OVH Guide

How to use OpenStack command line tools?

OpenStack is a cloud computing software built with several modules (Nova, Swift, Neutron...) interacting with each others. In this guide we will focus on how to use the command line clients of these modules.

OpenRC file

To use any command line client, you need to load the openrc file. This file contains special environments variables which are used by command line clients to authenticate to the server where the service is running.

Let's start! To begin, go to the OpenStack Horizon panel, go to Access & Security and switch tab to API Access. Finally Download OpenStack RC File will allow you to retrieve the credentials needed to interact with OpenStack services.

The file that you downloaded, is a shell script. To load it, you can use the source command of your shell:

source <openrc_file>

For security reasons your password is not stored in this file, so you will be prompted to enter your RunAbove password.

You can now check that the environment is correctly loaded, perform:

env | grep OS_

As you can see your environment has been loaded correctly. Remind to reload this file each time you start a new shell.

Command line clients

Python pip

To use command line clients, you need to install them first. The most convenient way to do that is with pip, the standard tool for installing Python packages. On any Debian like operating system you can install pip with:

sudo apt-get install python-pip

If you are familiar with Python Virtualenv, you can then create a new virtualenv and install the OpenStack clients in it, but this is not mandatory.

Installing OpenStack clients

OpenStack provides a list of clients you can install. Just enter the command below with the name of the client, for example:

sudo pip install python-novaclient

Using the clients

In RunAbove there are two region, BHS-1 and SBG-1. If you want get data from only one of them, you need to add the parameter --os-region-name <region> for example:

nova --os-region-name BHS-1 list
glance --os-region-name SBG-1 image-list

It is also possible to define the region in an environment variable, just do:


OpenStack clients have a useful help accessible with help, for example for nova:

nova help

You can get the detailed usage of a subcommand with:

nova help boot

You can also check the online documentation of all OpenStack clients.