A mountain of FREE Cisco Developer Resources, including setting up a DevNet PC / Free Video Training / Learning Labs / Sandbox / Code Exchange / MUCH MORE!


Right when I thought I hit the Summit (CCNP), I realized I was only beginning!

After earning my CCNP R/S (and now Enterprise) I have turned my sites into a much less organized approach to studying certain topics that made sense in my mind, however for the benefit of myself and others I wanted to post a conclusive list of all the Tools that Cisco’s Developer site has to offer – Starting off with setting up your development PC!

These links along with PC Setup was basically week 1 entirely of my 8-week Cisco Guided Study Group, these links build on each other starting with Development PC Setup, then go from Hank Prestons Fundamentals class to the Developer Tools / Sandboxes / Resources that Cisco provides for the developer community to collaborate!

This is a huge part of Cisco Development is utilizing all of these resources your entire Journey from Associate to Expert, so I would advise anyone to explore all of the links contained within this guide if not just for 5 minutes of clicking around.

Below are links for Windows / Mac / Linux OS Development PC Setup guides

These are not exact, I did have to google-fu quite a bit to get things working, and you will need some form of Linux for things like Ansible, Python Virtual Environments, etc :

https://developer.cisco.com/learning/lab/dev-win/step/1 – Windows 10 Setup

https://developer.cisco.com/learning/lab/dev-mac/step/1 – Mac OS Setup

https://developer.cisco.com/learning/lab/dev-centos/step/1 – Linux CentOS Setup

https://developer.cisco.com/learning/lab/dev-ubuntu/step/1 – Linux Ubuntu Setup

https://naysan.ca/2019/08/05/install-python-3-virtualenv-on-ubuntu/ – Bonus link for setting up Python Virtual Environment in Linux

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10 – WSL 2 Setup for Windows

This will require some install, reboots, and I found I actually had to right click / uninstall from the drop down (NOT Add/Remove Programs!), and re-install the WSL 2 executable when it didn’t eventually run for anyone who might run into this.

This will allow Docker to run on WSL2 Linux Distro on Windows as its back end.

Note – These guides are far from perfect, and you will need to play with some commands or adjust them to your certain environment to work!

For example the Windows Setup does eventually reference setting up Python Virtual Environment in Ubuntu, which then references the Ubuntu article.

Not everything needs to run in a single environment, so if your a Windows user most things can run in Windows, but for things like Ansible and Python Virtual Environment you will need some kind of Linux Framework which can be accomplish through WSL2 (Windows Sub-System for Linux) which I’m not crazy about or simply loading a free Linux Distro onto a free Hypervisor from one of the choices below:

https://www.virtualbox.org – VirtualBox  Hypervisor homepage

https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation-player.html – VMWare Player download

I personally chose to run Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in Hyper-V as that is the Hypervisor Platform included with Windows 10 Pro that I use, but these options should work, though it may take some extra work depending on your specific system / Google-Fu skills.

I actually upgraded to Windows 10 Pro Edition and have found that working with Hyper-V that can be enabled via searching “Settings” and enabling Virtualization Platforms / Hyper-v and rebooting the machine and it will be installed:


Unfortunately you do still need to install a Linux Distro to run WSL 2 that supports Docker to run within the Windows Environment (which is where I prefer to run it) along with Postman and VSC, and I use my VM’s for Ansible and things that need Linux to run.

Use the bottom link on the first list above for WSL2 setup instructions.

Below is my official collection of where to start links for people looking at DevNet

These are links you will come to know and love from Cisco on your DevNet Journey, I would advise checking out the very first link, which is a rough guide to setting up your own machine as a Developer Environment / Have tools to work within “Sandbox” :

https://developer.cisco.com/video/net-prog-basics/– Hank Prestons HUGE DevNet fundamentals video series, it builds from the ground up, amazing free video series!

https://developer.cisco.com/startnow – Great overview videos for the very beginnings of Automation such as Python, Docker, Meraki, APIs, just a very great resource all around!

https://developer.cisco.com/learning/ – These are a deeper dive into specific “Tracks” in DevNet like Security / Collaboration / Networking / Etc, its a step up from the intro material of the “Start Now” URL above as it adds labs into the modules materials!

https://developer.cisco.com/site/sandbox/ – This is a bring your own code “Sandbox Environment” where there are both On Demand labs ready immediately for use, and others that need to be reserved, which Cisco provides a download of Anyconnect to remote into these Environments to allow Developers to test their code / API’s in Cisco spun up environments (These are not guided labs but an environment to play in)!

https://developer.cisco.com/network-automation/ – This is a large collection of “Use Case” code examples / repo’s that expands across all DevNet Tracks, you can explore different code use cases here to expand knowledge of what Automation can do in all Tracks!

https://developer.cisco.com/codeexchange – This is where Python Scripts / APIs / SDKs / Cisco Developer Tools can be found (lots of links back to GitHub Repos) that has a search engine to look for specific items or put in a broader term like just “meraki” and see what it comes back with (or any of the tracks like collaboration / security / etc)!

https://developer.cisco.com/ecosystem/ – “Global Cisco Partner Ecosystem” provides solutions that developers can use to integrate other vendors or even ISP’s existing Infrastructure into their own Development Systems into one harmonious Ecosystem!

https://github.com/CiscoDevNet/netprog_basics – Official DevNet GitHub Repository, specifically pointing at “netprog_basics” that Hank Prestons uses for fundamentals!

All of these links I will leave stickied for visibility as these are extremely important

Starting with setting up your PC I would say is step one if you are going to get into DevNet, otherwise I’d maybe skip down and check out Hank Prestons Video Series to see if this is the track for you, and if that peeks your interest at all there are more online resources from Cisco to their Developers than you can shake a stick at.

I will update with any future relevant links I run into, otherwise happy learning! 🙂

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