Cisco Network Registrar CLI Reference Guide, 6.2.1
Chapter 1: About the nrcmd Program
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About the nrcmd Program

Table Of Contents

About the nrcmd Program

Invoking the nrcmd Command

Batch Mode

Interactive Mode

Registry and Environment Variables

Command Organization

Command Usage

Create Keyword

Set Keyword

Enable Keyword

Attribute Flags

Saving Your Changes

Refreshing and Clearing the CLI Cache

Navigation Keys

Command List

About the nrcmd Program

You can use the Web-based user interface (Web UI) or the nrcmd command line interface (CLI) to configure and manage your DNS, DHCP, and TFTP servers. This chapter describes how to use the nrcmd command line interface. It specifically describes:

Invoking the command in batch and interactive modes

Command organization and syntax

Special keyboard navigation characters

Invoking the nrcmd Command

You can use the nrcmd command in batch mode by executing scripts that use the commands or by using the interactive mode in which you enter commands at the nrcmd command prompt. By default, the nrcmd command is located in C:\Program Files\Network Registrar\Local\bin on Windows and in /opt/nwreg2/local/usrbin on Solaris and Linux.

Note In Windows, if you want to run the nrcmd program from outside the installed path, you must set the CNR_HOME environment variable.

On Windows, you can invoke the nrcmd command window from the Start menu:

Start > Programs > Network Registrar 6.2 > Network Registrar 6.2 CLI

This method prompts for your user name and password. On Solaris and Linux (as well as Windows alternatively), invoke the command from the command prompt using this syntax:

nrcmd [general-options] [command] [options] 

Table 1-1 describes the general options when invoking from the command prompt. Chapter 1, "Using the nrcmd Commands," describes the commands and their specific options.

Table 1-1 General Options to nrcmd Command 


-C cluster

Cluster (cluster is the name of the machine on which the Network Registrar servers are running). If not specified, the cluster name defaults to localhost.

-N user

Network Registrar user name (user).

-P password

Network Registrar user password (password).


Prints help text.


Accesses the local cluster CLI.


Accesses the regional cluster CLI.

-b < file.txt

Batch file (file.txt is the file of nrcmd commands that run in batch mode, read a line at a time and with a new line printed after the prompt).

Note The cluster to which you connect determines the CLI attributes that appear and are available for the release of Network Registrar running on the cluster. This CLI Reference describes the attributes for the current release. For the attributes available for an earlier release, see the CLI Reference for that release.

Batch Mode

The program goes into batch mode if you include a functional command or the -b < file.txt option on the line. The text file can include any number of nrcmd commands, and you can include comment lines preceded by the pound sign (#). In batch mode, you return to the normal system prompt. Note that display in batch mode is intended for parsing by an external program and, therefore, includes only command attributes that have values.

Note The last line of code in the input file must end with an end-of-line character. It is also a good practice to make the last line of code an explicit exit command.

Interactive Mode

The program goes into interactive mode if you enter just the nrmcd command, or include the cluster, user, or password options. To execute the CLI in interactive mode, enter:

nrcmd [-C cluster] [-N user] [-P password] 

This syntax displays the interactive nrcmd> prompt, at which you enter a functional command and any optional parameters:

nrcmd> command [parameter, parameter...] 

To enter a series of attribute values, insert commas (,) between them. Do not add a space after the comma. If the value is a string containing one or more space characters, enclose the value in quotes:

nrcmd> zone set auth-servers=, 
100 Ok

To terminate an interactive session, enter the exit command. To view the online help, enter the help command.

Registry and Environment Variables

If you omit the general options, Network Registrar gets them from the Registry or environment variables. If Network Registrar cannot find values for these parameters, it prompts you for them. If you omit the cluster name on a system where Network Registrar servers are installed, the nrcmd program assumes access to localhost and does not prompt you.

The environment variables that you can set that are recognized by the nrcmd program are CNR_NAME for the name, CNR_PASSWORD for the password, and CNR_CLUSTER for the cluster name.

Command Organization

The nrcmd commands specify a class of objects, which you can create, delete, or list. Each of these objects in turn has attributes, which you can enable, disable, set, get, and unset, depending on data type. These objects may also have common methods, which are specific to the type of object, and that let you perform operations on groups of attributes.

When you use the nrcmd commands to configure Network Registrar, you manipulate:

Classes—Things that you can create, delete, show, or list, such as scopes, policies, or zones.

create—Creates an entry. If the entry already exists, this command returns an error.

delete—Removes an entry.

list—Displays all the objects of a given type, including all attributes.

listnames—Displays only the names of all objects of a given type.

show—Displays the values of all the attributes.

