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Cisco Nexus 9000v#

Cisco Nexus900v virtualized router is identified with vr-n9kv or vr-cisco_n9kv kind in the topology file. It is built using vrnetlab project and essentially is a Qemu VM packaged in a docker container format.

vr-n9kv nodes launched with containerlab comes up pre-provisioned with SSH, SNMP, NETCONF, NXAPI and gRPC services enabled.

Managing vr-n9kv nodes#


Containers with Nexus 9000v inside will take ~8-10min to fully boot.
You can monitor the progress with docker logs -f <container-name>.

Cisco Nexus 9000v node launched with containerlab can be managed via the following interfaces:

to connect to a bash shell of a running vr-n9kv container:

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

to connect to the Nexus 9000v CLI

ssh admin@<container-name/id>

NETCONF server is running over port 830

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

gRPC server is running over port 50051


Default user credentials: admin:admin

Interfaces mapping#

vr-n9kv container can have up to 128 interfaces and uses the following mapping rules:

  • eth0 - management interface connected to the containerlab management network
  • eth1 - first data interface, mapped to first data port of Nexus 9000v line card
  • eth2+ - second and subsequent data interface

When containerlab launches vr-n9kv node, it will assign IPv4/6 address to the eth0 interface. These addresses can be used to reach management plane of the router.

Data interfaces eth1+ needs to be configured with IP addressing manually using CLI/management protocols.

Features and options#

Node configuration#

vr-n9kv nodes come up with a basic configuration where only admin user and management interfaces such as NETCONF, NXAPI and GRPC provisioned.

Startup configuration#

It is possible to make n9kv 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: vr-n9kv
      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.