Knowledge and Skills

To understand and use the Get Started with pyATS Guide, you’ll need to have the knowledge and skills described in the following table.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

You should know…

So that you can…

Linux® (on Mac® and Windows®)

Install and use the ecosystem

Fundamentals of network test automation

Configure the ecosystem with testbed data

(Optional) GitHub® clone and download procedures

Get pyATS Library packages

Contribute to the pyATS libraries

(Optional) Docker® image usage (optional)

Run pyATS from the Docker image

Make sure you have the correct platform, system, and network connectivity in place before you install pyATS and the pyATS Library.


The pyATS ecosystem is lightweight and scalable — you only need 1 GB of RAM and 1 vCPU to start your network automation. If you have a large network with more complex configuration, you’ll need to increase the memory and processing power of your system. The types of tests that you run also affect the amount of memory required.


The pyATS ecosystem runs in a Linux® or Linux-type environment. You can install pyATS on any of the following platforms:

The pyATS ecosystem runs on the most common flavors and versions of Linux, for example:

  • (Internal) Cisco Enterprise Linux (CEL) 6.7+ (including CLVS, ADS, and lab CEL servers)

  • Ubuntu 14+

  • CentOS 6+

If you use an unsupported Linux platform, please let us know:


  • The pyATS ecosystem does not support Windows®.

  • If you’re a Windows user, we recommend that you set up Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). With WSL, you can run pyATS and the pyATS Library in your local environment. This enables on-the-go script development and execution on your local machine, without the need to connect to a server.

  • Your Linux emulator - such as Ubuntu - might already have Python installed. Make sure to check your version of Python.

System and Software

pyATS and the pyATS Library are written in Python. You don’t need to know Python, but your system must have one of the following Python versions installed:

  • Python 3.7.x

  • Python 3.8.x

  • Python 3.9.x

  • Python 3.10.x


Python 3.4 has reached its end of life and is now deprecated. pyATS and the pyATS Library no longer support Python 3.4.

For Ubuntu, we recommend that you check for the following packages:

  • python3-venv

  • python3-dev

  • libpython3-dev

  • build-essential


You can check for installed packages using the standard Linux commands. In Ubuntu, for example, run apt list --installed.

The section configure-environment includes instructions on how to check your version of Python and set up a Python virtual environment.

Network Connectivity

Your host platform must have internet access when you want to:

For test automation or command execution, you only need device connectivity. You can use Telnet, SSH, REST, RESTCONF, NETCONF, and YANG.


The pyATS ecosystem never collects or streams any data or statistics back to Cisco.