Attributes—Things that you can enable or disable, or whose value you can set or display using these common methods:

enable—Enables a Boolean type of attribute.

disable—Disables a Boolean type of attribute.

set—Sets the value of an attribute.

get—Displays the value of an explicitly defined attribute.

unset—Makes an attribute have no value. You cannot unset required attributes.

Note You cannot use nrcmd to get the value of implicitly defined attributes, including implicitly defined default values.

There are three ways to set attributes:

For attributes required to create an object, you need to specify their value positionally in the syntax for the create command. For example, to create a High-Availability (HA) DNS server pair, you can specify cluster and IP addresses for the main and backup servers during creation:

nrcmd> ha-dns-pair ha-pair-1 create main=localhost 

Use the set or enable command after creating the object. For example, you can set just the cluster references to the main and backup server for the created HA DNS pair:

nrcmd> ha-dns-pair ha-pair-1 set main=localhost backup=backup 

Add attribute=value pairs at the end of the create command.

Note that if you use both the positional value and the attribute=value pair for the same attribute on the create command line, the attribute=value pair is the actual value used (because it comes last).

As of Network Registrar 6.0, attributes that have default values appear in interactive mode in the form attribute = [default=value]. In interactive mode, all the attributes appear. In batch mode, only those attributes having values appear, and no default values appear. The display in batch mode is less user-friendly, but is more easily parsable by a program. These examples show how output compares in interactive and batch modes, respectively:

nrcmd> zone show 
100 Ok (primary): 
checkpoint-interval = 
checkpoint-min-interval = 
defttl = 12h 
dynamic = [default=true] 
dynupdate-set = 
expire = 7d 

$ nrcmd -N admin -P changeme zone show 
100 Ok defttl=12h; expire=7d; minttl=10m; nameservers={{0}}; 
ns=rr2.;; person=rr1.; refresh=3h; retry=60m; serial=1; 
update-acl="key myKey"; 

Other custom methods—These are specific operations that you can perform on an object, beyond editing its attributes. Examples are adding a range of IP addresses to a scope, or removing hosts from a zone.

Command Usage

How you specify a series of arguments depends on the type of command you are using. The following subsections describe the differences between using the create, set, and enable commands.

Create Keyword

When you use the create keyword and there are required arguments, you must supply them. You can also supply additional arguments. You must supply the required arguments in the specified order; however, you can specify the optional arguments in any order with the syntax attribute=value.

For example, the syntax for creating a scope is:

scope name create ipaddress mask [attribute=value]

This means that you must supply an IP address and mask when you create a scope, and you can optionally specify other attributes of the scope.

This example creates the scope testScope with an IP address of and a mask of

nrcmd> scope testScope create 
100 Ok
addr =
bootp = disabled
deactivated =

You can also include attribute definitions on the same line. This example creates the same scope, but also specifies the name of the DNS zone to which a DHCP client's host name should be added:

nrcmd> scope testScope create 
100 Ok
addr =
bootp = disabled
deactivated =

After the create keyword creates and assigns all specified parameters to the object, it checks that all the required attributes have values (either default or user-specified). If you omit the required attributes, Network Registrar returns an error.

Set Keyword

You use the set keyword to set the value of an attribute that is already created. If you want to set a list of values, such as DNS servers or IP addresses, you can separate them with commas. You can also use the set keyword to set several attributes on a single line—just specify the attribute and its value followed by a space and the next attribute and value pair.

This example specifies the name of the DNS zone to which a DHCP client's host name should be added:

nrcmd> scope testScope set 
100 Ok

This example specifies the list of IP addresses for zone transfers for a zone:

nrcmd> zone set auth-servers=, 
100 Ok

This example sets a client's client-class and domain name:

nrcmd> client 00:d0:ba:d3:bd:3b set client-class-name=internal 
100 Ok

The unset keyword places an attribute in the undefined state. The get keyword displays the value for an attribute.

Enable Keyword

You use the enable keyword to enable a Boolean attribute. After you enable one Boolean attribute, you may need to set its associated attributes. Use the disable keyword to disable a Boolean attribute. You can use the unset keyword to remove the enabled or disabled state of the Boolean attribute.

This example enables incremental transfer processing for the DNS server:

nrcmd> dns enable ixfr-enable 
100 Ok

Once incremental transfer is enabled, this example changes its expiration interval:

nrcmd> dns set ixfr-expire-interval=10d 
100 Ok

Note You cannot use set and enable on the same command line.

