Getting Context Sensitive Help

Enter a question mark (?) at the system prompt to display a list of commands available for each mode. Obtain a list of arguments and keywords for any command using the CLI context-sensitive help.

Use the following commands to obtain help specific to a command mode, command name, keyword or argument:



(prompt)# help

Displays a brief description of the help system

(prompt)# abbreviated-command-entry?

Lists commands in the current mode that begin with a particular character string

(prompt)# abbreviated-command-entry<TAB>

Completes a partial command name

(prompt)# ?

Lists all commands available in the command mode

(prompt)# command ?

Lists the available syntax options (arguments and keywords) for the command

(prompt)# command keyword ?

Lists the next available syntax option for the command



The system prompt varies depending on the configuration mode.


Enter Ctrl + V to use ? as a regular character and not as a character used for displaying context sensitive help. This is required when the user has to enter a URL that ends with a ?


The escape character used through out the CLI is "\". To enter a "\" use "\\" instead.

When using context-sensitive help, the space (or lack of a space) before the question mark (?) is significant. To obtain a list of commands that begin with a particular sequence, enter the characters followed by a question mark (?). Do not include a space. This form of help is called word help, because it completes a word.

  service  Service Commands

  self             Config context of the device currently logged into
  service          Service Commands
  set-personality  Change personality on next reload


Enter a question mark (?) (in place of a keyword or argument) to list keywords or arguments. Include a space before the "?". This form of help is called command syntax help. It shows the keywords or arguments available based on the command/keyword and argument already entered.

nx9500-6C8809#service ?
  block-adopter-config-update       Block configuration updates from the
  bluetooth                         Bluetooth service commands
  clear                             Reset functions
  cli-tables-skin                   Choose a formatting layout/skin for CLI
                                    tabular outputs (EXPERIMENTAL-Applies only
                                    to certain commands)
  cluster                           Cluster Protocol
  copy                              Copy files or directories
  database                          Database Commands
  delete                            Delete sessions
  delete-offline-aps                Delete Access Points that are configured
                                    but offline
  eguest                            Guest commands
  force-send-config                 Resend configuration to the device
  force-update-vm-stats             Force VM statistics to be pushed up to the
  guest-registration                Guest registration
  load-balancing                    Wireless load-balancing service commands
  load-ssh-authorized-keys          Load Ssh authorized keys
  locator                           Enable leds flashing on the device
  mint                              MiNT protocol
  nsight                            Nsight
  pktcap                            Start packet capture
  pm                                Process Monitor
  radio                             Radio parameters
  radius                            Radius test
  request-full-config-from-adopter  Request full configuration from the
  restore                           Restore from a backup
  set                               Set global options
  show                              Show running system information
  signal                            Send a signal to a process
  smart-rf                          Smart-RF Management Commands
  snmp                              Snmp
  snmpv3                            Snmpv3
  ssm                               Command related to ssm
  start-shell                       Provide shell access
  syslog                            Syslog service
  trace                             Trace a process for system calls and
  troubleshoot                      Troubleshooting
  wireless                          Wireless service commands


It is possible to abbreviate commands and keywords to allow a unique abbreviation. For example, "configure terminal" can be abbreviated as config t. Since the abbreviated command is unique, the wireless controller accepts the abbreviation and executes the command.

Enter the help command (available in any command mode) to provide the following description:


When using the CLI, help is provided at the command line when typing '?'.

If no help is available, the help content will be empty. Backup until entering a '?'
shows the help content.

There are two styles of help provided:
1. Full help. Available when entering a command argument (e.g. 'show ?'). This will
   describe each possible argument.

2. Partial help. Available when an abbreviated argument is entered. This will display
   which arguments match the input (e.g. 'show ve?').