Genie Parser Recipes

1. Summary

Genie.libs.parsers is a parser library. It takes device output and convert it into a structured datatype (Json/dictionary)

Port   VRF          Status IP Address                              Speed    MTU

Ethernet      VLAN    Type Mode   Status  Reason                   Speed     Port
Interface                                                                    Ch #
Eth1/1        1       eth  routed up      none                       1000(D) --
Eth1/2        --      eth  routed up      none                       1000(D) --
Eth1/3        --      eth  routed up      none                       1000(D) --

And convert it into

# parsed_output
# -------------
# {'Eth1/1': {'Ethernet Interface': 'Eth1/1',
#             'Mode': 'routed',
#             'Port': '--',
#             'Reason': 'none',
#             'Speed': '1000(D)',
#             'Status': 'up',
#             'Type': 'eth',
#             'VLAN': '1'},
#  'Eth1/2': {'Ethernet Interface': 'Eth1/2',
#             'Mode': 'routed',
#             'Port': '--',
#             'Reason': 'none',
#             'Speed': '1000(D)',
#             'Status': 'up',
#             'Type': 'eth',
#             'VLAN': '--'},
#  'Eth1/3': {'Ethernet Interface': 'Eth1/3',
#             'Mode': 'routed',
#             'Port': '--',
#             'Reason': 'none',
#             'Speed': '1000(D)',
#             'Status': 'up',
#             'Type': 'eth',
#             'VLAN': '--'}}

Once you have this structured data you can do so much with it:

  • Look for specific key/value

  • Verify if state is as expected

  • Compare between two dictionaries and verify if anything has changed

Once you have the data, the possibilities are really limitless.

2. Available parsers

Visit our website to find all the available parsers.

3. How to execute a parser - Python

Parsers are easy to call.

You want to call it within python? First, you must have a Genie Testbed object.

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)'}}}


You can also use the Genie shell command line for Python interactive shell


use device.parse('all') to run all the available parsers on the device, and the output will be returned in a dictionary format: {'show command' : parsed_output}. If an exception occurred during the execution a particular parser, then parsed_output will become the exception object.

3. How to execute a parser - Linux

Parsers are easy to call even without knowing python.

genie parse "show version" --testbed-file testbed.yaml --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            |


You can find all the details in the Genie Cli documentaiton

4. Get exclude keys for a parser - Python

from genie.libs.parser.utils import get_parser_exclude
get_parser_exclude('show interface', dev)
['in_unicast_pkts', 'out_unicast_pkts', 'in_octets', 'out_octets', 'in_pkts', 'out_pkts', ...]

5. Compare two parsers - Python

from genie import testbed
from genie.utils.diff import Diff
from genie.libs.parser.utils import get_parser_exclude
tb = testbed.load('tb.yaml')
device = tb.devices['nx-osv-1']
output1 = device.parse('show version')
output2 = device.parse('show version')
# Without exclude keys
diff = Diff(output1, output2)
+  seconds: 15
-  seconds: 3

# With exclude keys
diff = Diff(output1, output2, exclude=get_parser_exclude('show version', device))

6. Executing parsers with fuzzy search - Python

Adding fuzzy=True when calling parse enables fuzzy search, which allows you to use some regex syntax in your search and match multiple commands. By default, searching for command is done by exact match or prefix matching, if no ambiguity exists.

from genie import testbed
tb = testbed.load('tb.yaml')
device = tb.devices['nx-osv-1']
output = device.parse('show bgp .*', fuzzy=True)

Fuzzy matching works by tokenizing your search query by spaces, and then comparing each token with each of the command’s token to see if they are either the same or is the prefix of the other. When it encounters the supported regex expressions, it will perform regex matching as expected and return the results. The search is done by best fit, meaning it will try its best to fit your query with each command, and if it succeeds, it will be counted as a match. As a result, arguments are essentially wild cards, and using fuzzy will attempt to fit your query with the arguments in any way possible. For instance, sh .* abc .* will match with show vrf {vrf} detail. In this case abc is simply an argument for vrf.

