Basics of Junos Command-Line Interface (CLI) and J-web

By Walter J. Goralski, Cathy Gadecki, Michael Bushong

There are two management interfaces available in Junos: the Command Line Interface (CLI) and the graphical user interface (GUI), known as J-web. Together, they provide a powerful management platform for Junos based devices.

Junos CLI

The Junos CLI is the starting point to most operator tasks, providing an intuitive, text-based command shell. If you’ve used a UNIX-based host, you’ll see many similarities.

Most users find the Junos operating system CLI fairly easy to grasp. Many commands are similar to those used by other networking vendors. For example, if you are familiar with the Cisco CLI, you’ll find that many Junos CLI commands are the same. The only difference is that you don’t need to use the keyword IP.

After looking around the interface for a few minutes, new users begin to find some of the advanced tools provided by the Juniper engineers to make configuring, monitoring, and managing the system easy to do. Some familiar tools include the ?, which provides a list of possible completions, and the Tab key, which provides completion of partially typed commands, saving you many keystrokes.

Among the many intuitive aspects of the CLI are a structured command hierarchy, extensive fail-safe mechanisms that help to catch configuration mistakes and errors, automation tools for speeding and delivering accuracy to your daily operator tasks, and comprehensive online help.

In addition to the CLI, the Junos operating system offers J-web GUI access. The simplicity of the J-web interface allows users to quickly and easily deploy many Juniper devices in an enterprise network. J-web provides a series of quick configuration wizards that simplify device setup and enable real-time network-management service changes and upgrades.

As J-web essentially provides a graphical interface and setup wizards for the underlying command-line interface, it’s helpful to understand at least the basics about the CLI.

Junos J-web

The J-web interface allows you to monitor, configure, troubleshoot, and manage your device by means of an HTTP- or HTTPS-enabled web browser. J-web provides access to the configuration statements supported by the device, so you can fully configure it without using the CLI editor. For example, in the SRX Series of security gateways, J-web includes wizards to assist you in configuring firewall policies, NAT, and IPSec VPNs.