In the runtime pyroute2 socket objects behave as normal sockets. One can use them in the poll/select, one can call recv() and sendmsg():

from pyroute2 import IPRoute

# create RTNL socket
ipr = IPRoute()

# subscribe to broadcast messages

# wait for data (do not parse it)
data = ipr.recv(65535)

# parse received data
messages = ipr.marshal.parse(data)

# shortcut: recv() + parse()
# (under the hood is much more, but for
# simplicity it's enough to say so)
messages = ipr.get()

But pyroute2 objects have a lot of methods, written to handle specific tasks:

from pyroute2 import IPRoute
from pyroute2 import IW

# RTNL interface
ipr = IPRoute()

# WIFI interface
iw = IW()

# get devices list

# scan WIFI networks on wlo1

More info on specific modules is written in the next chapters.

Resource release

Do not forget to release resources and close sockets. Also keep in mind, that the real fd will be closed only when the Python GC will collect closed objects.

Signal handlers

If you place exclusive operations in a signal handler, the locking will not help. The only way to guard the handler is to ignore the signal from the handler:

import signal
from pyroute2 import IPDB

def handler(signum, frame):
    # emergency shutdown
    signal.signal(signal.SIGTERM, signal.SIG_IGN)

def main():
    with IPDB() as ipdb:
        signal.signal(signal.SIGTERM, handler)
        test_if = ipdb.create(ifname='test_if', kind='dummy').commit()
        ...  # do some work


The public API is exported by pyroute2/__init__.py. There are two main reasons for such approach.

First, it is done so to provide a stable API, that will not be affected by changes in the package layout. There can be significant layout changes between versions, but if a symbol is re-exported via pyroute2/__init__.py, it will be available with the same import signature.


All other objects are also available for import, but they may change signatures in the next versions.


# Import a pyroute2 class directly. In the next versions
# the import signature can be changed, e.g., NetNS from
# pyroute2.netns.nslink it can be moved somewhere else.
from pyroute2.netns.nslink import NetNS
ns = NetNS('test')

# Import the same class from root module. This signature
# will stay the same, any layout change is reflected in
# the root module.
from pyroute2 import NetNS
ns = NetNS('test')

Another function of pyroute2/__init__.py is to provide deferred imports. Being imported from the root of the package, classes will be really imported only with the first constructor call. This make possible to change the base of pyroute2 classes on the fly.

The proxy class, used in the second case, supports correct isinstance() and issubclass() semantics, and in both cases the code will work in the same way.

There is an exception from the scheme: the exception classes.


Since the deferred import provides wrappers, not real classes, one can not use them in try: ... except: ... statements. So exception classes are simply reexported here.

Developers note: new exceptions modules must not import any other pyroute2 modules neither directly, nor indirectly. It means that __init__.py files in the import path should not contain pyroute2 symbols referred in the root module as that would cause import error due to recursion.

Special cases


The eventlet environment conflicts in some way with socket objects, and pyroute2 provides a workaround for that:

# import symbols
import eventlet
from pyroute2 import NetNS
from pyroute2.config.eventlet import eventlet_config

# setup the environment

# run the code
ns = NetNS('nsname')