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Jason Rahm

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The Wait Is Over: Edit Your iRules on Linux!

Vim never occurred to me--that’s ten negative cool points for me

DevCentral has many rock star contributors.  Most are not affiliated officially with F5 Networks, or DevCentral for that matter, but there are several F5ers who believe in the community, and really believe in the F5 story.  One of those F5ers is Matt VimCauthorn, or as you know him in the community, L4L7.  You may recognize Matt as the author of pyControl.  Well, not only did he provide this entrance to a better iControl experience, he has also delivered in a major way with his Vim plugin for editing iRules (utilizing pyControl of course to make those calls to BIG-IP).  I had toyed around with a few different editors, (ecoder and Eric for example) but never made it to a point it was solid enough to release.  Vim never occurred to me--that’s ten negative cool points for me.  I asked Matt why he went down the Vim path:

blockquote_thumb_1 Vim is so extensible and common that it was a no brainer.  I knew about the python extensions and figured it was possible.”

Turns out he was absolutely right, and now, thanks to his great efforts, the Linux and Mac communities get a gift.  If you’re a windows user and would prefer to edit your iRules in Vim, hope is not lost, it’s just going to be a little more work to compile Vim to support python.

Current features include:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Command completion
  • Create/retrieve/modify/delete iRules for LTM & GTM.
  • Partition switching
  • Apply iRules to virtual servers

Auto-close is also an option, but it’s commented out in the vimrc file as some (me included) find this more annoying than helpful.  Matt’s screencast below covers some of the customizations you can make in your Vim iRule Editor.  This screencast and a couple more are available on the Tutorials page under the Vim iRule Editor tab.  Make sure you head over to the iRule Editor Group and grab the plugin from Discussions->Downloads.  Happy coding!


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More Stories By Jason Rahm

Experienced predominantly in the networking realm over the last dozen or so years, Jason is expanding his horizons towards systems management and even trying his hand at python.

Jason assists in the maintenance duties for, contributes frequently in the forums, and writes weekly on some cool geekery in the F5 product lines. When not working, Jason enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Michelle and his four children. He is active and volunteers network administration duties at his church and if there are any remaining minutes in the week, he enjoys Wii & XBOX, tennis, racquetball, softball, etc. He does not enjoy running, but does (scratch that, thinks about doing) it anyway to recover his youthful appearance.