Announcing: New Config Labs, with Packet Tracer and CML Support

By certskills October 18, 2021 12:05

Some of you, particularly those that subscribe to the blog, will have noticed a lot of posts here at the blog in mid-October 2021. I thought I’d give you a quick update on what I’m doing here to preempt some of your questions. In short: I’ve replaced all the old Config Lab posts with replacement posts. The new posts have some new features and new labs as well. Read on if interested!

What are Config Labs?

Most of the content at the blog has to do with CCNA. To help you use the content, I organize most posts in two ways: By the type of post and by the Book/Part/Chapter the content matches. If you’re using my books, you can use the Book/Part/Chapter organization to find all posts related to where you are in the book. The post-type organization helps you review more broadly while focusing on one type of exercise, like QA or labs.

Config Labs make up one of the two current lab categories here at my blog. (The other, Packet Tracer Cert Guide Labs, help you re-create the examples in the Official CCNA Cert Guides.) I’ve been writing Config Labs and posting them for about 10 years now. We just finished adding some new labs, revising them, adding features, and reformatting the pages. In particular:

  • The old Config Lab pages asked you to configure just by typing your configuration in a text editor or writing on a piece of paper. That helped include everyone, particularly in the era when Cisco Packet Tracer (CPT) was not available to everyone and before Cisco Modeling Labs (CML) existed.
  • The revised Config Lab pages move that focus so you can perform the labs in Cisco Packet Tracer or CML. You can still do the labs in an editor or on paper, but each lab comes with both Packet Tracer files with which to do the lab, along with tips about issues you might see with that feature in Packet Tracer.
  • Because more CCNA candidates use CPT than CML, the revised labs prefer using CPT, in that the labs use interface identifiers possible in CPT. CML sometimes does not support those identical interface IDs, so the revised lab pages help CML users work through the differences.
  • Each older lab existed as two posts: A lab and a lab answer post. Each new Config Lab has a single post, with the answers and explanations hidden at first to avoid spoiling the answers. Now you can stay on that single page and have everything you need to do the lab exercise.

Those are the highlights. For more detail, check out the About page for the Config Labs.

All These Posts, All at Once

Blogs normally have a regular cadence, like maybe a post every week. The revision and expansion of the Config Lab posts really don’t work well for that. So, after not posting any new posts for a year, I’m posting about 75 or so Config Lab posts all at once. (I am giving them different post dates and times just for my own purposes, but they’ll all publish on or about Oct. 17th-18th.)

Why bother telling you? If you’re subscribed to the blog you’ll get a bunch of subscription emails from me. You can ignore the emails if you like, and just look at the blog, for these publication dates:

Mid August 2021 through October 2021


That’s all the news. Go check out the posts – just click on the top menus for Hands-On… Config Labs 200-301. You can even select by Book and Book Part. (Book parts contain 3-5 chapters each.) And let me know what you think!

Config Lab: Pat w/ a Pool 1
CCNA Crash Course Student QA Post
By certskills October 18, 2021 12:05
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  1. Maroof Hossain November 23, 07:42

    Much better like this, thank you for the updates!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Azza January 18, 20:52

    When configuring a switch to learn its IP address with DHCP, how then do I know the specific address the switch has received in order to use SSH/Telnet?

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author January 21, 16:49

      You would leave the address after the lease occurs. Honestly, I only show how to do it because I want to cover it for the exam. I would expect that in real networks you would configure a static IP address for each switch, for the reasons you suggested.

      Reply to this comment
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