How to create read-only user accounts on a Cisco router using Packet Tracer

In this post, I will share with us on how to create read-only user accounts on a Cisco router. If you lead a team of network administrators, among them, those you want to only read configuration commands but not change anything, or you simply want to allow someone else access your router and help troubleshoot an issue without making configuration changes, then you need to create a read-only account for such a user. The read-only account will allow a user log in and read configurations without being able to make changes.

I will create a read-only account on a cisco router and apply it to the vty line. This will allow users access the router via ssh and read running configuration commands. Any attempt to issue commands other than the ones allowed for such users will be refused and an invalid message will be displayed.

To accomplish this task, I will create two accounts; the administrator account with full access and the read-only account. I will then configure ssh and instruct the router to authorize vty logins with the local database. This task will be done using the Cisco Packet Tracer. The configuration is the same for live Cisco routers.

Network Topology

create read-only user accounts on a Cisco router

Create users in the local database

Router(config)#username superadmin privilege 15 pass cisco

Router(config)#username test privilege 3 pass cisco

You must have an administrator account with full access, then the read-only account. Level 15 is the highest while level 1 is the least. Next, we specify the privilege level available to the user.

Router(config)##privilege exec level 3 show running-config

Now, let us configure ssh and instruct the router to authorize ssh users using the local database


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Router(config)#hostname Timigate

Timigate(config)#ip domain-name

Timigate(config)#crypto key generate rsa

  • Enter a value for rsa key. I used 1024

Timigate(config)#ip ssh authentication-retries 3

Timigate(config)#ip ssh time-out 3

Timigate(config)#line vty 0 4

Timigate(config-line)#login local

Timigate(config-line)#transport input ssh



To verify, I will log into the router via ssh using the read-only account and then try to go to the global configuration mode. See below.

create read-only user accounts on a Cisco router

You can see that an attempt to go to global config mode was refused and an “invalid input detected at ‘^’ marker.” message was displayed. But right after that, the ‘sh run’ command was issued and the running configuration on the router was shown.

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