Fortinet Document Library

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Table of Contents

CLI Reference

Tips & tricks

Basic features and characteristics of the CLI environment provide support and ease of use for many CLI tasks.

This section includes:

Help

  • To display brief help during command entry, press the question mark (?) key.
  • Press the question mark (?) key at the command prompt to display a list of the commands available and a description of each.
  • Press the question mark (?) key after a command keyword to display a list of the objects available with that command and a description of each.
  • Type a word or part of a word, then press the question mark (?) key to display a list of valid word completions or subsequent words, and to display a description of each.

Shortcuts & key commands

Shortcuts and key commands

Action Keys

List valid word completions or subsequent words.

If multiple words could complete your entry, display all possible completions with helpful descriptions of each.

?

Complete the word with the next available match.

Press the key multiple times to cycle through available matches.

Tab

Recall the previous command.

Command memory is limited to the current session.

Up arrow, or

Ctrl + P

Recall the next command.

Down arrow, or

Ctrl + N

Move the cursor left or right within the command line.

Left or Right arrow

Move the cursor to the beginning of the command line.

Ctrl + A

Move the cursor to the end of the command line.

Ctrl + E

Move the cursor backwards one word.

Ctrl + B

Move the cursor forwards one word.

Ctrl + F

Delete the current character.

Ctrl + D

Abort current interactive commands, such as when entering multiple lines.

If you are not currently within an interactive command such as config or edit, this closes the CLI connection.

Ctrl + C

Continue typing a command on the next line for a multi-line command.

For each line that you want to continue, terminate it with a backslash ( \ ). To complete the command line, terminate it by pressing the spacebar and then the Enter key, without an immediately preceding backslash.

\ then Enter

Command abbreviation

You can abbreviate words in the command line to their smallest number of non‑ambiguous characters. For example, the command get system status could be abbreviated to:

g sy st

If you enter an ambiguous command, the CLI returns an error message such as:

ambiguous command before 's'

Value conflicts with system settings.

Special characters

Special characters <, >, (,), #, ', and " are usually not permitted in CLI. If you use them, the CLI will often return an error message such as:

The string contains XSS vulnerability characters

 

value parse error before '%^@'

Input not as expected.

Some may be enclosed in quotes or preceded with a backslash ( \ ) character.

Entering special characters

Character Key

?

Ctrl + V then ?

Tab

Ctrl + V then Tab

Space

(to be interpreted as part of a string value, not to end the string)

Enclose the string in quotation marks: “Security Administrator”.

Enclose the string in single quotes: 'Security Administrator'.

Precede the space with a backslash: Security\ Administrator.

'

(to be interpreted as part of a string value, not to end the string)

\'

"

(to be interpreted as part of a string value, not to end the string)

\"

\

\\

Language support & regular expressions

Languages currently supported by the CLI interface include:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese

In general, the names of configuration objects should be composed from common characters A-Z, a-z, 0-9, _, -.

Characters such as ñ, é, symbols, and ideographs are sometimes acceptable input. Support varies by the nature of the item being configured. CLI commands, objects, field names, and options must use their exact ASCII characters, but some items with arbitrary names or values may be input using your language of choice.

For example, the host name must not contain special characters, and so the web UI and CLI will not accept most symbols and other non-ASCII encoded characters as input when configuring the host name. This means that languages other than English often are not supported. However, some configuration items, such as names and comments, may be able to use the language of your choice.

To use other languages in those cases, you must use the correct encoding.

The system stores the input using Unicode UTF-8 encoding, but it is not normalized from other encodings into UTF-8 before stored. If your input method encodes some characters differently than in UTF-8, your configured items may not display or operate as expected.

Regular expressions are especially impacted. Matching uses the UTF‑8 character values. If you enter a regular expression using another encoding, or if an HTTP client sends a request in an encoding other than UTF‑8, matches may not be what you expect.

For example, with Shift-JIS, backslashes ( \ ) could be inadvertently interpreted as yen symbols ( ¥ ) and vice versa. A regular expression intended to match HTTP requests containing money values with a yen symbol therefore may not work it if the symbol is entered using the wrong encoding.

For best results, follow these guidelines:

  • Use UTF-8 encoding, or
  • Use only the characters whose numerically encoded values are the same in UTF‑8, such as the US-ASCII characters that are also encoded using the same values in ISO 8859-1, Windows code page 1252, Shift-JIS and other encodings, or
  • For regular expressions that must match HTTP requests, use the same encoding as your HTTP clients
HTTP clients may send requests in encodings other than UTF-8. Encodings usually vary by the client’s operating system or input language. If you cannot predict the client’s encoding, you may only be able to match any parts of the request that are in English, because regardless of the encoding, the values for English characters tend to be encoded identically. For example, English words may be legible regardless of interpreting a web page as either ISO 8859-1 or as GB2312, whereas simplified Chinese characters might only be legible if the page is interpreted as GB2312.

