SecureCRT with Cisco VIRL on macOS

Have you wanted to use SecureCRT with Cisco’s Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) instead of the built-in console application?  It’s actually a simple task!  Since I am a Mac user, these directions have only been tested on the Mac platform, but they may work in Windows if you tailor the application paths to Windows.

Assuming you have SecureCRT and VIRL installed on your Mac, launch VMMaestro, then select the “VMMaestro” menu and “Preferences”, then expand the “Terminal” drop-down and select “Cisco Terminal” to access the relevant settings.

Use the settings in the screenshot below to have VMMaestro launch SecureCRT automatically and display the hostname of each device in the SecureCRT tabs.  Placing the hostname in the tab is a small optimization, but for the way that I use VIRL, this was an essential one.

screen-shot-2015-12-21-at-4-22-17-pm

Obviously, there are several customizations that you can perform in the ‘Title Format:’ field to get the tabs to show different things, but for my purposes, the simple %s variable to display the hostname is all I need.  If you wish to further customize it, you can use free text and/or the variables described in the ‘Terminal Title’ section of the window to do so.

Once you change these settings, click “Apply” and “OK”, then connect to a device via telnet or SSH.  SecureCRT should automatically launch with each device in a different tab.  Each of the tabs should display the node’s short hostname, as shown below:

screen-shot-2015-12-22-at-10-02-03-am