A little bit new to Juniper here. I am working on scripting few of our switch ports. All switches are Juniper, Ex, FX, QFX, ...etc.

I have no access to a lab to test my scripts, and was looking for one. Of course Olive was suggested but really don't have the time to maintain it. Saw few ads about SSG-20, at low prices. I see it has several swich ports, and did my best to find out more, but do not see this anywhere. Can that be used as a managed switch? In other words, same Juniper switch commands (nothing crazy, basic port configuration, adding/changing description, and enable/disable) work on it?


Smallest switch would be an EX-2200c. I bought one for my home lab. It has 12 ports and most of the important features. You can even use virtual chassis functionality (with up to 2 or 4 devices).

Junosphere might also be worth a look. And I guess you already know about the Junos Fasttrack program where you can get the training materials for the "lower" certifications including switching.

  • You can also buy couple SRXs (100series) and use them for switching, in Junosphere, I think you can use VMX for switching. Aug 15 '14 at 10:27
  • Thanks for the quick response. Much appreciated. I was not aware of the Fasttrack program. I will certainly look into it. I am mainly a Linux admin, but was given to me to handle, so I guess it is time to learn JunOS. Much appreciated.
    – R J
    Aug 15 '14 at 17:02

The SSG-20 only runs ScreenOS, not JunOS. Juniper switches run JunOS, so this won't help you test your scripts and test configs. Personally, I'd look for a cheap 2nd hand low end model Juniper, but it all depends a bit on your budget.

  • Thank you! So I was about to make a mistake. Much appreciated.
    – R J
    Aug 15 '14 at 17:03

* UPDATED Dec 2017 *

Juniper renamed this product to the vSRX (virtual SRX). You can still download a trial copy - https://www.juniper.net/uk/en/products-services/security/srx-series/vsrx/

You can also download Juniper Firefly which is a virtual SRX device (not the same as an Olive). It has a trial 60 day license so you can test out configuring ports and so on. There will be a few differences compared to a switch but the basic commands will be the same.

I believe anyone can download and trial this. I have run them in VMWare Workstation and on ESXi server. I think you might even be able to run it in VMWare Player.


There are even some articles on running them in QEMU for use in GNS3

  • I was not aware of Juniper Firefly. Looks interesing. Much appreciated.
    – R J
    Aug 15 '14 at 17:12

Not sure if this would help in your case but:

Either from online Juniper documentation
From any of the JUNOS books
if possible, you could request someone to get you the Junos CLI command and their respective outputs. You can then code your scripts using them. I assume your scripts would roughly be doing the following:

  1. Connecting to the Switch (telnet/ssh)
  2. Go to appropriate JUNOS mode: config/cli/shell
  3. Issue "set" statements for configuration from the config mode("#" prompt). Issue "commit" thereafter.
  4. Issue verification commands from the CLI (">" prompt).

Repeat steps 3 and 4 if needed.

Most scripting languages (like Perl, Python) have libraries for Telnet/Expect.

  • I have access to the switch for general configurations with TACACS given to me by our network team, and use a mix of bash, expect and pyhton for scripting. The challenge for me was having a reliable lab to test, so that I don't test on production systems. Thanks.
    – R J
    Aug 15 '14 at 17:15

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