[rancid] Ignoring (Boot)Flash Changes (IOS and IOS XE) - Update!

Alan McKinnon alan.mckinnon at gmail.com
Thu Jul 24 18:06:03 UTC 2014

On 24/07/2014 18:23, Andrew Ohnstad wrote:
> I found this: 
> http://www.shrubbery.net/pipermail/rancid-discuss/2014-June/007677.html
> But I need the solution for Nexus/nxrancid.  Alan, can you post that one
> too?

that's the very thread I was thinking of in my reply to Mark

> Also, a more fundamental question... how does rancid fit in with the
> specialized scripts like nxrancid, cat5rancid, etc...  Specifically, if
> I was using only Nexus gear in my Rancid-monitored network, would I need
> to make changes in rancid _and_ nxrancid, or just the latter?

The names of the various *rancid scripts are a historical artifact:

Once upon a time long long ago, Cisco was the only player. This may even
have been in the days of CatOS. Anyway, there was only 1 major script
that did all the heavy lifting and it was naturally called "rancid". It
got other wrapper scripts to co-ordinate activities, like rancid-run to
wrap everything, par to manage firing off several parallel threads,
clogin and so on and so on.

After a while, the word got out that rancid was truly awesome[1] so
folks adapted the "rancid" worker script to deal with other OSes are
prepended an initial to the name to tell them apart, hence names like
"jrancid" and "xrancid".

Enter the confusion: almost everyone nowadays logically assumes that
"rancid" must be the main controller and launcher and the script for IOS
would be named something else. Not so: "rancid" deals with IOS only[2]

To find out what script you need to edit, get the device's type from
router.db and look it up in the rancid-fe script, it's a perl hash-key.
The corresponding value is the name of the parser script used.

So, for Nexus you will edit either rancid or nxrancid depending on what
you use in router.db. rancid actually does a reasonable job of dealing
with Nexus although nxrancid is better at it.

[1] Really Awesome New Cisco cOnfig Differ is not just a cute name, it's
factually accurate :-)

[2] Ignore for the moment that many router OSes are sufficiently
IOS-like that rancid can actually do a mostly-decent job of dealing with

> Thanks,
> Andrew
> On Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM, Mark Tinka <mark.tinka at seacom.mu
> <mailto:mark.tinka at seacom.mu>> wrote:
>     On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 05:50:24 PM Alan McKinnon wrote:
>     > I worked out a more general solution a while back as our
>     > NetOps want to see that the file exists and want to see
>     > huge changes in size. So I converted filesizes to
>     > kilo-mega-giga byte form and diffed that. The noise
>     > reduced cconsiderably. Check my postings for the last 3
>     > months, the subject starts with [PATCH]
>     Yes, this would be a better approach, as the RANCID output
>     is useful to know whether disk space will become an issue,
>     but capturing all the small changes creates too much noise.
>     Large changes in MB (instead of KB) deltas is acceptable.
>     Let me hunt for your patch and revert.
>     Mark.
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Alan McKinnon
alan.mckinnon at gmail.com

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