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

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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 Cisco 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.

Cisco IOS config: Parent / child


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))

Are there private copies of CiscoConfParse()?

Yes. Cisco Systems maintains their own copy of CiscoConfParse(). The terms of the GPLv3 license allow this as long as they don't distribute their modified private copy in binary form. Also refer to this GPLv3 License primer / GPLv3 101. Officially, modified copies of CiscoConfParse source-code must also be licensed as GPLv3.

Dear Cisco Systems: please consider porting your improvements back into the github ciscoconfparse repo.

Is this a tool, or is it artwork?

That depends on who you ask. Many companies use CiscoConfParse as part of their network engineering toolbox; others regard it as a form of artwork.

What if we don't use Cisco IOS?

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



The ciscoconfparse python package requires Python versions 3.7+ (note: Python 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:

  • Download from the github repo: :

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

Github Star History

Github Star History Chart

Other Resources

Bug Tracker and Support

Unit-Tests and Development

The project's test workflow checks ciscoconfparse on Python versions 3.7 and higher, as well as a pypy JIT executable.


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

Editing the Package

  • git clone
  • cd ciscoconfparse
  • git checkout -b develop
  • Add / modify / delete on the develop branch
  • make test
  • If tests run clean, git commit all the pending changes on the develop branch
  • If you plan to publish this as an official version rev, edit the version number in pyproject.toml. In the future, we want to integrate commitizen to manage versioning.
  • git checkout main
  • git merge develop
  • make test
  • git push origin main
  • make pypi

Sphinx Documentation

Building the ciscoconfparse documentation tarball comes down to this one wierd trick:

  • cd sphinx-doc/
  • pip install -r ./requirements.txt; # install Sphinx dependencies
  • pip install -r ../requirements.txt; # install ccp dependencies
  • make html

License and Copyright

ciscoconfparse is licensed GPLv3

  • Copyright (C) 2022-2023 David Michael Pennington
  • Copyright (C) 2022 David Michael Pennington at WellSky
  • Copyright (C) 2022 David Michael Pennington
  • Copyright (C) 2019-2021 David Michael Pennington at Cisco Systems / 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.


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

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