Explore Genie

This page gives a quick overview on how Genie can help you!

To make these demos more interactive you can first install Genie then you can execute each of the exploration recipe.

We are also including workshops which we are currently presenting at CiscoLive part of DevNet Workshop. It is highly recommended for you to spend some time and go through them.


Genie is flexible and can be used in multiple ways. Pure python, Robot libraries and directly in Linux without even knowing any Python.

Examples can be cloned_ from: https://github.com/CiscoTestAutomation/examples/tree/master/libraries.

To execute them: cd $VIRTUAL_ENV/examples/

1. Parse devices’ outputs into structured output

Parsers allows you to parse show commands into structured output (Json/Dictionary).

Python Example

genie shell --testbed-file testbed.yaml --replay mocked_devices
output = testbed.devices['nx-osv-1'].parse('show version')
# {'platform': {'hardware': {'bootflash': '3184776 kB',
#    'chassis': 'NX-OSv Supervisor Module',
#    'device_name': 'nx-osv-1',
#    'model': 'NX-OSv',
#    'processor_board_id': 'TM00010000B',
#    'slots': 'None'},
#   'kernel_uptime': {'days': 6, 'hours': 1, 'minutes': 12, 'seconds': 30},
#   'name': 'Nexus',
#   'os': 'NX-OS',
#   'software': {'kickstart_compile_time': '1/11/2016 16:00:00 [02/11/2016 10:30:12]',
#    'kickstart_image_file': 'bootflash:///titanium-d1-kickstart.7.3.0.D1.1.bin',
#    'kickstart_version': '7.3(0)D1(1)',
#    'system_compile_time': '1/11/2016 16:00:00 [02/11/2016 13:08:11]',
#    'system_image_file': 'bootflash:///titanium-d1.7.3.0.D1.1.bin',
#    'system_version': '7.3(0)D1(1)'}}}


Run the genie shell command first, which gives a python interpreter

Linux Example

genie parse "show version" --testbed-file testbed.yaml --replay mocked_devices --devices nx-osv-1 --output explore1
| Genie Parse Summary for nx-osv-1                                             |
|  Connected to nx-osv-1                                                       |
|  -  Log: explore-1/connection_nx-osv-1.txt                                   |
|  Parsed command 'show version'                                               |
|  -  Parsed structure: explore-1/nx-osv-1_show-version_parsed.txt             |
|  -  Device Console:   explore-1/nx-osv-1_show-version_console.txt            |

There are over 500+ Parsers existing right now for you to use!

More information on Parser and Genie Cli.

2. Learn devices’ features into structured output

Instead of learning a few cli at the time, you can learn the whole feature and have it into 1 structured output (Json/Dictionary). This structure is agnostic between all OS (Identical between all the OS).

Python Mode

genie shell --testbed-file testbed.yaml --replay mocked_devices
output = testbed.devices['nx-osv-1'].learn('ospf')
import pprint
# {
# 'feature_ospf': True,
# 'vrf': {
#   'default': {
#     'address_family': {
#       'ipv4': {
#         'instance': {
#           '1': {
#             'graceful_restart': {
#               'ietf': {
#                 'enable': True,
#                 'restart_interval': 60,
#                 'type': 'ietf',
#                 },
#               },
#             'enable': True,
#             'auto_cost': {
# ...

Linux Mode

genie learn "ospf" --testbed-file testbed.yaml --replay mocked_devices --devices nx-osv-1
# +==============================================================================+
# | Genie Learn Summary for device nx-osv-1                                      |
# +==============================================================================+
# |  Connected to nx-osv-1                                                       |
# |  -   Log: ./connection_nx-osv-1.txt                                          |
# |------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
# |  Learnt feature 'ospf'                                                       |
# |  -  Ops structure:  ./ospf_nxos_nx-osv-1_ops.txt                             |
# |  -  Device Console: ./ospf_nxos_nx-osv-1_console.txt                         |
# |==============================================================================|

All available features

More information on Ops and Genie Cli.

3. Configure devices feature with python object

Genie Conf allows to configure a device with with python object following a structured object model. This object model is agnostic between all OS.

