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deploy command#


The deploy command spins up a lab using the topology expressed via topology definition file.


containerlab [global-flags] deploy [local-flags]

aliases: dep



With the global --topo | -t flag a user sets the path to the topology definition file that will be used to spin up a lab.


With the global --name | -n flag a user sets a lab name. This value will override the lab name value passed in the topology definition file.


The local --reconfigure flag instructs containerlab to first destroy the lab and all its directories and then start the deployment process. That will result in a clean (re)deployment where every configuration artefact will be generated (TLS, node config) from scratch.

Without this flag present, containerlab will reuse the available configuration artifacts found in the lab directory.

Refer to the configuration artifacts page to get more information on the lab directory contents.


With --max-workers flag it is possible to limit the amout of concurrent workers that create containers or wire virtual links. By default the number of workers equals the number of nodes/links to create.


Containerlab nodes can be started by different runtimes, with docker being the default one. Besides docker, containerlab has experimental support for containerd and ignite runtimes.

A global runtime can be selected with a global --runtime | -r flag that will select a runtime to use. The supported value are:

  • docker - default
  • containerd
  • ignite


A global --timeout flag drives the timeout of API requests that containerlab send toward external resources. Currently the only external resource is the container runtime (i.e. docker).

In a busy compute the runtime may respond longer than anticipated, in that case increasing the timeout may help.

The default timeout is set to 2 minutes and can be changed to values like 30s, 10m.


# deploy a lab from mylab.clab.yml file located in the same dir
containerlab deploy -t mylab.clab.yml

# deploy a lab from mylab.clab.yml file and regenerate all configuration artifacts
containerlab deploy -t mylab.clab.yml --reconfigure

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