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Automatically Set Port Descriptions


In preparing for CiscoLive! in San Diego, I am provisioning our access layer 3560-E switches.  Since things have a tendency to change a lot at an event like CiscoLive! I thought it would be best to make sure our port descriptions are always up-to-date when it comes to reflecting what devices are connected.  To help me do that, I wrote up this small EEM applet policy.  It will update the port's description based on the CDP neighbor learned on that port.  This policy requires EEM 3.2, so you're looking at 12.2(55)SE or higher for the 3560s.  It will also work on 3750s and ISR G2 routers running 15.x code.

event manager applet update-port-description

event neighbor-discovery interface regexp GigabitEthernet.* cdp add

action 1.0 cli command "enable"

action 2.0 cli command "config t"

action 3.0 cli command "interface $_nd_local_intf_name"

action 4.0 cli command "description $_nd_cdp_entry_name:$_nd_port_id"

The result of this will be a description like the following on switch ports:

description SDCC_IDF_1.11:TenGigabitEthernet0/1

Sorry to zombie this thread.  Lots of great info here, but the regexp could use a bit of cleaning up:

/d matches a numeric digit (same as [0-9])

* matches the previous character 0 or more times (optional set of characters)

+ matches the previous character 1 or more times (definitely at least 1 of something there)

I'm surprised you don't have to escape the forward slashes-

 // matches / because / normally indicates something special for the next character, like /s = space, /d = digit, etc.

GigabitEthernet/d///d///d+ matches GigabitEthernet<digit>/<digit>/<one or more digits>

I'm fairly handy with regexp, but a total noob at EEM.

Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

Your slashes are wrong.  The regex to match a digit is \d and \s to match a whitespace character.  You never have to escape the forward slash.  You do have to escape backslashes '\'.

I tend to prefer the shorthand notations, but EEM applets do not support them.  You must use the older POSIX regex format of [0-9] to match a digit and [[:space:]] to match a whitespace character.

Tcl does support the shorthand notation.


Oh man, I don't know how I managed that big of an err.  You're absolutely right about the slashes.  D'oh!

Thanks for the word about EEM vs Tcl.




I am applying the following to a pair of 4500X's in VSS mode.  I am getting the following error after I issue command "event manager run auto-update-port-description"




Mar  8 15:41:14: %HA_EM-3-FMPD_UNKNOWN_ENV: fh_parse_var: could not find environment variable: _nd_cdp_capabilities_string

Mar  8 15:41:14: %HA_EM-3-FMPD_ERROR: Error executing applet auto-update-port-description statement 1.1


Can you help me troubleshoot it?


event manager applet auto-update-port-description authorization bypass
  description "Auto-update port-description based on CDP neighbors info"
  event none
  action 0.0  comment "Event line regexp: Deside which interface to auto-update description on"
  action 1.0  comment "Verify CDP neighbor to be Switch or Router"
  action 1.1  regexp "(Switch|Router)" "$_nd_cdp_capabilities_string"
  action 1.2  if $_regexp_result eq "1"
  action 2.0   comment "Trim domain name"
  action 2.1   regexp "^([^\.]+)\." "$_nd_cdp_entry_name" match host
  action 3.0   comment "Convert long interface name to short"
  action 3.1   string first "Ethernet" "$_nd_port_id"
  action 3.2   if $_string_result eq "7"
  action 3.21   string replace "$_nd_port_id" 0 14 "Gi"
  action 3.3   elseif $_string_result eq 10
  action 3.31   string replace "$_nd_port_id" 0 17 "Te"
  action 3.4   elseif $_string_result eq 4
  action 3.41   string replace "$_nd_port_id" 0 11 "Fa"
  action 3.5   end
  action 3.6   set int "$_string_result"
  action 4.0   comment "Check old description if any, and do no change if same host:int"
  action 4.1   cli command "enable"
  action 4.11  cli command "config t"
  action 4.2   cli command "do show interface $_nd_local_intf_name | incl Description:"
  action 4.21  set olddesc "<none>"
  action 4.22  set olddesc_sub1 "<none>"
  action 4.23  regexp "Description: ([a-zA-Z0-9:/\-]*)([a-zA-Z0-9:/\-\ ]*)" "$_cli_result" olddesc olddesc_sub1
  action 4.24  if $olddesc_sub1 eq "$host:$int"
  action 4.25   syslog msg "EEM script did NOT change desciption on $_nd_local_intf_name, since remote host and interface is unchanged"
  action 4.26   exit 10
  action 4.27  end
  action 4.3   cli command "interface $_nd_local_intf_name"
  action 4.4   cli command "description $host:$int"
  action 4.5   cli command "do write"
  action 4.6   syslog msg "EEM script updated description on $_nd_local_intf_name from $olddesc to Description: $host:$int and saved config"
  action 5.0  end
  action 6.0  exit 1


Is this still not possible on Nexus, specifically 9000? I see that `event neighbor-discovery` is valid now, but I don't see `action string` or `action set` options.


Is there any way to read the interface descriptions without launching a show command each time? 


I'm using the script as a base but instead of using cdp neighbor, I'm using the mac address added.  I'd like to check the interface description as a condition of whether to do an action or not.  I'm worried that with the rate mac addresses may be learned I could be spawning hundreds or thousands of show commands on the switch.


Here is a test script I was playing with:


event manager applet TEST11 authorization bypass

 event mat interface GigabitEthernet1/0/14 type add

 action 001 string range "$_mat_mac_address" 0 6

 action 002 set oui $_string_result

 action 003 syslog msg "Found OUI $oui from $_mat_mac_address"

 action 004 cli command "enable"

 action 005 cli command "show interface $_mat_intf_name | inc Description:"    <----THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO A BETTER WAY

 action 006 set cdescr ""

 action 007 regexp "Description: ([^\n]+)" $_cli_result match cdescr

 action 008 string trim $cdescr

 action 009 set cdescr $_string_result

 action 010 syslog msg "cdescr is $cdescr"

 action 011 string range "$cdescr" 0 3

 action 012 if $_string_result ne "AUTO"

 action 013  syslog msg "Port is ignored"

 action 014 elseif $oui eq "ec8e.b5"

 action 015  syslog msg "Port is OUI Laptop"

 action 016 else

 action 017  syslog msg "all tests failed"

 action 018 end


hi, has anyone an update for this EEM script on page 1 for C9300 TwentyFiveGigE Interface ? 

thanks in advance


@stefan.mathys, the following regexp should include them.


event neighbor-discovery interface regexp .* cdp add



I am attempting something slightly different, on a Nexus switch, I want any port with the status of disabled, assigned to a particular VLAN (in this case, blackhole VLAN). Any ideas on what the configuration would look like?

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