• Using vEOS with Vagrant and VirtualBox

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Beginning with EOS 4.15.2F, vEOS is available as a Vagrant box for VirtualBox.  This single-file VM package makes it one of the fastest ways to get started with vEOS and is ideal for testing in automated environments.  Multiple VMs may be defined within a single Vagrantfile, including non-vEOS VMs, allowing an entire topology to be defined in a single file.  A customized Vagrantfile, checked in to revision control, is an effective way for multiple users to consistently recreate a complete environment.

Prior to EOS 4.15.2F, the vEOS vmdk and Aboot.iso files can be converted to a Vagrant box by following the directions at https://github.com/jerearista/vagrant-veos/.


Quick Start

Once VirtualBox and Vagrant are installed, download a box and add it to your inventory.  Adding a box to your local inventory allows you to use short-names to refer to boxes.

host:~ user$ vagrant box add --name vEOS-lab-<version> ~/Downloads/vEOS-lab-<version>-virtualbox.box
host:~ user$ vagrant box list
vEOS-lab- (virtualbox, 0)

Create a directory for a new environment, then initialize the environment using the short-name you gave the box image, above.  This creates an initial Vagrantfile with default settings.

host:~ user$ mkdir veos
host:~ user$ cd veos
host:veos user$ vagrant init vEOS-lab-<version>
A `Vagrantfile` has been placed in this directory. You are now
ready to `vagrant up` your first virtual environment! Please read
the comments in the Vagrantfile as well as documentation on
`vagrantup.com` for more information on using Vagrant.

This is a good time to look through the newly created ‘Vagrantfile‘ and add or modify options as desired.  Once complete, boot the VM with ‘vagrant up‘, then connect to vEOS with ‘vagrant ssh‘.  During the ‘vagrant up’ process, expect to see a series of “Warning: Connection timeout. Retrying…” messages.

host:veos user$ vagrant up
Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider...
==> default: Importing base box 'vEOS-lab-'...
==> default: Matching MAC address for NAT networking...
==> default: Setting the name of the VM: veos_default_1444653159625_9472
==> default: Clearing any previously set network interfaces...
==> default: Preparing network interfaces based on configuration...
 default: Adapter 1: nat
==> default: Forwarding ports...
 default: 22 => 2222 (adapter 1)
==> default: Booting VM...
==> default: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
 default: SSH address:
 default: SSH username: root
 default: SSH auth method: private key
 default: Warning: Connection timeout. Retrying...
 default: Warning: Connection timeout. Retrying...
 default: Warning: Connection timeout. Retrying...
 default: Warning: Connection timeout. Retrying...
 default: Warning: Connection timeout. Retrying...
 default: Vagrant insecure key detected. Vagrant will automatically replace
 default: this with a newly generated keypair for better security.
 default: Inserting generated public key within guest...
 default: Removing insecure key from the guest if its present...
 default: Key inserted! Disconnecting and reconnecting using new SSH key...
==> default: Machine booted and ready!
==> default: Checking for guest additions in VM...
 default: No guest additions were detected on the base box for this VM! Guest
 default: additions are required for forwarded ports, shared folders, host only
 default: networking, and more. If SSH fails on this machine, please install
 default: the guest additions and repackage the box to continue.
 default: This is not an error message; everything may continue to work properly,
 default: in which case you may ignore this message.
host:veos user$ vagrant ssh
Arista Networks EOS shell
-bash-4.1# FastCli

NOTE: Using ‘vagrant ssh‘ will take you to a bash prompt instead of the EOS CLI.  To get to the switch CLI, run ‘FastCli‘ from bash or have vagrant start the command with ‘vagrant ssh -c FastCli‘.

See ‘vagrant help’ for additional commands including:

  • vagrant reload – Restarts the VM, reading the most current Vagrantfile
  • vagrant halt – Powers off the VM
  • vagrant suspend – Pauses the VM
  • vagrant destroy – Stops and deletes all VM state (resets to the initial box)

Once halted or destroyed, the entire vagrant environment may be removed by deleting the environment directory:

host:veos user$ cd ..
host:~ user$ rm -rf veos

Additional Vagrantfile Configuration

Below are several common configuration options one might use.  See the Vagrant documentation for a complete list of customization options.

Adding / Configuring interfaces

Using the Vagrantfile, Ethernet interfaces may be added to a VM and assigned to the desired VirtualBox network.  In the example, below, a dummy auto-config address is used in the Vagrantfile but will have no effect within vEOS.

Vagrant.configure(2) do |config|
  # Create Ethernet1
  config.vm.network 'private_network', virtualbox__intnet: true,
                                       ip: '', auto_config: false
  # Create Ethernet2
  config.vm.network 'private_network', virtualbox__intnet: true,
                                       ip: '', auto_config: false

  config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
    # Networking:
    # nic1 is always Management1 which is set to dhcp in the basebox.

    # Patch Ethernet1 to a particular internal network
    vb.customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--nic2', 'intnet',
                  '--intnet2', 'vEOS-intnet1']
    # Patch Ethernet2 to a particular internal network
    vb.customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--nic3', 'intnet',
                  '--intnet3', 'vEOS-intnet2']

Forwarding Ports

When developing eAPI applications, it can be useful to setup port forwarding to a vEOS box, then configuring the application to localhost on the configured port.

In the Vagrantfile:

config.vm.network 'forwarded_port', guest: 443, host: 8443

Then eAPI would be accessible via ‘https://localhost:8443/command-api’

Accessing the console

When working with Zero-Touch provisioning, you can access the VM’s console by adding the following setting in the Vagrantfile:

  config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
    # Display the VirtualBox GUI when booting the machine
    vb.gui = true

Provisioning EOS configuration from Vagrant

Using the shell provisioner in the Vagrantfile, EOS configuration can be specified allowing an environment to be brought up to a desired starting state without logging in to a VM.

# Enable eAPI in the EOS config
config.vm.provision 'shell', inline: <<-SHELL
 FastCli -p 15 -c "configure
 username eapiuser privilege 15 role network-admin secret icanttellyou
 management api http-commands
 no shutdown
 copy running-config startup-config"

Configuring the amount of RAM

The box defaults to 2048 MB of RAM.  This value may be modified in the Vagrantfile.

  config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
    # Customize the amount of memory on the VM:
    vb.memory = '2048'

Additional sample Vagrantfiles

Additional examples of Vagrantfiles may be found at https://github.com/jerearista/vagrant-veos/tree/master/examples


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