What protocol(s) can be used to programatically "push" configuration settings to Cisco/HP switches, over a network? Of course, I could write a program which would imitate what a human does when logging in by telnet/SSH, and then issue command-line commands. But I'm hoping there is a nicer way to do this.

(I'm sure I could find the answer through Google... if I just knew the right search keywords to try!)

  • what programming language are you using
    – user5025
    Apr 30, 2014 at 12:44
  • The programming language doesn't matter; if there is a protocol which can do this, then I will either find an existing client library or write my own, using TCP or UDP sockets (whichever is required). Or if there is a good command-line utility, then I can shell out to it. Any decent programming language can do all of those things.
    – Alex D
    Apr 30, 2014 at 13:21
  • The language matters if canned libraries already exist. Of course we can't help with that if you insist on secrecy
    – user5025
    Apr 30, 2014 at 13:24
  • For me, right now, the following languages are of interest: Ruby, Lua, C. For future readers of this thread, please go ahead and post information on any other language which you happen to know about.
    – Alex D
    Apr 30, 2014 at 13:39
  • 1
    I think an open-ended list of resources is off-topic
    – user5025
    Apr 30, 2014 at 13:55

5 Answers 5


Ciscocmd is another option like RANCID which has already been mentioned;


Alternatively you could use SNMP. You can send an SNMP write to the device with the location of a config server using an TFTP URL or HTTP URL and setting the "Pull config" option via SNMP;




If your devices are not to old netconf is the generic way to do this.


You could use SNMP in combination with any network management system. For instance Intelligent Management Center, also know also IMC, which is a multi vendor network management system from HP.

See the following links for more information about IMC:


try to use rancid. techically its use ssh\telnet, to dump configs to the database, where you can see diffs of your configs, and one of the rancid modules is can be used to send commands to multiple devices:

cisco: ./clogin -c command

hp: ./hlogin -c command


(On reasonably modern HP switches) if you use SFTP to push and pull the configuration files, that avoids the need to issue commands to the command-line. Then you can use whatever CM tool you choose to template, delta, or whatever. You can, of course, push a bad set of changes really fast this way to multiple switches, so be careful if rolling your own system.

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