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Etherlite Boot Console


The Etherlite Boot Console is a simple CommandLine Interface, which can be very useful in configuring the Etherlite, in addition to addressing several known issues:

1.Multiple BOOTP and DHCP Server Configuration Problem.

Large network installations may have several BOOTP and/or DHCP Servers intermixed. Because of the dynamic operation of DHCP, it is possible to have an unintended server assign an IP address to an Etherlite. You will not know what server assigned the address, and you will not know what the address is.

2.BOOTP/DHCP Server is down, or one doesn't exist.

Your server is down, or you don't have a fulltime BOOTP or DCHP server enabled, but you need to get an Etherlite up and running.

3. Provide an additional tool when trying to diagnose basic network and Etherlite configuration problems.

The boot console has ping capability, but also provides an additional method to change settings if other methods are not working.

Activating the Boot Console

Serial Cable required:  To gain access to the Boot Console, you will need to attach a terminal or terminal emulator to Port 1 of the Etherlite.
  • A three-wire cable is used, which connects TXD, RXD, and GND (the Etherlite does not assert DTR or RTS by default). If your terminal requires these signals, you will need to loop them at the terminal side.
  • The Boot Console operates at 19200 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and No Parity.

To activate the console:

  1. Unplug the Ethernet cable from the Etherlite.
  2. Plug (or unplug/re-plug) the power into the Etherlite. The Link LED should be off and the Power LED flashing.  If Link LED is still lit, see #1 above.
  3. On the terminal keyboard, press the # key repeatedly until you get a console prompt (should only take 3 strokes).  If prompt is not seen, verify the correct serial settings are in use on the terminal, as described above.

An example of the EL-16 prompt:


--EL-16 V1.7--

Using the "show" command:

? show
Ethernet: 00:A0:E7:21:6B:EB
OPTIMIZE: throughput


CLI Commandset

Below is the list of commands that the Boot Console supports. All commands are in lower case - commands are case sensitive.

help - This display
show - Show all settings
boot - Resumes booting
ip - Set IP address (default:
gw - Set gateway address (default:
sm - Set subnet mask (default:
ahip - Set authorized host IP (default:
ahm - Set authorized host mask (default:
tftpip - Set the tftp host server IP address (default:*
bf - Set firmware filename (default: elxx.prm).*
vpports - Set the number of virtual ports
vptimeout - Set virtual port timeout (decisec)
optimize - Set optimize to 'latency' or 'throughput'
store - Store settings in flash RAM
erase - Erase settings from flash RAM
reset - Reset all defaults.
ping - Ping an ip address.

* Value not supported by "store" command. This information will be lost on power loss.

NOTE: The ethernet cable must be reattached after the commands are entered to allow the changes to be stored and activated.

Multiple BOOTP/DHCP Server Problem

f you are trying to debug a multiple BOOTP/DHCP server problem:

  1. Activate the boot console
  2. Replace the Ethernet cable
  3. Issue the "boot" command.

The Etherlite will display the host IP address, assigned IP address, gateway, subnet mask, and bootfile received from the server.

Note: If you've set an IP address using the "ip" command or the Etherlite has a stored IP address, it will not generate a BOOTP request when you enter the "boot" command. You will need to clear it first by setting the IP address to

Temporary Setting of an IP address

To temporarily set an IP address:

  1. Activate the boot console
  2. Enter the "ip x.x.x.x" command
  3. Issue the "boot" command.

The Etherlite will skip the BOOTP portion of the boot sequence and simply use the assigned IP. There is no need to set the Gateway or Subnet Mask.

Permanent Setting of an IP address

To permanently store an IP address or other configuration information:

  1. Activate the boot console.
  2. Enter the "ip x.x.x.x" command.
  3. Issue the "store" command.

The store command will save the configuration to flash memory, then reboot the Etherlite.

Other configuration information that can be stored is a default gateway IP (gw), subnet mask (sm), and one Authorized Host List entry along with mask (ahip and ahm).

Pinging a Host

The ping command will send a single ICMP echo request to the specified host, then wait up to 20 seconds for a response.

In order for ping to work correctly, the IP address, default gateway address, and subnet mask must all be correctly configured. If the target host is on the same LAN segment, the default gateway and subnet values are unnecessary.

Updating Firmware

Etherlite firmware is updated using a TFTP server and the bootfile option of BOOTP/DHCP. Even if you don't use a BOOTP/DHCP, server you can still update the firmware using the Boot Console and TFTP.

To update the firmware:

1. Setup a tftp server (see OS documentation for details) and copy the firmware file to the tftp directory.
2. Enter "tftpip" where xxx is the IP address of the TFTP server from step 1.
3. Enter "bf filename" where filename is the name of the firmware file.
4. Plug in the Ethernet cable.
5. Issue the "boot" command.

The Etherlite will attempt to download the named bootfile from the TFTP server. In order for this to work correctly, you must set a valid IP address, gateway address, and subnet mask. Please note that TFTP boothost and bootfile are not stored.

Authorized Host Entry

The Authorized Host List is a security feature used to limit which hosts may make "socket" connections to the Etherlite. You may set and store only one entry from the Boot Console. If you need to set more than one entry, a BOOTP or DHCP server must be used.

The authorized host IP (ahip) and authorized host mask (ahm) function in a similar manner to an IP address and subnet mask. ahm is a bit mask indicating which bits of the ahip are important.

Example 1: You only want to only allow host to connect to an Etherlite. You would set ahm to and ahip to The Etherlite will logically "AND" ahm with the connecting hosts IP address, then compare the result against ahip. If the result does not match, access is denied.

Example 2: You want to limit access to hosts on a subnet range of through You would set ahm to and the ahip to

Last updated: Jun 05, 2019

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