snmpwalk Command: Tutorial & Examples

A tool for network management

snmpwalk is a Linux command-line tool used for Network Management. It uses the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to fetch the values of the specified object IDs (OIDs) sequentially. This command is useful when trying to troubleshoot network-related issues or when you want to monitor network devices like routers, switches, servers, etc.

SNMP is a protocol designed for managing devices on IP networks. It works by sending messages, called protocol data units (PDUs), to various parts of a network. SNMP-compliant devices, called agents, store data about themselves in Management Information Bases (MIBs) and return this data to the SNMP requester.

Why is snmpwalk important?

snmpwalk is a powerful tool for network administrators. It allows them to check the status of different network devices, check network connectivity, and troubleshoot network-related issues. It provides a way to get a large amount of information about a device without having to know the specific OID. This can save a lot of time and effort when dealing with a large or complex network.

How does snmpwalk work?

The snmpwalk command works by sending an SNMP GETNEXT request to a network device. This request asks the device to return the value of the next OID in the MIB. The command continues to send GETNEXT requests until it reaches the end of the MIB.

The syntax of the snmpwalk command is as follows:

snmpwalk -v<version> -c<community> <hostname/IP> <OID>


  • -v specifies the SNMP version (1, 2c, or 3)
  • -c specifies the community string, which acts like a password
  • <hostname/IP> is the hostname or IP address of the target device
  • <OID> is the Object Identifier you want to start walking from

Examples of using snmpwalk

Here are a few examples of how to use snmpwalk:

  1. To get information about all the interfaces on a network device:

    snmpwalk -v2c -c public interfaces

    This command will return information about all the interfaces on the device at IP address

  2. To get the system description of a network device:

    snmpwalk -v2c -c public sysDescr

    This command will return the system description of the device at IP address

Common command line parameters

Here are some common command-line parameters that you can use with the snmpwalk command:

  • -v: Specifies the SNMP version to use (1, 2c, or 3).
  • -c: Specifies the community string, which acts like a password.
  • -On: Displays OIDs numerically. This can be useful when dealing with devices that have a large or complex MIB.
  • -OX: Displays OIDs in hexadecimal format.

Potential problems and pitfalls

While snmpwalk is a powerful tool, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when using it:

  • SNMP is not encrypted. This means that anyone who is able to intercept the traffic between you and the device can see the information that you are requesting.
  • Some devices may not respond to SNMP requests. This could be due to a firewall or other network security measures.
  • The community string acts like a password. Be sure to keep it secure and change it regularly to prevent unauthorized access.
  • If the output is too large, you might want to redirect it to a file for easier viewing and analysis.
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