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The Network Operator's Toolkit for Command-line Hacking

Project description

Notch brings a programmatic interface to all your network equipment like switches, routers and firewalls. Its Agent manages the command-line interfaces of network equipment in your network so that you can write powerful network management applications using the included Python library or from other languages by using the JSON-RPC interface.


This package provides just the Notch Agent. A basic installation on a single machine also requires the client library, available in the notch.client package.

For example, to get the version information from every cisco-ish device on your network (via a Notch Agent running at localhost:8080):

#!/usr/bin/env python

import notch.client

def callback(request):
  """Called by the Notch Client when a request is complete."""
  if request.error:
    print 'Exception: ', str.error.__class__.__name__
    print str(request.error)
    print request.result

nc = notch.client.Connection('localhost:8080')

# Gets a list of devices from the Notch Agent.
  all_devices = nc.devices_matching('^.*$')
except notch.client.Error:
  print 'Error querying for devices.'
  all_devices = []

# Send the command to each device, asynchronously receiving results.
for device in all_devices:
  nc.command(device, 'show version', callback=callback)

# Wait for all outstanding requests to complete.



As of version 0.5, Notch is split into separate notch.client and notch.agent pypi packages sharing a namespace package notch.

Users upgrading from earlier versions must remove all existing Notch packages before proceeding with installation:

$ pip uninstall notch
$ pip uninstall notch.client
$ pip uninstall notch.agent

Also check your Python site-packages directories to ensure you do not have any notch* files or directories.

Use pip to install both the Notch Agent or Client library.

You’ll need both packages to start with, but in larger installations, only machines acting as Agents require the notch.agent package.

$ pip install notch.agent $ pip install notch.client

This will install all but one dependency, which can be then installed using:

$ pip install -e git+

You can also use easy_install, but we don’t recommend that. If you don’t have pip, install it with easy_install first.


The Notch Agent requires some configuration to get started, and things are easiest if you already use the RANCID system, as the Notch Agent will read its router.db configuration file to populate its inventory.

Then, you can start a Notch Agent using the built-in testing server:

$ notch-agent --config=/path/to/your/notch.yaml

The built-in testing server does not support parallel operation, so you must use a WSGI compatible server for production operation. Apache2 with mod_wsgi is used for many installations and an example configuration can be found in config/notch-mod_wsgi.sample.conf. The WSGI application object itself is defined in wsgi/notch.wsgi.

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