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> Chapter 2 - Getting Started > Using the CLI > Connecting to the CLI

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Connecting to the CLI

You can access the CLI in three ways:

  • Locally with a console cable — Connect your computer directly to the FortiGate unit’s console port. Local access is required in some cases:
  • If you are installing your FortiGate unit for the first time and it is not yet configured to connect to your network, you may only be able to connect to the CLI using a local serial console connection, unless you reconfigure your computer’s network settings for a peer connection.
  • Restoring the firmware utilizes a boot interrupt. Network access to the CLI is not available until after the boot process has completed, making local CLI access the only viable option.
  • Through the network — Connect your computer through any network attached to one of the FortiGate unit’s network ports. The network interface must have enabled Telnet or SSH administrative access if you will connect using an SSH/Telnet client, or HTTP/HTTPS administrative access if you will connect using the CLI Console widget in the web-based manager.
  • Locally with FortiExplorer — Connect your computer directly to the FortiGate unit’s USB management port. FortiExplorer provides direct access to the FortiOS setup wizard, Web-based Manager, and CLI console.