The Role of Junos Operational Mode and Configuration Mode

In this blog post, we will delve into the two primary modes of operation in Junos devices: the Operational Mode and the Configuration Mode. These modes are fundamental to understanding the Junos operating system, and are crucial for those studying for the JNCIS-ENT certification.

Operational Mode

When you first log into a Junos device, you are placed into the Operational Mode. This mode is primarily used for monitoring and troubleshooting the device. In this mode, you can execute commands to view the device's current configuration, monitor network traffic, and perform basic troubleshooting tasks.

For example, the show interfaces command displays the status of all interfaces on the device:

user@router> show interfaces

This command provides a detailed output of each interface, including its physical status (up or down), protocol status, and other relevant information.

Configuration Mode

To make configuration changes to a Junos device, you must enter Configuration Mode. You can enter this mode from Operational Mode by using the configure command:

user@router> configure

Once in Configuration Mode, the command prompt changes to indicate that you are now in this mode:


In Configuration Mode, you can make changes to the device's configuration. For example, you can configure an interface's IP address using the set interfaces command:

user@router# set interfaces ge-0/0/0 unit 0 family inet address

This command sets the IP address of the ge-0/0/0 interface to with a subnet mask of

Committing Changes

One of the unique features of Junos is that changes made in Configuration Mode are not immediately applied. Instead, they are staged in a candidate configuration. To apply the changes, you must use the commit command:

user@router# commit

This command applies the changes in the candidate configuration to the active configuration. If there are any errors in the candidate configuration, the commit command will fail, and the changes will not be applied.


Understanding the Operational Mode and Configuration Mode in Junos is fundamental for network engineers studying for the JNCIS-ENT certification. These modes provide the basis for monitoring, troubleshooting, and configuring Junos devices. By mastering these modes, you will be well on your way to becoming a Junos expert.

© Ben Jacobson.RSS