Oxidized - silly attempt at (Really Awesome New Cisco confIg Differ)

Since ages I wanted have replaced this freaking backup solution of our Network Equipment based on some hacky shell scripts and expect uploading the configs on a TFTP server.

Years ago I stumbled upon RANCID (Really Awesome New Cisco confIg Differ) but had no time to implement it. Now I returned to my idea to get rid of all our old crap.
I don't know where, I think it was at DENOG2, I saw RANCID coupled with a VCS, where the NOC was notified about configuration (and inventory) changes by mailing the configuration diff and the history was indeed in the VCS.
The good old RANCID seems not to support to write into a VCS out of the box. But for the rescue there is rancid-git, a fork that promises git extensions and support for colorized emails. So far so good.

While I was searching for a VCS capable RANCID, somewhere under a stone I found Oxidized, a 'silly attempt at rancid'. Looking at it, it seems more sophisticated, so I thought this might be the right attempt. Unfortunately there is no Debian package available, but I found an ITP created by Jonas.

Anyway, for just looking into it, I thought the Docker path for a testbed might be a good idea, as no Debian package ist available (yet).

For oxidized configuration is only a configfile needed and as nodes source a rancid compatible router.db file can be used (beside SQLite and http backend). A migration into a production environment seems pretty easy. So I gave it a go.

I assume Docker is installed already. There seems to be a Docker image on Docker Hub, that looks official, but it seems not maintained (actually). An issue is open for automated building the image.

Creating Oxidized container image

The official documentation describes the procedure. I used a slightly different approach.

docking-station:~# mkdir -p /srv/docker/oxidized/
docking-station:~# git clone https://github.com/ytti/oxidized \
docking-station:~# docker build -q -t oxidized/oxidized:latest \

I thought it might be a good idea to also tag the image with the actual version of the gem.

docking-station:~# docker tag oxidized/oxidized:latest \
docking-station:~# docker images | grep oxidized
oxidized/oxidized   latest    35a325792078  15 seconds ago  496.1 MB
oxidized/oxidized   0.11.0    35a325792078  15 seconds ago  496.1 MB

Create initial default configuration like described in the documentation.

docking-station:~# mkir -p /srv/docker/oxidized/.config/
docking-station:~# docker run -e CONFIG_RELOAD_INTERVAL=600 \
 -v /srv/docker/oxidized/.config/:/root/.config/oxidized \
 -p 8888:8888/tcp -t oxidized/oxidized:latest oxidized

Adjusting configuration

After this I adjusted the default configuration for writing a log, the nodes config into a bare git, having nodes secrets in router.db and some hooks for debugging.

Creating node configuration

docking-station:~# echo "7204vxr.lab.cyconet.org:cisco:admin:password:enable" >> \
docking-station:~# echo "ccr1036.lab.cyconet.org:routeros:admin:password" >> \

Starting the oxidized beast

docking-station:~# docker run -e CONFIG_RELOAD_INTERVAL=600 \
 -v /srv/docker/oxidized/.config/:/root/.config/oxidized \
 -p 8888:8888/tcp -t oxidized/oxidized:latest oxidized
Puma 2.16.0 starting...
* Min threads: 0, max threads: 16
* Environment: development
* Listening on tcp://

If you want to have the container get started with the docker daemon automatically, you can start the container with --restart always and docker will take care of it. If I wanted to make it running permanent, I would use a systemd unitfile.

Reload configuration immediately

If you don't want to wait to automatically reload of the configuration, you can trigger it.

docking-station:~# curl -s http://localhost:8888/reload?format=json \
 -O /dev/null
docking-station:~# tail -2 /srv/docker/oxidized/.config/log/oxidized.log
I, [2016-01-29T16:50:46.971904 #1]  INFO -- : Oxidized starting, running as pid 1
I, [2016-01-29T16:50:47.073307 #1]  INFO -- : Loaded 2 nodes

Writing nodes configuration

docking-station:/srv/docker/oxidized/.config/oxidized.git# git shortlog
Oxidizied (2):
      update 7204vxr.lab.cyconet.org
      update ccr1036.lab.cyconet.org

Writing the nodes configurations into a local bare git repository is neat but far from perfect. It would be cool to have all the stuff in a central VCS. So I'm pushing it every 5 minutes into one with a cron job.

docking-station:~# cat /etc/cron.d/doxidized 
# m h dom mon dow user  command                                                 
*/5 * * * *	root	$(/srv/docker/oxidized/bin/oxidized_cron_git_push.sh)
docking-station:~# cat /srv/docker/oxidized/bin/oxidized_cron_git_push.sh

git push origin master --quiet

Now having all the nodes configurations in a source code hosting system, we can browse the configurations, changes, history and even establish notifications for changes. Mission accomplished!

Now I can test the coverage of our equipment. The last thing that would make me super happy, a oxidized Debian package!