eAPI Python script to look at ARP entries per VRF

I needed to see all the different ARP entries in each VRF, so I wrote up this little script to do just that. The ‘show vrf’ command in eAPI has not yet been converted to JSON, so I had to do some text parsing to get the VRF names, then use those names to grab the ARP entries. On line 4 you’ll see that I use the ‘text’ option for the output of the JSON reply. That allows me to run a command that hasn’t been converted yet and get the raw text output:

response = switch.runCmds( 1, ["show vrf"], "text" )

The output looks like this:

"output": "   Vrf         RD            Protocols       State         Interfaces \n----------- ------------- --------------- ---------------- ---------- \n   test        100:100       ipv4            no routing               \n   test2       101:101       ipv4            no routing               \n   test3       102:102       ipv4            no routing               \n\n"

Or in a more familiar format:

   Vrf         RD            Protocols       State         Interfaces
----------- ------------- --------------- ---------------- ----------
   test        100:100       ipv4            no routing
   test2       101:101       ipv4            no routing
   test3       102:102       ipv4            no routing

Then I take the output and use splitlines() to take each line (separated by newline) and insert them into a list:

lines = response[0]['output'].splitlines()

Now I iterate through each entry of the ‘show ip vrf’ output and issue a ‘show ip arp vrf’ with the VRF name. I use the range() function, starting at the 3rd line (since the first two are just header lines), and go through the end of the list. Then I use the split() method to split each line on whitespace, taking the first entry which corresponds to the VRF name. Finally, I can use that VRF name in my command.

for i in range(2, len(lines) - 1):
  vrfname = lines[i].split()[0]
  command = "show ip arp vrf " + vrfname

Here’s the script in its entirety:


eAPI script to try different IP addresses

I’ve been trying to use code to solve more problems around the lab lately, and thought I’d start posting some of the little scripts I write. Today I had plugged a device (device A) into a switch and didn’t know what the device had set for its gateway (I did have the IP of the device itself, and it wasn’t .1 or .254). I didn’t have access to the configuration, so I thought I’d write a script to go through possible IP addresses and see if one of them would take until the owner got back to me. I had another machine trying to ping the IP address from a different subnet, so if the right gateway address was configured on the Ethernet port, I should start getting pings:

Device A — Switch — Test pinging machine

Now I started my constant ping from to, then I created and ran this Python script to find the right address.

Arista eAPI from Microsoft PowerShell

I haven’t really played around with Windows in a while, but I’ve had a few people show me some cool things in PowerShell, so I thought I’d give it a try with eAPI. Here’s a really simple script that is able to fetch information from an Arista switch, and put it into an PowerShell object so that it can be used for whatever you’d like. Now I just need to find an excuse to buy a Surface Pro 2 🙂

I start off by just setting up some variables for the username, password, etc.. Variables in PowerShell start with a $ sign.

$username = "admin"
$password = "admin"
$switchIp = ""

I’m able to insert variables directly into the string for the URL.

$eApiUrl = "https://$switchIp/command-api"

Now I create an array to hold the commands I want to send, and put that inside a hash table. Arrays are created with @() and Hash tables (Dictionaries in Python, Maps in Go) with @{}:

$cmds = @('show version')
$params = @{version= 1;cmds= $cmds; format="json"}

Now I create a new PowerShell object with all the required fields. PowerShell has this cool pipe operator (|) like Unix and Elixir. This allows you string together a bunch of stuff, in this case we end with piping the output to ConvertTo-Json to turn the object into a JSON string. Then I have to convert that string into an ASCII one to make it web friendly:

$command = (New-Object PSObject | Add-Member -PassThru NoteProperty jsonrpc '2.0' |
Add-Member -PassThru NoteProperty method 'runCmds' |
Add-Member -PassThru NoteProperty params $params |
Add-Member -PassThru NoteProperty id '1') | ConvertTo-Json
$bytes = [System.Text.Encoding]::ASCII.GetBytes($command)

After we have our command ready to go, we create the web connection and POST the JSON-RPC call. I also tell the system to ignore the web certificate since I haven’t installed the cert for the SSL connection.

[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = {$true}
$web = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($eApiUrl)
$web.Method = "POST"
$web.ContentType = "application/json"
$web.Credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential -ArgumentList $username, $password
$stream = $web.GetRequestStream()
$stream.Write($bytes, 0, $bytes.Length)

Finally we take the response, and put it back into a PowerShell object using ConvertFrom-Json

$reader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader -ArgumentList $web.GetResponse().GetResponseStream()
$response = $reader.ReadToEnd() | ConvertFrom-Json

Once we’ve got an object we can pull out pieces of the response:

Write-Host "Model is: " + $response.result.modelName

This is what the output looks like:
Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 4.44.14 PM

Here’s the full script from start to finish:

Arista JSON eAPI example

One of the great things about working with EOS is the ability to script with JSON-RPC.  No longer does a network admin need to do screen scraping, you can get clean, machine-friendly data from the switch using CLI syntax you’re familiar with.  I’ll outline a simple example using Python.

