Stop a Virtual Lab

netlab down destroys a virtual lab created with netlab up command.

This command uses the lab topology or the snapshot file created by netlab up or netlab create to find the virtualization provider, and executes provider-specific CLI commands to destroy the virtual lab.


usage: netlab down [-h] [-v] [--cleanup] [--dry-run] [--force] [--snapshot [SNAPSHOT]]

Destroy the virtual lab

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose         Verbose logging (where applicable)
  --cleanup             Remove all configuration files created by netlab create
  --dry-run             Print the commands that would be executed, but do not execute them
  --force               Force shutdown or cleanup (use at your own risk)


  • netlab down needs transformed topology data to find the virtualization provider and link (bridge) names.

  • netlab down reads the transformed topology from netlab.snapshot.yml file created by netlab up or netlab create. You can specify a different snapshot file name, but you really should not.

  • Use the --cleanup flag to delete all Ansible-, Vagrant- or containerlab-related configuration files.

  • Use the --force flag with the --cleanup flag if you want to clean up the directory even when the virtualization provider fails during the shutdown process.

Conflict Resolution

netlab down command checks the netlab status file (default: ~/.netlab/status.yml) to verify that the current lab instance (default: default) is not running in another directory. You can decide to proceed if you want to remove netlab artifacts from the current directory, but the shutdown/cleanup process might impact the lab instance running in another directory.

After a successful completion, netlab down command removes the netlab.lock file from the current directory, and all information about the lab instance from the netlab status file.