Quick basic configuration of a Cisco ASA firewall for custom IP address and ASDM access

Here are a few quick commands to wipe a Cisco ASA series firewall, resetting it to factory defaults, and then enabling the device for an IP address on your own subnet rather than the default, as well as setting up ASDM and telnet and ssh access. This gives you a very basic configuration from which you can access the device. First connect to the device via the console port and run the following commands to wipe the device:

ciscoasa> enable

ciscoasa# conf t

ciscoasa(config)# configure factory-default

Once the device has loaded the default configuration, disable DHCP on the inside interface to prevent the device dishing out IP addresses. This may not be relevant in your environment but in ours DHCP is provided elsewhere:

ciscoasa(config)# no dhcpd enable inside

ciscoasa(config)# no dhcpd address inside

Set the ip address for the inside LAN on interface vlan1 if this is the vlan you are using for the inside network:

ciscoasa(config)# int vlan1

ciscoasa(config-if)# ip address

ciscoasa(config-if)# exit

Enable the http server, and allow access from the inside subnet

ciscoasa(config)# http server enable

ciscoasa(config)# http inside

Configure the local AAA authentication database and create a new user account to log in to ASDM with:

ciscoasa(config)# aaa authentication http console LOCAL

ciscoasa(config)# username oasysadmin password Pa55word

Enable telnet and/or ssh on the inside interface if required:

ciscoasa(config)# telnet inside

ciscoasa(config)# ssh inside

ciscoasa(config)# aaa authentication ssh console LOCAL

Set the enable password

ciscoasa(config)# enable password Pa55word

Save the configuration and reload

ciscoasa(config)# write mem

ciscoasa(config)# exit

ciscoasa# reload


Upgrading the ASA and ADSM software on a Cisco ASA series firewall

Firstly telnet or ssh in to your ASA device, in this example I am using an ASA 5505 with a security plus license installed.


Type in your telnet password. At the prompt type:


At this stage you can use the show version command to show the current running ASA software version. The show bootvar command will also show you which software image file the device is using. Next type:

show disk0:

This will show you the current contents of your flash memory and also the amount of free space. It is important that you check that there is enough free space in flash memory to accomodate the new image files that you want to upload before doing so. In this example the current running versions were:



I also noticed a couple of other software images taking up space in the flash memory which were asa831-k8.bin and asdm-631.bin. Knowing that these were not currently in use, and that I would be upgrading to a more recent version I decided to delete these to free up space by issuing the following commands:

delete asa831-k8.bin

delete asdm-631.bin

Having downloaded asa842.bin and asdm645-206.bin from cisco.com, I next copied these the the flash memory on the ASA, as shown in the prompts and commands below:

copy tftp disk0:

address or name of remote host []?   Press ‘Return’ to confirm or enter a different ip address for an alternative tftp server

source filename [asa821-k8.bin]? asa842-k8.bin

destination filename [asa842-k8.bin]? Press return to confirm the destination filename

Ths ASA software image will copy from the tftp server to flash memory.

copy tftp disk0:

address or name of remote host []?   Press ‘Return’ to confirm or enter a different ip address for an alternative tftp server

source filename [asa821-k8.bin]? asdm-645-206.bin

destination filename [asdm-645-206.bin]? Press return to confirm the destination filename

The ASDM software image will copy from the tftp server to flash memory.

Enter configuration mode:

conf t

Next set the new ASA software image to be the boot image using the following command:

boot system disk0:/asa842-k8.bin

Then set the new ASDM software image to be the preferred ASDM image:

asdm image disk0:/asdm-645-206.bin

Issuing the following commands to save these settings:


write mem

and then the following command to restart the ASA device:


At this stage you should be done although in this example I came up against another issue that I will explain for completeness. After rebooting the ASA the device came up fine but on trying to access ASDM, after logging in the status bar would hang on 15% with a status of ‘Discovering Device Information’. I was unable to access ASDM. Notes on cisco.com explained that after the software upgrade is completed the system will upgrade the configuration on the following boot. When upgrading from 8.2.1 to 8.4.2 the subsequent configuration upgrade caused an error log to be written to flash in the format:


These error logs can be viewed by issuing the command:

show startup-config errors

In this case the content of these log files was:

INFO: MIGRATION – Saving the startup errors to file ‘flash:upgrade_startup_errors_201112201404.log’ Reading from flash… ! REAL IP MIGRATION: WARNING In this version access-lists used in ‘access-group’, ‘class-map’, ‘dynamic-filter classify-list’, ‘aaa match’ will be migrated from using IP address/ports as seen on interface, to their real values. If an access-list used by these features is shared with per-user ACL then the original access-list has to be recreated. INFO: Note that identical IP addresses or overlapping IP ranges on different interfaces are not detectable by automated Real IP migration. If your deployment contains such scenarios, please verify your migrated configuration is appropriate for those overlapping addresses/ranges. Please also refer to the ASA 8.3 migration guide for a complete explanation of the automated migration process.

INFO: MIGRATION – Saving the startup configuration to file

INFO: MIGRATION – Startup configuration saved to file ‘flash:8_2_1_0_startup_cfg.sav’ *** Output from config line 4, “ASA Version 8.2(1) ” NAT migration logs: INFO: NAT migration completed. Real IP migration logs:  No

In order to complete the configuration upgrade it was necessary to save the config to memory as stated here:

write mem

After restarting the ASA device a second time ASDM was accessible, and the upgrade was complete.


Cisco ASA 5500 Migration to Version 8.3 and Later

Release Notes for the Cisco ASA 5500 Series, 8.4(x)

PIX/ASA: Upgrade a Software Image using ASDM or CLI Configuration Example