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A virtual network to use with python to learn about networking with python? - marienbad - Feb-11-2019

I have got through the python cgi stuff, and am reading a book about networking with python. It started okay but then he was off talking about setting up virtual networks, and cisco stuff, and then he starts on about Paramiko, Pexpect, and then Ansible. At this point my brain was melting and I was just confused as to what does what! I have googled them and have read around a bit, and will get them installed and try them out, doing the things he does in the book eventually.

But I need a (free!!) virtual network for my laptop that works under Ubuntu and with python, and can interact (if this is how it works, man I am so confused right now!) with Paramiko, Pexpect, and Ansible.

I also have apache and MySQL running, and have no idea whether a virtual network will interfere with these services. Later in the book he moves on to using Flask, so I will get to that (hopefully anyway!) at some point.

So if anyone can help, please do.

I am looking for ELI5 type explanations, as well as more detailed explanations if possible.