Introduction to Netmiko for Network Automation

1 minute read


Netmiko is a Python library designed to simplify the process of connecting and interacting with network devices via SSH. It provides a platform-agnostic interface to automate network devices, making it a favorite among network engineers. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the advantages of Netmiko for network automation and guide you through configuring a network device using this library.

Benefits of Netmiko for Network Automation

  1. Multi-platform Support: Netmiko extends its support to a wide array of network devices, from routers and switches to firewalls, across various vendors.
  2. SSH Connection Simplification: Netmiko abstracts away much of the complexity of handling SSH connections, making automation scripts more concise and readable.
  3. Command Handling: It intelligently handles prompts, ensuring that commands are fully executed before returning control, eliminating the common issue of race conditions in automation.
  4. Secure: Using SSH ensures that all communications are encrypted, making your automation tasks secure.
  5. Extensible: Being open-source and Python-based, Netmiko can be integrated into larger automation workflows, combined with other libraries, or even extended to support additional device types.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Netmiko for Device Configuration

1. Installation

Ensure you have Python and pip installed. Then, install Netmiko:

pip install netmiko

2. Establishing a Connection

To start, you need to establish a connection to the device:

from netmiko import ConnectHandler

device = {
    'device_type': 'cisco_ios',  # change this depending on your device
    'ip': '',
    'username': 'admin',
    'password': 'password123',

3. Sending Commands

To send a command and print its output:

output = connection.send_command('show version')

4. Configuring the Device

You can send configuration commands in an ordered list:

config_commands = [
    'interface GigabitEthernet0/1',
    'description Configured via Netmiko',
    'logging buffered 64000'

output = connection.send_config_set(config_commands)

5. Closing the Connection

Once your tasks are done, it’s essential to close the connection:



Netmiko stands as an invaluable tool for network engineers and developers looking to automate network devices. Its simplicity, combined with its robustness, makes it an excellent choice for device automation. This tutorial serves as a starting point, and as you delve deeper into network automation, you’ll discover more features and possibilities with Netmiko.

Note: This tutorial provides foundational knowledge for getting started with Netmiko. Before making changes, always ensure to backup device configurations and test commands in a controlled environment.

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