First add jsonrpclib to your Python environment:

sudo easy_install jsonrpclib

Now we can use that library to make scripting to EOS pretty easy:

from jsonrpclib import Server
switches = ["", "", ""]
username = "admin"
password = "admin"

So far I’ve setup a list of switch IP addresses, and a username/password to use to login to each of them. Now let’s do something useful:

# Going through all the switch IP addresses listed above
for switch in switches:
    urlString = "https://{}:{}@{}/command-api".format(username, password, switch) #1
    switchReq = Server( urlString ) #2
    # Display the current vlan list
    response = switchReq.runCmds( 1, ["show vlan"] ) #3
    print "Switch : " + switch + " VLANs: " 
    print response[0]["vlans"].keys() #4

Now I iterate through each of the switches in the list. On each iteration the script does the following:
1) Creates a string that defines the url to reach the API
2) Start creating a JSON-RPC request with the url
3) Finish building the JSON-RPC request and send the HTTP POST with the commands I want to run on the switch. The JSON response is stored in response. The JSON-RPC library returns the “result” field automatically, so there is no need to parse through the boilerplate JSON-RPC reply.
4) Print out each of the VLANs configured on the switch. The response from the switch is a list, so first I grab the first (in this case only) item indexed by 0. This gives me a dictionary. Next I use the vlans key to select an object from the dictionary. This returns another dictionary, which has the VLAN names as the keys (and details as the values). Since I want to print a list of all the VLANs, I use the keys() method which returns a list of all the keys in the dictionary. Here is the JSON that is being parsed:

   "jsonrpc": "2.0",
   "result": [
         "sourceDetail": "",
         "vlans": {
            "1": {
               "status": "active",
               "name": "default",
               "interfaces": {
                  "Ethernet14": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
                  "Ethernet15": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
                  "Ethernet16": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
                  "Ethernet17": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
                  "Ethernet13": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
               "dynamic": false
            "51": {
               "status": "active",
               "name": "VLAN0051",
               "interfaces": {
                  "Vxlan1": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
               "dynamic": false
            "61": {
               "status": "active",
               "name": "VLAN0061",
               "interfaces": {
                  "Vxlan1": {
                     "privatePromoted": false
               "dynamic": false
   "id": "CapiExplorer-123"

Here’s the full script that also adds a few lines to configure a vlan:

JSON RPC in Objective C

I am working on a side project for work using JSON RPC from an iPhone (Arista eAPI calls from an iPhone app), so I had to get familiar with using JSON RPC using the iOS Objective C libraries. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

There are two major components:
NSJSONSerialization – Converts JSON Data to Dictionaries/Arrays, and vice versa
NSURLConnection – Handles HTTP connection to the API server

First I create a NSMutableDictionary with all the keys/values that I want to encode into JSON to send to the server (or switch in this case). In this example, commands is an array of strings, specific to eAPI calls, and paramsDict puts the other eAPI wrappers around the API call. Then I wrap paramsDict inside the JSON RPC Request format, which is rpcDict:

    NSMutableDictionary *paramsDict = [NSMutableDictionary dictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys:[NSNumber numberWithInt:1], @"version",
                                       commands, @"cmds",
                                       @"json", @"format", nil];
    NSMutableDictionary *rpcDict = [NSMutableDictionary dictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys:@"2.0", @"jsonrpc",
                                    @"runCmds", @"method",
                                    paramsDict, @"params",
                                    @"CapiExplorer-123", @"id", nil];

Now I take rpcDict, and serialize it into a NSData JSON object, the resulting jsonData is ready to be sent to the API server:

    NSError *error;
    NSData *jsonData = [NSJSONSerialization dataWithJSONObject:rpcDict options:NSJSONWritingPrettyPrinted error:&error];

Now I create the URL request that the application will use to make the RPC request. In this case I’m providing my username and password in the URL string, and _aristaSwitch.switchIP is an NSString containing the IP address of the switch. Also note that I needed to set the content type, and used the jsonData data object as the body:

    NSString *urlString = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"http://user:pass@%@/command-api",
    NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:urlString];
    NSMutableURLRequest *request = [[NSMutableURLRequest alloc] init];
    [request setURL:url];
    [request setHTTPMethod:@"POST"];
    [request setValue:@"application/json" forHTTPHeaderField:@"Content-Type"];
    [request setValue:@"application/json" forHTTPHeaderField:@"Accept"];
    [request setHTTPBody:jsonData];

Now I can make the connection, send the request, and start receiving a reply:

    NSURLConnection *connection = [[NSURLConnection alloc]initWithRequest:request delegate:self];
    [connection start];

Once I’ve sent the request, I need to then handle the data coming back from the server. To do this, I have the class implement NSURLConnectionDelegate and NSURLConnectionDataDelegate. These delegates handle the connection response, and downloading data. Now I implement the necessary functions, the first two handle the initial response and data stream. I’m using receivedData as a global variable to hold the data coming from the server:

- (void)connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didReceiveResponse:(NSURLResponse *)response
    // It can be called multiple times, for example in the case of a
    // redirect, so each time we reset the data.
    [self.receivedData setLength:0];

- (void)connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didReceiveData:(NSData *)data
    // Append the new data to receivedData.
    [self.receivedData appendData:data];

The final method to implement takes care of the data once the connection has finished. Here I use NSJSONSerialization again to turn the received JSON data back into an NSDictionary that I can use.

- (void)connectionDidFinishLoading:(NSURLConnection *)connection
    NSError *error;
    NSDictionary *myDictionary = [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:self.receivedData options:NSJSONReadingMutableContainers error:&error];
    NSLog(@"myDict %@ %@", myDictionary, error);
    connection = nil;
    self.receivedData = nil;