hunting for the number of commands.

I like how everybody wants to make this really hard and no one has thought of just plain baseline ios and a low end router.

So now that I have defined this a little more let see where it leads.

Leo L
VIP Community Legend

Sorry dude, don't want to be difficult but even with your "search criterea" it's still misleading.

What EXACT model of the 800-series do you want?

800?  810?  830?  850?  870?  880?  890?

And what sub-specific router?  WAN?  DSL?

NOTE:  You do know that your question is like walking into your corner shop and asking the question:  I want to buy milk.

I doubt you will find the answer, I simply do not think there is a true answer that anyone knows and especially since you have no parameters in what you are asking for. but lets continue this until the bitter end .

I am myself all for doing stupid stunts/questions that makes no sense for anyone else but me. So ill amuse you.

First we need to establish one thing what is considered a command.

is the show command 1 command or many ?


sh ver

sh tech

is this two commands, many commands (show tech = several show commands in one) or is the original command show the command that counts ?

ie is it the base command or are all the different possible abreviations of the command a single countable entity ?

And of course it would be fun to understand why you would need this, and it might actually help you come to an answer if you explain the reason for your question.



According to the Cisco IOS Master Command List All Releases.

The ballpark figure is 16,794 commands.

Due to paste and cut to excel there is a chance for errors.

The break down is as follows.

2 -1

788 A

291 B

1913 C

2189 D

348 E

276 F

187 G

187 H

1663 I

2 J

51 K

418 L

1062 M

257 N

132 O

633 P

38 Q

530 R

4606 S

661 T

93 U

290 V

1 Y

13 Z

There is no stupid question expect the one not asked!

Now for the reason behind this question.

I was asked this question on a phone interview.

When I ask what the correct answer was I was given the same answer I received here from hobbe and leolaohoo.

it's impossible to know because of all of the variables.

And I felt that the (so called expert) was dodging the question and did not know the answer.

And that led me to here.

Vmiller was the only one that pointed me in the correct direction.

Like I stated in my second posting why make this harder then it really is.

And according to cisco yes all of the shows are commands.

Hi rhenson,

i honestly do not want to do any polemic. You should anyway keep in mind that these values cannot be taken in consideration for your job or for an interview for many reasons among the ones:

a) some commands are available to you only when you enable particular feature sets

b) there are hidden commands on all the IOS that cannot  be taken out if you realy want to count all of those

c) sometimes it happens that some IOS have some bugs and cisco can write some patches changing the number of commands for the same IOS

d) each version has a lot of subversions/minor releases etc.. that define many different IOS..

These and many other reasons bring all of us to suggest to use the Cisco master commands index only as a curiosity and anyway general indication. It is quite surprising that somebody stills makes nowaday this kind of questions for an interview....

good luck with your job


Leo L
VIP Community Legend

Now for the reason behind this question.

I was asked this question on a phone interview.


Someone asked this question DURING AN INTERVIEW????

I hope you did NOT get this because this question was not meant for you (or anyone) to answer correctly. 

The ballpark figure is 16,794 commands.

Nope.  It's alot higher.  And no, I'm not talking about the "hidden commands".  I am talking about various permutations/commutations each command can be combined to form a new command.

I would personally consider an interview question of "how many commands are there in a Cisco router" as stacked question and will therefore seriously doubt the sincerity of the prospective employer.

In Australia, a question like that from an employer and the entire interview process can be called into question regarding "fairness".

Sorry for the rant.  Just my two-cents.

I was taken back by the question and felt it was not a fair question and did not like the impossible answer all.

I knew there was a ballpark number. I am sure there are thousands more.

I was relieved when I did not get the job.

There is only one thing impossible to me, and that is making it out of this life alive!

I normally would have let it go but it just hung around in my head for several weeks before I posted.

Without having all the information it is very hard to understand why a specific question is asked, it could be that they wanted to see if you knew the answer, wich you do now, and how you reacted to such a question with such an answer.

Or maybe they just do not understand the question themselves and actually thought it would give them an answer to something, and it might have for them. Who knows what they where thinking when they set up the questions?

However that said, I to agree that it sounds like a quite useless question.

but then again interviews are seldom filled with only good question, and not always the questions the conductor of the interview wants to ask.

That said I agree with leo regarding the number, I do not think you are "close" with that number, but I also do not think it matters what the number is. it is way to high and my personal opinion that in itself is part of a security problem.

and still I would like to have some more stuff wich of course means more commands.

it is a dilemma.

Good luck

Hope This Helps