Attribute Flags

Command attributes are described as:

Required—The attribute is required for the object, and usually syntactically positional on the create command line. You must set the attribute or accept its default, and you can modify the value. You cannot use the unset keyword to set a required attribute to undefined. Trying to do so returns the error message 386 - Required attribute cannot be deleted.

Optional—The attribute is optional and does not require a value. You can set and reset the attribute, and you can use the unset keyword to make it undefined.

Read-only—The attribute is immutable and read-only. You can use the get keyword with the attribute, but you cannot set or unset it. Trying to set or unset a read-only attribute returns the error message 385 - Read-only attribute cannot be modified.

Saving Your Changes

With new commands introduced in Network Registrar 6.2, nrcmd applies the changes you make immediately. (Commands introduced in Network Registrar 6.2 are listed in Release Notes). With the commands from prior releases, the CLI waits for one of these events to occur before it saves your changes to the database:

Invoking the save command

Exiting from nrcmd

Reloading a server

Adding a resource record or host to a zone

Refreshing and Clearing the CLI Cache

The CLI caches many configuration objects that it reads. If multiple users are making changes simultaneously, one CLI instance might have cached an out of date version of an object. The session cache refresh command causes the CLI to clear its local cache of all unmodified objects, forcing it to reread objects from the configuration database. The session cache clear command forces the CLI to clear all cached data, whether or not unsaved changes were made.

Navigation Keys

Table 1-2 lists keyboard navigation key combinations that are useful when entering nrcmd commands.

Table 1-2 nrcmd Navigation Key Combinations 

Key Combination


Go to the beginning of the line


Back one character


Delete one character


Go to the end of the line


Forward one character


Kill to the end of the line


Redraw the line


Next line in the history


Previous line in the history


Shift an individual character left


Delete the line and move the cursor to the beginning of the line


Delete one word backwards


Back one word


Forward one word

Command List

Table 1-3 lists the nrcmd commands, alphabetically. You can use these commands on the command line or insert them into scripts.

Table 1-3 nrcmd Commands 



Creates access control lists (ACLs)


Creates traps for free-address monitoring of the DHCP server


Creates and sets properties for CCM address blocks


Creates administrators for the cluster


Manages the CCM server


Creates clients and assigns them to client-classes


Creates client-classes

client-class policy

Sets embedded client-class policies


Sets embedded client policies


Configures a regional or local cluster


Manages the DHCP server


Creates and sets properties for DHCP address blocks


Configures the policy embedded in a DHCP address block


Configures the DHCP server updates to DNS


Configures the DHCP server's network interfaces


Creates DHCPv6 links


Configures the policy embedded in a DHCPv6 link


Creates DHCPv6 prefixes


Configures the policy embedded in a DHCPv6 prefix


Shows the list of possible DHCP subnets


Specifies the DNS server attributes


Configures the DNS server's network interfaces


Manages DNS update configurations

exit or quit

Exits the nrcmd command and saves the current configuration changes


Exports configurations


Configures DHCP extension modules


Manages DHCP failover server configurations


Obtains an exclusive lock for the nrcmd command session


Configures groupings of administrators


Defines the high availability relationship between a DNS main and a DNS backup server


Provides online help


Imports configurations


Creates transaction signature (TSIG) keys for DNS updates


Configures Lightweight Data Access Protocol (LDAP) for DHCP


Retrieves information about DHCP leases


Retrieves information about DHCPv6 leases


Notifies you when you run out of available leases in a scope


Views and updates license information


Manages DHCP option definitions


Manages DHCP option definition sets


Manages owners


Configures DHCP policies


Manages regions


Configures remote DNS server data


Creates summary usage reports


Manages administrator roles


Manages routers


Manages router network interfaces


Shows router types


Saves the current configuration changes


Configures DHCP scopes


Configures the policy embedded in a DHCP scope


Creates DHCP scope selection tags


Configures templates for DHCP scopes


Configures the policy embedded in a DHCP scope template


Controls servers


Sets the current CLI session parameters


Configures the SNMP server


Configures the SNMP server's network interfaces


Configures CCM subnets


Configures the Trival File Transport Protocol (TFTP) server


Configures recipients for SNMP traps


Configures DNS update policies


Configures vendor-specific DHCP options


Configures DHCP virtual private networks (VPNs)


Configures DNS zones


Manages zone distribution maps


Configures templates for DNS zones