PySMI documentation

The PySMI library and tools are designed to parse, verify and transform SNMP SMI MIB modules. The ultimate goal of PySMI effort is to handle as much SMI syntax flavors and conversion operations as libsmi does but in pure Python. PySMI’s APIs are designed in modular, reusable and object-oriented fashion in hope to make PySMI useful for native Python applications.

Top-level design

PySMI library is highly modular. The top-level component is called compiler and it acts as main user-facing object. Most of other components are plugged into the compiler object prior to its use.

Normally, user asks compiler to perform certain transformation of named MIB module. Compiler will:

  • Search its data sources for given MIB module (identified by name) noting their last modification times.
  • Search compiler-managed repositories of already converted MIB modules for modules that are more recent than corresponding source MIB module.
  • If freshly transformed MIB module is found, processing stops here.
  • Otherwise compiler passes ASN.1 MIB module content to the lexer component.
  • Lexer returns a sequence of tokenized ASN.1 MIB contents. Compiler then passes that sequence of tokens to the parser component.
  • Parser runs LR algorithm on tokenized MIB thus transforming MIB contents into Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) and also noting what other MIB modules are referred to from the MIB being parsed.
  • In case of parser failure, what is usually an indication of broken ASN.1 MIB syntax, compiler may attempt to fetch pre-transformed MIB contents from configured source. This process is called borrowing in PySMI.
  • In case of successful parser completion, compiler will pass produced AST to code generator component.
  • Code generator walks its input AST and performs actual data transformation.
  • The above steps may be repeated for each of the MIB modules referred to as parser figures out. Once no more unresolved dependencies remain, compiler will call its writer component to store all transformed MIB modules.

The locaiton of ASN.1 MIB modules and flavor of their syntax, as well as desired transformation format, is determined by respective components chosen and configured to compiler.

Developer documentation

Whenever you wish to build SNMP MIB parsing functionality into your Python application, PySMI may be helpful. The following section describes PySMI programming interfaces and provides code snippets explaining its use.

Hints and tricks

The PySMI project developers maintain a collection of ASN.1 MIB files at http://mibs.snmplabs.com/asn1/ . The mibdump tool as well as many other utilities based on PySMI are programmed to use this MIB repository for automatic download and dependency resolution.

You can always reconfigure PySMI to use some other remote MIB repository instead or in addition to this one.

Should you have any questions or feedback on PySMI software, you are welcome to ping me at ilya@glas.net .

License

Copyright (c) 2015 Ilya Etingof <ilya@glas.net> All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  • Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

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