The switch to the Python programming language for new code is not merely
a change of the language, but a chance to rethink and improve the
Let's face it: VyOS is full of spaghetti code where logic for reading
the VyOS config, generating daemon configs, and restarting processes is
all mixed up.
Python (or any other language, for that matter) does not provide
automatic protection from bad design, so we need to also devise design
guidelines and follow them to keep the system extensible and
But we are here to assist you and want to guide you through how you can
become a good VyOS contributor. The rules we have are not there to
punish you - the rules are in place to help us all. What does it mean?
By having a consistent coding style it becomes very easy for new
contributors and also longtime contributors to navigate through the
sources and all the implied logic of the spaghetti code.
Please use the following template as good starting point when developing
new modules or even rewrite a whole bunch of code in the new style
##### Configuration Script Structure and Behaviour
Your configuration script or operation mode script which is also written
in Python3 should have a line break on 80 characters. This seems to be a
bit odd nowadays but as some people also work remotely or program using
vi(m) this is a fair good standard which I hope we can rely on.
In addition this also helps when browsing the GitHub codebase on a
mobile device if you happen to be a crazy scientist.
# Copyright (C) 2019 VyOS maintainers and contributors
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or later as
# published by the Free Software Foundation.
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
# GNU General Public License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
from vyos.config import Config
from vyos import ConfigError
vc = Config()
# Convert the VyOS config to an abstract internal representation
config = ...
# Verify that configuration is valid
raise ConfigError("Descriptive message")
# Generate daemon configs
# Apply the generated configs to the live system
config = get_config()
except ConfigError as e:
The `get_config()` function must convert the VyOS config to an abstract,
internal representation. No other function is allowed to call the
`vyos.config. Config` object method directly. The rationale for it is
that when config reads are mixed with other logic, it's very hard to
change the config syntax since you need to weed out every occurrence of
the old syntax. If syntax-specific code is confined to a single
function, the rest of the code can be left untouched as long as the
internal representation remains compatible.
Another advantage is testability of the code. Mocking the entire config
subsystem is hard, while constructing an internal representation by hand
is way simpler.
The `verify()` function takes your internal representation of the config
and checks if it's valid, otherwise it must raise `ConfigError` with an
error message that describes the problem and possibly suggests how to
fix it. It must not make any changes to the system. The rationale for it
is again testability and, in the future when the config backend is ready
and every script is rewritten in this fashion, ability to execute commit
dry run ("commit test" like in JunOS) and abort commit before making
any changes to the system if an error is found in any component.
The `generate()` function generates config files for system components.
The `apply()` function applies the generated configuration to the live
system. It should use non-disruptive reload whenever possible. It may
execute disruptive operations such as daemon process restart if a
particular component does not support non-disruptive reload, or when the
expected service degradation is minimal (for example, in case of
auxiliary services such as LLDPd). In case of high impact services such
as VPN daemon and routing protocols, when non-disruptive reload is
supported for some but not all types of configuration changes, scripts
authors should make effort to determine if a configuration change can be
done in a non-disruptive way and only resort to disruptive restart if it
cannot be avoided.
Unless absolutely necessary, configuration scripts should not modify the
active configuration of system components directly. Whenever at all
possible, scripts should generate a configuration file or files that can
be applied with a single command such as reloading a service through
systemd init. Inserting statements one by one is particularly
discouraged, for example, when configuring netfilter rules, saving them
to a file and loading it with iptables-restore should always be
preferred to executing iptables directly.
The `apply()` and `generate()` functions may `raise ConfigError` if, for
example, the daemon failed to start with the updated config. It
shouldn't be a substitute for proper config checking in the `verify()`
function. All reasonable effort should be made to verify that generated
configuration is valid and will be accepted by the daemon, including,
when necessary, cross-checks with other VyOS configuration subtrees.
Exceptions, including `VyOSError` (which is raised by
`vyos.config.Config` on improper config operations, such as trying to
use `list_nodes()` on a non-tag node) should not be silenced or caught
and re-raised as config error. Sure this will not look pretty on user's
screen, but it will make way better bug reports, and help users (and
most VyOS users are IT professionals) do their own debugging as well.
For easy orientation we suggest you take a look on the `ntp.py` or
`interfaces-bonding.py` (for tag nodes) implementation. Both files can
be found in the [vyos-1x](https://github.com/vyos/vyos-1x/tree/current/schema) repository.