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Requesting Configuration Data Using NETCONF

In a NETCONF session with a device running Junos OS, to request configuration data for a routing, switching, or security platform, a client application encloses the <get-config>, <source>, and <filter> tag elements in an <rpc> tag element. By including the appropriate child tag element in the <source> tag element, the client application requests information from the active configuration or from the candidate configuration or open configuration database. By including the appropriate child tag elements in the <filter> tag element, the application can request the entire configuration or specific portions of the configuration.

The type="subtree" attribute in the opening <filter> tag indicates that the client application is using Junos XML tag elements to represent the configuration elements about which it is requesting information.


If a client application issues the Junos XML protocol <open-configuration> operation to open a specific configuration database before executing the <get-config> operation, setting the source to <candidate/> retrieves the configuration data from the open configuration database. Otherwise, the server returns the configuration data from the candidate configuration.


If the client application locks the candidate configuration before making requests, it needs to unlock it after making its read requests. Other users and applications cannot change the configuration while it remains locked. For more information, see Locking and Unlocking the Candidate Configuration Using NETCONF.

The NETCONF server encloses its reply in <rpc-reply>, <data>, and <configuration> tag elements. It includes attributes in the opening <configuration> tag that indicate the XML namespace for the enclosed tag elements and when the configuration was last changed or committed. For information about the attributes of the <configuration> tag, see Specifying the Source for Configuration Information Requests Using NETCONF.

If a Junos XML tag element is returned within an <undocumented> tag element, the corresponding configuration element is not documented in the Junos OS configuration guides or officially supported by Juniper Networks. Most often, the enclosed element is used for debugging only by support personnel. In a smaller number of cases, the element is no longer supported or has been moved to another area of the configuration hierarchy, but appears in the current location for backward compatibility.


When displaying operational or configuration data that contains characters outside the 7-bit ASCII character set, Junos OS escapes and encodes these character using the equivalent UTF-8 decimal character reference. For more information see Understanding Character Encoding on Juniper Networks Devices.

Client applications can also request other configuration-related information, including an XML schema representation of the configuration hierarchy or information about previously committed configurations.