netlab 1.8.4: vrnetlab Containers, Catalyst 8000v

I don’t think I ever created two netlab releases in a week, but last week, I stumbled upon a motherlode of goodies, and it would be a shame not to make them available.

Someone tried to use netlab with vrnetlab containers for CSR 1000v and Nexus 9300v. We got it to work, but when I started integrating his changes into the development branch, I wanted to test them, so I installed vrnetlab to create my own container images. vrnetlab is an excellent tool, and building containers is a breeze (running them is a different story), so I added support for vrnetlab containers for every device supported by that tool and netlab for which I happened to have a disk image.

During that process, I also cleaned up the half-dozen “let’s wait for the VM to start” ad-hoc solutions, replacing them with a unified script, and added extra “are you really ready?” checks for vPTX and Nexus OS (they both start the SSH server long before they realize they have the data-plane interfaces). Running those tests was a bit cumbersome, so I added the --ready option to the netlab initial command. You can use that option to ensure the lab devices are ready without configuring them.

Speaking of disk images: after getting a Catalyst 8000v image, I couldn’t resist adding it to netlab. It was a breeze, as Catalyst 8000v is very close to CSR 1000v (unless it isn’t; someone couldn’t decide how to configure VLANs), and most features available with CSR 1000v are also configurable on Catalyst 8000v. CSR 1000v VXLAN configuration was accepted but didn’t work, so I temporarily turned off VXLAN support for Catalyst 8000v. I also didn’t test whether MPLS/VPN works.

Last but not least, I had to interrupt the netlab initial configuration process a few times while testing the “are you ready?vrnetlab container scripts. I got annoyed by the resulting stack trace, so I implemented the KeyboardInterrupt handler for all long-running netlab commands.

For more details, read the release notes.

Upgrading or Starting from Scratch

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