Mikrotik CRS3xx Basic Operation

Apparently, the CRS series has two operating systems. The default OS is called RouterOS (ROS) and the other is called SwOS. The default IP address to access the CRS328 is The management can be accessed via SSH, web UI (http) and Winbox, a Windows desktop client.

The default login credentials for SSH, web UI and probably the Winbox is admin and no password. Yep, the password is blank, so if it prompted you to enter the password, just hit the [enter] key and it would log you in.

I do not have a Windows machine to test the Winbox desktop client, so that is that. I am going to do all CLI which is what I preferred method anyways. The Mikrotik community seems to prefer the RouterOS even as a switch, so we are sticking with RouterOS. However, if you prefer to use the SwOS, you can switch to SwOS via the CLI on ROS or the web UI (System > Routerboard > Settings > Boot OS > SwOS)

system routerboard settings set boot-os=swos

Now, that switching from RouterOs to SwOS is out of the way, here are some info about the RouterOS at least based on my understanding.

Navigating through RouterOS

Just like your typical network OS, you can use the ? to list all available options at the current location and the [tab] key would auto-complete the command as long as the input is ambiguous; if the [tab] key is pressed twice, it would function similar to the ls command in Linux.

If you are familiar with Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto, Ubuquiti and VyOS, there is always an operational mode. You cannot change any configuration while in this mode; however, you can view the system resources, logs, perform basic diagnostic, etc. Then there is a configurational mode, going to this mode would allow the user to make changes and configure the system.

For what I can tell, Mikrotik does not have either operational or configuration modes. It is a flat > mode as shown below.

 [admin@mikrotik] >

The way I look at Mikrotik RouterOS CLI is very similar to Linux. You can navigate to the file system. And if you need to execute a command that doesn’t belong to the current location, you can use the absolute path as shown below in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Just like Juniper or Palo Alto, you can enter configuration in a single line command. You can drill down to the option as shown in Figure 1. You can also go one directory up by entering double dots ..“. You can jump back to the root config by just entering the backslash / as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2

To show the configuration, you would need to use the /export command. The output will depend on the current location. There is no show command. In Mikrotik world, it is the print option to view the resources, logs, etc.

Figure 3

For now, this is it. I really don’t want to make this a really long post.


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