To configure the system using other encodings, you might need to switch language settings on your management computer, including for your web browser or Telnet or SSH client. For instructions on how to configure your management computer’s operating system language, locale, or input method, see its documentation.

If you choose to configure parts of the system using non-ASCII characters, verify that all systems interacting with the FortiADC appliance also support the same encodings. You should also use the same encoding throughout the configuration if possible in order to avoid needing to switch the language settings of your web browser or Telnet or SSH client while you work.

Similarly to input, your web browser or CLI client should usually interpret display output as encoded using UTF-8. If it does not, your configured items may not display correctly in the web UI or CLI. Exceptions include items such as regular expressions that you may have configured using other encodings in order to match the encoding of HTTP requests that the system receives.

To enter non-ASCII characters in a Telnet or SSH client
  1. On your management computer, start your Telnet or SSH client.
  2. Configure your Telnet or SSH client to send and receive characters using UTF-8 encoding the encoding.
  3. Support for sending and receiving international characters varies by each Telnet or SSH client. Consult the documentation for your Telnet or SSH client.

  4. Log into the FortiADC system.
  5. At the command prompt, type your command and press Enter.

You might need to surround words that use encoded characters with single quotes ( ' ).

Depending on your Telnet or SSH client’s support for your language’s input methods and for sending international characters, you may need to interpret them into character codes before pressing Enter.

For example, you might need to enter:

edit '\743\601\613\743\601\652'

The CLI displays your previous command and its output.

 

Screen paging

When output spans multiple pages, you can configure the CLI to pause after each page. When the display pauses, the last line displays ‑‑More‑‑. You can then either:

  • Press the spacebar to display the next page.
  • Type Q to truncate the output and return to the command prompt.

This might be useful when displaying lengthy output, such as the list of possible matching commands for command completion, or a long list of settings. Rather than scrolling through or possibly exceeding the buffer of your terminal emulator, you can simply display one page at a time.

Tips & tricks

Basic features and characteristics of the CLI environment provide support and ease of use for many CLI tasks.

This section includes:

Help

  • To display brief help during command entry, press the question mark (?) key.
  • Press the question mark (?) key at the command prompt to display a list of the commands available and a description of each.
  • Press the question mark (?) key after a command keyword to display a list of the objects available with that command and a description of each.
  • Type a word or part of a word, then press the question mark (?) key to display a list of valid word completions or subsequent words, and to display a description of each.

Shortcuts & key commands

Shortcuts and key commands

Action Keys

List valid word completions or subsequent words.

If multiple words could complete your entry, display all possible completions with helpful descriptions of each.

?

Complete the word with the next available match.

Press the key multiple times to cycle through available matches.

Tab

Recall the previous command.

Command memory is limited to the current session.

Up arrow, or

Ctrl + P

Recall the next command.

Down arrow, or

Ctrl + N

Move the cursor left or right within the command line.

Left or Right arrow

Move the cursor to the beginning of the command line.

Ctrl + A

Move the cursor to the end of the command line.

Ctrl + E

Move the cursor backwards one word.

Ctrl + B

Move the cursor forwards one word.

Ctrl + F

Delete the current character.

Ctrl + D

Abort current interactive commands, such as when entering multiple lines.

If you are not currently within an interactive command such as config or edit, this closes the CLI connection.

Ctrl + C

Continue typing a command on the next line for a multi-line command.

For each line that you want to continue, terminate it with a backslash ( \ ). To complete the command line, terminate it by pressing the spacebar and then the Enter key, without an immediately preceding backslash.

\ then Enter

Command abbreviation

You can abbreviate words in the command line to their smallest number of non‑ambiguous characters. For example, the command get system status could be abbreviated to:

g sy st

If you enter an ambiguous command, the CLI returns an error message such as:

ambiguous command before 's'

Value conflicts with system settings.

Special characters

Special characters <, >, (,), #, ', and " are usually not permitted in CLI. If you use them, the CLI will often return an error message such as:

The string contains XSS vulnerability characters

 

value parse error before '%^@'

Input not as expected.

Some may be enclosed in quotes or preceded with a backslash ( \ ) character.

Entering special characters

Character Key

?