Python Mode

genie shell --testbed-file testbed.yaml --replay mocked_devices
from genie.conf.base import Interface
uut = testbed.devices['uut']
# Create an NXOS interface
nxos_interface = Interface(device=uut, name='Ethernet4/3')
# Add some configuration
nxos_interface.ipv4 = ''
nxos_interface.ipv4.netmask =''
nxos_interface.shutdown = False
# Verify configuration generated
# interface Ethernet4/3
#  no shutdown
#  ip address
#  exit
nxos_interface.build_config() # To apply on the device
nxos_interface.build_unconfig() # To remove configuration

All available features

More information on Conf.

4. Device API functions

Genie has a set of built in API functions that can be used to perform various actions including config, verify, get, analyze, and more on the device. They can be accessed directly with the device.apis method. To use them, simply find the API name you need, then call the API with it’s argument as: device.api.api_name(args_1, args_2, ....)



The above would perform the following action on the device:

config term
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
My_device(config)#interface Loopback0

5. RobotFramework Library

Familiar with RobotFramework ? Genie comes with its own Genie RobotFramework library.

Robot example can also be found in our Examples page as Example 5.

6. Run Testcases

Genie comes with a harness to execute triggers on your devices.

genie run --testbed-file testbed.yaml \
          --trigger-uids="And('TriggerShutNoShutBgp$')" \
          --verification-uids="And('Verify_BgpProcessVrfAll$')" \
          --html_logs . \
          --replay run_mocked_devices

All avaible triggers

More information on Harness.


Full log can be accessed from here TaskLog.html.

7. Write parsers

Parsergen allows to write parser from scratch with just one api call.

genie shell --testbed-file testbed.yaml --replay mocked_devices
from genie import parsergen
uut = testbed.devices['uut']
output = uut.execute('show interface brief')
result = parsergen.oper_fill_tabular(
                header_fields= [['Ethernet', 'VLAN', 'Type', 'Mode', 'Status', 'Reason', 'Speed', 'Port'],
                                ['Interface', '', '', '', '', '', '', 'Ch \#']],
                label_fields= ['Ethernet Interface', 'VLAN', 'Type', 'Mode', 'Status', 'Reason', 'Speed', 'Port'],
                device_output= output,
                device_os= 'nxos',
                index= [0])
import pprint
# {'Eth2/1': {'Ethernet Interface': 'Eth2/1',
#             'Mode': 'routed',
#             'Port': '--',
#             'Reason': 'none',
#             'Speed': '1000(D)',
#             'Status': 'up',
#             'Type': 'eth',
#             'VLAN': '--'},
#  'Eth2/10': {'Ethernet Interface': 'Eth2/10',
#              'Mode': 'routed',
#              'Port': '--',
#              'Reason': 'Administratively down',
#              'Speed': 'auto(D)',
#              'Status': 'down',
#              'Type': 'eth',
#  ...

More information on Parser and Genie Cli.

8. Possible ways to use Genie

Here are a few inspiration on how Genie can be useful

Test Automation oriented examples

  • Parse device output that can be used within script to verify certain state of the devices.

  • Re-use any of the available testcases to test your devices/images.

  • Future-proof design which works across connection (Cli/Yang/Xml/OpenConfig/Native models/…)

  • One script which works across platforms, spend time writing good libraries and less into modifying scripts

  • Verify Cli outputs with Yang and xml outputs!

DevNet oriented examples

  • Connect to your devices and make sure that all devices are up, running and pingable between each other

  • Connect to your devices and retrieve information about the state of your network

  • Collect snapshot of your network and compare with the initial snapshot

  • Parse device output and stored snapshot. Every <time> rerun same commands are compare state to make sure nothing has changed.

  • Take a snapshot of your network and compare the snapshot once a new image has been applied to verify the state of the network

  • Re-use any of the available testcases to test your Topologies after image upgrade.

  • Perform action such as Reload Devices, Perform Switchover, ShutNoShutBgp, ConfigUnconfigOspf, etc

  • Verify your topology is stable

  • And many more! Once you have the libraries, everything can be automated!

Contact us to discuss how Genie can help you!

9. Workshops

Here is two workshop to get you started with Genie.

  1. https://github.com/CiscoTestAutomation/CL-DevNet-2595

  2. https://github.com/RunSi/DEVWKS-2601

All the devices (They are mocked devices, python scripts which simulate devices) and needed information are on the github.