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Parse, Audit, Query, Build, and Modify Cisco IOS-style and JunOS-style configurations

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Introduction: What is ciscoconfparse?

Short answer: ciscoconfparse is a Python library that helps you quickly answer questions like these about your configurations:

  • What interfaces are shutdown?
  • Which interfaces are in trunk mode?
  • What address and subnet mask is assigned to each interface?
  • Which interfaces are missing a critical command?
  • Is this configuration missing a standard config line?

It can help you:

  • Audit existing router / switch / firewall / wlc configurations
  • Modify existing configurations
  • Build new configurations

Speaking generally, the library examines an IOS-style config and breaks it into a set of linked parent / child relationships. You can perform complex queries about these relationships.

CiscoConfParse Parent / Child relationships


The following code will parse a configuration stored in ‘exampleswitch.conf’ and select interfaces that are shutdown.

from ciscoconfparse import CiscoConfParse

parse = CiscoConfParse('exampleswitch.conf', syntax='ios')

for intf_obj in parse.find_objects_w_child('^interface', '^\s+shutdown'):
    print("Shutdown: " + intf_obj.text)

The next example will find the IP address assigned to interfaces.

from ciscoconfparse import CiscoConfParse

parse = CiscoConfParse('exampleswitch.conf', syntax='ios')

for intf_obj in parse.find_objects('^interface'):

    intf_name = intf_obj.re_match_typed('^interface\s+(\S.+?)$')

    # Search children of all interfaces for a regex match and return
    # the value matched in regex match group 1.  If there is no match,
    # return a default value: ''
    intf_ip_addr = intf_obj.re_match_iter_typed(
        r'ip\saddress\s(\d+\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+)\s', result_type=str,
        group=1, default='')
    print("{0}: {1}".format(intf_name, intf_ip_addr))

What if we don’t use Cisco?

Don’t let that stop you.

As of CiscoConfParse 1.2.4, you can parse brace-delimited configurations into a Cisco IOS style (see Github Issue #17), which means that CiscoConfParse can parse these configurations:

  • Juniper Networks Junos
  • Palo Alto Networks Firewall configurations
  • F5 Networks configurations

CiscoConfParse also handles anything that has a Cisco IOS style of configuration, which includes:

  • Cisco IOS, Cisco Nexus, Cisco IOS-XR, Cisco IOS-XE, Aironet OS, Cisco ASA, Cisco CatOS
  • Arista EOS
  • Brocade
  • HP Switches
  • Force 10 Switches
  • Dell PowerConnect Switches
  • Extreme Networks
  • Enterasys
  • Screenos


Building the Package

  • cd into the root ciscoconfparse directory
  • Edit the version number in pyproject.toml (as required)
  • git commit all pending changes
  • make test
  • make repo-push
  • make pypi


ciscoconfparse requires Python versions 3.5+ (note: version 3.7.0 has a bug - ref Github issue #117, but version 3.7.1 works); the OS should not matter.

Installation and Downloads

  • Use poetry for Python3.x…

    python -m pip install ciscoconfparse

If you’re interested in the source, you can always pull from the github repo:

  • From github source download:

    git clone git://
    cd ciscoconfparse/
    python -m pip install .

Other Resources

Bug Tracker and Support

  • Please report any suggestions, bug reports, or annoyances with ciscoconfparse through the github bug tracker.
  • If you’re having problems with general python issues, consider searching for a solution on Stack Overflow. If you can’t find a solution for your problem or need more help, you can ask a question.
  • If you’re having problems with your Cisco devices, you can open a case with Cisco TAC; if you prefer crowd-sourcing, you can ask on the Stack Exchange Network Engineering site.


Travis CI project tests ciscoconfparse on Python versions 3.6 and higher, as well as a pypy JIT executable.

Click the image below for details; the current build status is:

Travis CI Status

License and Copyright

ciscoconfparse is licensed GPLv3

  • Copyright (C) 2021 David Michael Pennington
  • Copyright (C) 2020-2021 David Michael Pennington at Cisco Systems
  • Copyright (C) 2019 David Michael Pennington at ThousandEyes
  • Copyright (C) 2012-2019 David Michael Pennington at Samsung Data Services
  • Copyright (C) 2011-2012 David Michael Pennington at Dell Computer Corp
  • Copyright (C) 2007-2011 David Michael Pennington

The word “Cisco” is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems

Author and Thanks

ciscoconfparse was written by David Michael Pennington (mike [~at~] pennington [/dot] net).

Special thanks:

  • Thanks to David Muir Sharnoff for his suggestion about making a special case for IOS banners.
  • Thanks to Alan Cownie for his API suggestions.
  • Thanks to CrackerJackMack for reporting Github Issue #13
  • Soli Deo Gloria

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