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Preventing Telnet Sessions From Timing Out

NOTE: Some Internet Service Providers have aggressive TCP session timeout limits. If you continue to get session timeouts after following these instructions with a single telnet session, then try connecting from a different ISP. You may also try using a different Telnet client or a another computer to see if that will help resolve the issue. Public Internet places such as hotels are among the worst for issuing aggressive TCP timeouts making your Telnet session almost unusable. CCIE Rack Rental is not responsible for these issues. We make sure that your sessions are not terminated prematurely on our end.


CCIE Rack Rental terminal servers are configured with an exec timeout of 4 hours on all VTY lines. This is more then long enough to last your entire session. However, Cisco devices have a default console time out of 10 minutes. It is recommended that you add the "exec-timeout 0 0" to "line console 0" on all the routers and switches to prevent the console from timing out. This is a local setting and has to be configured on a per device. Here is a configuration example:

Router#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
Router(config)#line console 0
Router(config-line)#exec-timeout 0 0



If you are still experiencing connection timeouts, PuTTy has the option to send null packets at regular intervals to keep the sessoin active. Under the PuTTY configuration, click on the Connection menu and enter 300 next to "Seconds between keepalives (0 to turn off)" to enable this feature.




SecureCRT 5.0 and above has a similar anti-idle feature to keep sessions active. It is located under the Sessoin Options > Terminal > Anti-idle window. To enable the anti-idle setting in SecureCRT, enter every 300 seconds for the "Send protocol NO-OP" option.


Alternatively, a null character can be sent on a regular interval instead by checking the Send string: option box and entering "\000" for the string and 300 for the number of seconds. Only one of these anti-idle settings need to be configured.


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