\section abstract Abstract
A modular framework for implementing a CISCO-like CLI on a *NIX system.
Arbitary command menus and actions can be defined using XML files.
This software handles the user interaction, and forks the appropriate system
commands to perform any actions.
- \ref _licence_page
- \ref _changes_page
- \ref _issues_page
\section downloads Downloads
This project is hosted on
<A HREF="http://sourceforge.net/projects/clish/">sourceforge.</A> from where
the source-code can be downloaded.
\section background Background
The CISCO-like CLI has become a de-facto standard in the domain of network
devices. It is a much more restricted interface than traditional *NIX shells,
hence is simpler to use and inherently more secure. As more devices move to
using an embedded *NIX operating systems, a simple, scalable means of producing
such a CLI becomes valuable.
\section existing Existing Solutions
provides a similar facility but has the following main limitations:-
1) In order to add new commands a monolithic executable (which uses the
library) needs to be recompiled, after editing the source code to add the
newly required commands and actions.
2) libcli takes responsiblity for attaching to a socket (telnet-like). This
limits the usage of the CLI; difficult to use over SSH for example, similarly
cannot get the menus directly from an existing shell.
3) The implementation of the command actions is hard-linked into the monolithic
executable, this can cause licence concerns/issues when a commercial company
wishes to control proprietry software from within the CLI.
4) libcli takes responsiblity for the authentication of the user. This is
different from other "shells" which do not deal with authentication, but are
simply spawned as the required user.
is a routing package, and comes with it's own integrated CLI, to handle its
\section project CLISH Project
The project is written (mostly) in ANSI-C and provides two example executables
which can be used as a drop-in replacement for a more conventional "shell".
The software was initially developed as part of some internal work at 3Com and
due to the dependancy on 3rd party open-source packages, and it's self contained
nature, it is being released into the public domain.
It is designed to run on any *NIX system e.g. Linux, BSD, Cygwin and makes use
of the following other opensource packages (glibc,tinyxml,doxygen)
\subsection clish clish (pronounced see-lish)
This application is a standard UNIX shell replacement. The ACTION tags in the XML
specification are mapped to the system() call and hence will be interpreted as
a Bourne-shell script.
\subsection tclish tclish (pronounced tickle-ish)
This application is built if the TCL libraries are present on the build system.
The name of the executable produced will reflect the version of TCL used. e.g.
tclish8.4 will be generated if TCL8.4 is present on the system.
This application will spawn a TCL interpreter when started, and the contents of
the ACTION tags will be interpreted as TCL scripts within that interpreter for
the duration of the shell.
The "clish" shell has the following features:-
- Provides CLI tree handling facilities
- Tree built from multiple XML encoded files. (uses tinyxml)
This means that XML configuration files can be be made part of
3rd party packages and simply installing them integrates
commands into the CLI.
- Access permissions are defined as part of the CLI tree definition; a CLI
node/branch may be limited to a specific *NIX group.
- Provides interface to user
- Handles auto-completion of commands
- Only appropriate commands for the current user's "group" will be
- Provides parameter type verification facility
* Each parameter may be of a specific type, which the
framework will ensure is correctly entered by the user.
- Provides key-handling for the interface (uses tinyrl)
* Provides command line editing facilities
* up/down arrow keys
* [TAB] command completion
* [CTRL-A] move to start of command line
* [?] provides context sensitive help.
- Able to be launched non-interactively
- textual scripts can be written to drive the CLI
- Executes a specified CLI command by launching the appropriate
(as defined in the CLI tree) system command line to perform the
- Only commands permitted for the current user are available.
- During execution the I/O streams are handed over to the new
- Able to spawn a 3rd party shell, where necessary
This will take over control of the I/O channel until that
"clish" makes use of multiple XML files to define it's behaviour these...
- Identify scope of the commands (global or specific view(s))
- Include access permissions. By default a command will be
accessible to all users, but the schema will provide
the ability to limit the command based on UNIX group membership.
- Includes help text for menus
- Includes parameter definitions (with types where appropriate)
- Includes prompt modifications (different views)
- Includes full command line which each leaf node should execute
to achieve result.
- Separate set of files for each localization (language) can be
provided and determined by the user logging in.
- "packages" can contribute files to define their facilities
within the CLI; this makes augmentation of the CLI as simple
as including/excluding a particular package.
\section example xml-example directory
Some of the example files are put here for reference:
\subsection global_xml global-command.xml
\subsection startup_xml startup.xml
\subsection types_xml types.xml
\subsection debug_xml debug-view.xml