Ctrl + V then ?

Tab

Ctrl + V then Tab

Space

(to be interpreted as part of a string value, not to end the string)

Enclose the string in quotation marks: “Security Administrator”.

Enclose the string in single quotes: 'Security Administrator'.

Precede the space with a backslash: Security\ Administrator.

'

(to be interpreted as part of a string value, not to end the string)

\'

"

(to be interpreted as part of a string value, not to end the string)

\"

\

\\

Language support & regular expressions

Languages currently supported by the CLI interface include:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese

In general, the names of configuration objects should be composed from common characters A-Z, a-z, 0-9, _, -.

Characters such as ñ, é, symbols, and ideographs are sometimes acceptable input. Support varies by the nature of the item being configured. CLI commands, objects, field names, and options must use their exact ASCII characters, but some items with arbitrary names or values may be input using your language of choice.

For example, the host name must not contain special characters, and so the web UI and CLI will not accept most symbols and other non-ASCII encoded characters as input when configuring the host name. This means that languages other than English often are not supported. However, some configuration items, such as names and comments, may be able to use the language of your choice.

To use other languages in those cases, you must use the correct encoding.

The system stores the input using Unicode UTF-8 encoding, but it is not normalized from other encodings into UTF-8 before stored. If your input method encodes some characters differently than in UTF-8, your configured items may not display or operate as expected.

Regular expressions are especially impacted. Matching uses the UTF‑8 character values. If you enter a regular expression using another encoding, or if an HTTP client sends a request in an encoding other than UTF‑8, matches may not be what you expect.

For example, with Shift-JIS, backslashes ( \ ) could be inadvertently interpreted as yen symbols ( ¥ ) and vice versa. A regular expression intended to match HTTP requests containing money values with a yen symbol therefore may not work it if the symbol is entered using the wrong encoding.

For best results, follow these guidelines:

  • Use UTF-8 encoding, or
  • Use only the characters whose numerically encoded values are the same in UTF‑8, such as the US-ASCII characters that are also encoded using the same values in ISO 8859-1, Windows code page 1252, Shift-JIS and other encodings, or
  • For regular expressions that must match HTTP requests, use the same encoding as your HTTP clients
HTTP clients may send requests in encodings other than UTF-8. Encodings usually vary by the client’s operating system or input language. If you cannot predict the client’s encoding, you may only be able to match any parts of the request that are in English, because regardless of the encoding, the values for English characters tend to be encoded identically. For example, English words may be legible regardless of interpreting a web page as either ISO 8859-1 or as GB2312, whereas simplified Chinese characters might only be legible if the page is interpreted as GB2312.

To configure the system using other encodings, you might need to switch language settings on your management computer, including for your web browser or Telnet or SSH client. For instructions on how to configure your management computer’s operating system language, locale, or input method, see its documentation.

If you choose to configure parts of the system using non-ASCII characters, verify that all systems interacting with the FortiADC appliance also support the same encodings. You should also use the same encoding throughout the configuration if possible in order to avoid needing to switch the language settings of your web browser or Telnet or SSH client while you work.

Similarly to input, your web browser or CLI client should usually interpret display output as encoded using UTF-8. If it does not, your configured items may not display correctly in the web UI or CLI. Exceptions include items such as regular expressions that you may have configured using other encodings in order to match the encoding of HTTP requests that the system receives.

To enter non-ASCII characters in a Telnet or SSH client
  1. On your management computer, start your Telnet or SSH client.
  2. Configure your Telnet or SSH client to send and receive characters using UTF-8 encoding the encoding.
  3. Support for sending and receiving international characters varies by each Telnet or SSH client. Consult the documentation for your Telnet or SSH client.

  4. Log into the FortiADC system.
  5. At the command prompt, type your command and press Enter.

You might need to surround words that use encoded characters with single quotes ( ' ).

Depending on your Telnet or SSH client’s support for your language’s input methods and for sending international characters, you may need to interpret them into character codes before pressing Enter.

For example, you might need to enter:

edit '\743\601\613\743\601\652'

The CLI displays your previous command and its output.

 

Screen paging

When output spans multiple pages, you can configure the CLI to pause after each page. When the display pauses, the last line displays ‑‑More‑‑. You can then either:

  • Press the spacebar to display the next page.
  • Type Q to truncate the output and return to the command prompt.

This might be useful when displaying lengthy output, such as the list of possible matching commands for command completion, or a long list of settings. Rather than scrolling through or possibly exceeding the buffer of your terminal emulator, you can simply display one page at a time.