Fuzzy current supports the follow regex symbols and their combinations:

  • [a-zA-Z0-9]

  • ?

  • sSwWdD

  • [^a-zA-Z0-9]

  • (a|b)

  • a{3}

  • .

However, since lookup is done by one token at a time, this will limit the use of more complex regex expressions such as lookahead and greedy. Moreover, space is used as a delimiter, so to incorporate space in your query, use s instead.

Here are some example of matches:

Search | Sample Results

sh .* tags | show ethernet tags

sh .* abc .* ext

show ospf vrf {vrf} database external

sh .* [a-z]* extS+

show ted database extensive

show ospf3 interface extensive

show ospf vrf all-inclusive database external

Fuzzy matching will return multiple parsed results in the form of a dictionary, where the key indicates the command executed and the value is the output. In some cases, commands that are not enabled on the device will be executed too, and consequently throw an error in your script. To silence these exceptions, attach continue_on_failure=True to your parse call:

output = device.parse('show .*', fuzzy=True, continue_on_failure=True)

This will execute all the commands without raising an exception. Any silenced errors can be accessed through output['exceptions'], which is a dictionary of the command that failed mapped to its corresponding error message.

7. External Parsers/APIs

What is an external parser/api?

In short, they are parsers and apis which have been developed but are not yet ready for open-source releases.

Step-By-Step Guide For Local Genie Library Implementation:

  1. Create a directory to store external parsers and external apis, respectively.

mkdir /Users/<username>/Desktop/external_parser
mkdir /Users/<username>/Desktop/external_api
  1. Create under the root folder (if it doesn’t exist)

# the following example is for external parser directory - follow the same steps for external api directory
cd /Users/<username>/Desktop/external_parser

# inside the file
# declare the package with genie abstract
from genie import abstract
  1. Create specific os subfolder under root folder

# the following example is for parsers - follow the same steps for external api directory

# eg, for iosxe parser
mkdir iosxe
cd iosxe/

# for c9300 platform under iosxe
mkdir -p iosxe/c9300
  1. Create under the os folder (and platform) folder

# the following example is for parsers - follow the same steps for external api directory

cd iosxe/

# inside the file
# declare the device os token with genie abstract
from genie import abstract

# do the same for platform folder
cd c9300/

# declare the device platform token with genie abstract
from genie import abstract
  1. Create or overwrite libraries under the corresponding os folder

External parser tree structure example:

# inside /Users/<username>/Desktop/external_parser
├── iosxe
│   ├──
│   ├── c9300
│   │   ├──
│   │   └──
│   └──
└── iosxr

6. Export the parser root folder name and path to environment variable PYATS_LIBS_EXTERNAL_PARSER and PYTHONPATH or use pyats.conf file to include the external package NOTE: this is already done for you if you are using the DevAT Activate Script.

  1. use environment variable

export PYTHONPATH=/Users/<username>/Desktop:$PYTHONPATH
export PYATS_LIBS_EXTERNAL_PARSER='external_parser'
export PYATS_LIBS_EXTERNAL_API='external_api'
  1. use pyats.conf file, this file is located at ~/.pyats/ folder, if you don’t have it, please create one

export PYTHONPATH=$/Users/<username>/Desktop:$PYTHONPATH

cd ~/.pyats/
vim pyats.conf

# Inside pyats.conf file, add the following settings
external.parser = external_parser
external.api = external_api

And that’s it! From here onwards, you should be able to use these libraries.

Using Local/Private/Overwrite Genie Libraries:

When following the above steps, your local override/private libraries (part of the external_api/parser folder) should be automatically picked up by Genie library infrastructure. These “overrides” will work as if they are directly part of the library system, no additional work necessary.

# calling device parsers
output = device.parse('show version')

# calling device apis
output = device.api.configure_cdp(...)

Follow the standard Genie library usage/guidelines for how apis and parsers are invoked.

Do not importing them directly in your script as it will cause an ImportError since the parsers are not in your PYTHONPATH. That is, do not do the following:

from cisco.pyats.libs.genie.external_parser.iosxe.some_useful_parsers import some_parser