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Cisco CSR1000v#

Cisco CSR1000v virtualized router is identified with cisco_csr1000v kind in the topology file. It is built using vrnetlab project and essentially is a Qemu VM packaged in a docker container format.

Cisco CSR1000v nodes launched with containerlab comes up pre-provisioned with SSH, SNMP, NETCONF and gNMI services enabled.

Managing Cisco CSR1000v nodes#


Containers with CSR1000v inside will take ~6min to fully boot.
You can monitor the progress with docker logs -f <container-name>.

Cisco CSR1000v node launched with containerlab can be managed via the following interfaces:

to connect to a bash shell of a running Cisco CSR1000v container:

docker exec -it <container-name/id> bash

to connect to the CSR1000v CLI

ssh admin@<container-name/id>

NETCONF server is running over port 830

ssh admin@<container-name> -p 830 -s netconf


Default user credentials: admin:admin

Interface naming#

You can use interfaces names in the topology file like they appear in Cisco CSR1000v.

The interface naming convention is: GigabitEthernetX (or GiX), where X is the port number.

With that naming convention in mind:

  • Gi2 - first data port available
  • Gi3 - second data port, and so on...


Data port numbering starts at 2, as Gi1 is reserved for management connectivity. Attempting to use Gi1 in a containerlab topology will result in an error.

The example ports above would be mapped to the following Linux interfaces inside the container running the Cisco CSR1000v VM:

  • eth0 - management interface connected to the containerlab management network (rendered as GigabitEthernet1 in the CLI)
  • eth1 - first data interface, mapped to the first data port of the VM (rendered as GigabitEthernet2)
  • eth2+ - second and subsequent data interfaces, mapped to the second and subsequent data ports of the VM (rendered as GigabitEthernet3 and so on)

When containerlab launches Cisco CSR1000v node the GigabitEthernet1 interface of the VM gets assigned address from the QEMU DHCP server. This interface is transparently stitched with container's eth0 interface such that users can reach the management plane of the Cisco CSR1000v using containerlab's assigned IP.

Data interfaces GigabitEthernet2+ need to be configured with IP addressing manually using CLI or other available management interfaces.

Features and options#

Node configuration#

Cisco CSR1000v nodes come up with a basic configuration where only admin user and management interfaces such as NETCONF provisioned.

Startup configuration#

It is possible to make CSR1000V nodes boot up with a user-defined startup-config instead of a built-in one. With a startup-config property of the node/kind user sets the path to the config file that will be mounted to a container and used as a startup-config:

      kind: cisco_csr1000v
      startup-config: myconfig.txt

With this knob containerlab is instructed to take a file myconfig.txt from the directory that hosts the topology file, and copy it to the lab directory for that specific node under the /config/startup-config.cfg name. Then the directory that hosts the startup-config dir is mounted to the container. This will result in this config being applied at startup by the node.

Configuration is applied after the node is started, thus it can contain partial configuration snippets that you desire to add on top of the default config that a node boots up with.