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Handle an Error or Warning in a NETCONF Session

In a NETCONF session with a device running Junos OS, a client application sends RPCs to the NETCONF server to request information from and manage the configuration on the device. The NETCONF server sends a response to each client request. If the server encounters an error condition, it emits an <rpc-error> element containing child elements that describe the error.

<bad-element> identifies the command or configuration statement that was being processed when the error or warning occurred. For a configuration statement, the <error-path> tag element enclosed in the <rpc-error> tag element specifies the statement’s parent hierarchy level.

<error-message> describes the error or warning in a natural-language text string.

<error-path> specifies the path to the Junos OS configuration hierarchy level at which the error or warning occurred, in the form of the CLI configuration mode banner.

<error-severity> indicates the severity of the event that caused the NETCONF server to return the <rpc-error> tag element. The two possible values are error and warning.

An error can occur while the server is performing any of the following operations, and the server can send a different combination of child tag elements in each case:

  • Processing an operational request submitted by a client application

  • Opening, locking, changing, committing, or closing a configuration as requested by a client application

  • Parsing configuration data submitted by a client application in an <edit-config> tag element

Client applications must be prepared to receive and handle an <rpc-error> tag element at any time. The information in any response tag elements already received and related to the current request might be incomplete. The client application can include logic for deciding whether to discard or retain the information.

When the <error-severity> tag element has the value error, the usual response is for the client application to discard the information and terminate. When the <error-severity> tag element has the value warning, indicating that the problem is less serious, the usual response is for the client application to log the warning or pass it to the user and to continue parsing the server’s response.


Starting in Junos OS Release 17.4R3, 18.2R2, 18.3R2, and 18.4R1, when you configure the rfc-compliant statement at the [edit system services netconf] hierarchy level to enforce certain behaviors by the NETCONF server, the NETCONF server cannot return an RPC reply that includes both an <rpc-error> element and an <ok/> element. If the operation is successful, but the server reply would include one or more <rpc-error> elements with a severity level of warning in addition to the <ok/> element, then the warnings are omitted.