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Using Salt to Execute RPCs on Devices Running Junos OS

Juniper Networks provides support for using Salt to manage devices running Junos OS, and the Junos execution and state modules (for Salt) define functions that enable you to perform operational and configuration tasks on the managed devices. The salt.modules.junos.rpc execution function and the salt.states.junos.rpc state function enable you to execute remote procedure calls (RPCs) on devices running Junos OS to perform operations or retrieve information.

The following sections discuss how to use the functions, parse the device response, specify the output format, and save the output to a file.

Understanding the Junos XML API

The Junos XML API is an XML representation of Junos OS configuration statements and operational mode commands. It defines an XML equivalent for all statements in the Junos OS configuration hierarchy and many of the commands that you issue in CLI operational mode. Each operational mode command with a Junos XML counterpart maps to a request tag element and, if necessary, a response tag element. Request tags are used in remote procedure calls (RPCs) within NETCONF or Junos XML protocol sessions to request information from a device running Junos OS. The server returns the response using Junos XML elements enclosed within the response tag element.

All operational commands that have Junos XML counterparts are listed in the Junos XML API Explorer. You can also display the Junos XML request tag element for any operational mode command that has a Junos XML counterpart on the CLI by appending the | display xml rpc option after the command. The following example displays the request tag for the show route command:

When you use Salt to manage a device running Junos OS, you can use the junos.rpc function to execute the RPC on the device and return the response.

junos.rpc Function Syntax

The salt.modules.junos.rpc execution function syntax is:

The salt.states.junos.rpc state function supports the following syntaxes:


  • arg=arg-value—(Optional) One or more RPC arguments to include and their corresponding values, for example, interface-name=ge-1/1/1 or terse=True.

  • dest—(Optional) Path of the destination file on the proxy minion server to which the RPC reply is written. If you do not specify an absolute path on the target device, the path is relative to the top-level root (/) directory.

  • id—User-defined identifier for the state declaration.

  • format—(Optional) Format of the RPC reply written to the destination file, if specified. Specify text, xml, or json.

  • rpc—Remote procedure call to execute on the device running Junos OS, for example, get-system-uptime-information.

How to Execute RPCs with the junos.rpc Execution Function

The salt.modules.junos.rpc execution function enables you to execute an RPC on a device running Junos OS. The function requires one argument, which is the RPC to execute. If the operation is successful, the command returns out: True, and the rpc_reply key includes the RPC reply.

For example, the following command executes the get-system-uptime-information RPC on the target device and displays the response in standard output:

For information about specifying RPC arguments or the function’s output format and location, see:

How to Execute RPCs with the junos.rpc State Function

You can use the salt.states.junos.rpc state function within a Salt state file to execute RPCs on a device running Junos OS. You can define the RPC as the first line of the data structure, or you can define it within the function’s argument list. If you need to execute the same RPC multiple times within the same state file, you must define the RPC within the argument list.

The following state file uses the junos.rpc state function to execute two RPCs on the target device and save the output to a file. In this case, the proxy identifier stored in the id grain is included in the destination filename to distinguish the output files when the state is applied to multiple targets.

When you apply the state, the Salt master displays the RPC reply for each RPC in standard output and also saves the output to the corresponding destination file on the proxy minion server.

If the state is applied to multiple targets, Salt generates different output files for each target on the proxy minion server in this case, because the defined filename references a unique identifier.

State files cannot use the same state identifier multiple times in a file. Therefore, if you want to use the same RPC request tag multiple times in a state file, you must define the RPC in the function’s argument list. For example:

How to Specify RPC Arguments

The junos.rpc function supports specifying keyword arguments and values for an RPC. If an argument takes a value, include the argument name and specify the value. If an argument does not require a value, set its value equal to True.

For example, the following RPC includes two arguments, one of which takes a value:

To execute the equivalent RPC on the Salt master command line, include the interface-name='ge-1/1/1' and terse=True arguments.

Similarly, in a Salt state file:


You can specify Junos OS arguments by using the hyphenated element name or by using underscores in place of any hyphens.

When you execute commands on the Salt master command line, Salt passes the CLI input through PyYAML to ensure it is loaded as a proper Python data type. In some cases, arguments that take an integer or that take a string value that parses to an integer might not be parsed correctly. For those arguments, you can provide the value using one of the following methods:

  • Use a backslash ( \ ) to escape quotation marks around string values.

  • Use double quotation marks to enclose single quotation marks and vice versa.

  • Include the --no-parse=param_name option.

For example:

How to Save the RPC Output to a File

When you execute the junos.rpc function, you can save the returned data in a file on the proxy minion server by including the dest argument and specifying the path of the destination file. If you do not specify an absolute path, the path is relative to the top-level root (/) directory. If an output file already exists with the target name, the new file overwrites the old file.

The dest argument does not save the entire Salt command response in the file. It only saves the RPC reply contained within the rpc_reply key.

The following command displays the output from the get-system-uptime-information RPC and saves the rpc_reply value to the specified path on the proxy minion server:

How to Specify the Format for the RPC Output

By default, the junos.rpc function returns the RPC output in XML format for both the data displayed in standard output as well as the data saved to the destination file, if specified. To specify a different output format, include the format argument, and set the value equal to the desired format. To request text format or Junos XML elements, use text or xml respectively. To save the junos.rpc output to the destination file in JSON format, specify json.

The following command executes the get-system-uptime-information RPC and returns the data in text format:

The output is also written in the requested format to the destination file on the proxy minion server.