Dameon Welch-Abernathy

A Brief History of Demo Mode for Policy Editor and SmartDashboard

Discussion created by Dameon Welch-Abernathy Moderator on Aug 9, 2017
Latest reply on Aug 9, 2017 by Dameon Welch-Abernathy

Consider this a bit of a Throwback Thursday post.


How many of you remember logging to Policy Editor as follows:



This was the way you activated Demo Mode before it was even exposed in Policy Editor (precursor to SmartDashboard) in NG FP2.

Here's a snapshot from R55:



Anyone happen to remember the first version this was added to? 

And did anyone realize that *local continued to work until R80?


One thing that was nice about demo mode pre-R80 was that you could run it on your local PC with no network connectivity.

Some features were not available as a result of that, but it was enough to show basic configuration and usability.

If you wanted, you could even edit a few of the files, such as:


  • rules.fws : Contains all defined rulebases. It is exactly the same format as $FWDIR/conf/rulebases.fws on the management console.

  • objects.fws : Contains all users and services. It is exactly the same format as $FWDIR/conf/objects.C on the management console.

  • users.fws : Contains users and groups for the demo rulebases. Note that this file is of a different format than $FWDIR/conf/fwauth.NDB. To get a feel for the format, create some users in *local mode and view the file.

  • lv_recs.fws : Contains demonstration log entries.

I used Demo Mode for a lot of the screenshots in my books


Due to the significant changes in the management backend on R80, a local demo now requires a full VM of Gaia running.

As that can be resource-intensive, there is also a Cloud Demo for R80.10 where you connect to a VM hosted in the cloud versus on a local machine.

More details here: Cool Feature in R80.x: Cloud-Based Demo Mode

On the plus side, this means almost all features can be demonstrated short of a full policy installation.