Triton client tool and node.js library
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This repository is part of the Joyent Triton project. See the contribution guidelines -- Triton does not use GitHub PRs -- and general documentation at the main Triton project page.

triton is a CLI tool for working with the CloudAPI for Joyent's Triton [Public Cloud] ( and [Private Cloud] ( CloudAPI is a RESTful API for end users of the cloud to manage their accounts, instances, networks, images, and to inquire other relevant details. CloudAPI provides a single view of docker containers, infrastructure containers and hardware virtual machines available in the Triton solution.

There is currently another CLI tool known as node-smartdc for CloudAPI. node-smartdc CLI works off the 32-character object UUID to uniquely identify object instances in API requests, and returns response payload in JSON format. The CLI covers both basic and advanced usage of CloudAPI.

The triton CLI is currently in beta (effectively because it does not yet have complete coverage of all commands from node-smartdc) and will be expanded over time to support all CloudAPI commands, eventually replacing node-smartdc as both the API client library for Triton cloud and the command line tool.


User accounts, authentication, and security

Before you can use the CLI you'll need an account on the cloud to which you are connecting and an SSH key uploaded. The SSH key is used to identify and secure SSH access to containers and other resources in Triton.

If you do not already have an account on Joyent Public Cloud, sign up here.

API endpoint

Each data center has a single CloudAPI endpoint. For Joyent Public Cloud, you can find the list of data centers here. For private cloud implementations, please consult the private cloud operator for the correct URL. Have the URL handy as you'll need it in the next step.


Install node.js, then:

npm install -g triton

Verify that it is installed and on your PATH:

$ triton --version
Triton CLI 4.15.0

To use triton, you'll need to configure it to talk to a Triton DataCenter API endpoint (called CloudAPI). Commonly that is done using a Triton profile:

$ triton profile create
A profile name. A short string to identify a CloudAPI endpoint to the
`triton` CLI.
name: sw1

The CloudAPI endpoint URL.

Your account login name.
account: bob

Available SSH keys:
 1. 2048-bit RSA key with fingerprint 4e:e7:56:9a:b0:91:31:3e:23:8d:f8:62:12:58:a2:ec
  * [in homedir] bob-20160704 id_rsa

The fingerprint of the SSH key you want to use, or its index in the list
above. If the key you want to use is not listed, make sure it is either saved
in your SSH keys directory or loaded into the SSH agent.
keyId: 1

Saved profile "sw1".

WARNING: Docker uses TLS-based authentication with a different security model
from SSH keys. As a result, the Docker client cannot currently support
encrypted (password protected) keys or SSH agents. If you continue, the
Triton CLI will attempt to format a copy of your SSH *private* key as an
unencrypted TLS cert and place the copy in ~/.triton/docker for use by the
Docker client.
Continue? [y/n] y
Setting up profile "sw1" to use Docker.
Setup profile "sw1" to use Docker (v1.12.3). Try this:
    eval "$(triton env --docker sw1)"
    docker info

Set "sw1" as current profile (because it is your only profile).

Or instead of using profiles, you can set the required environment variables (triton defaults to an "env" profile that uses these environment variables if no profile is set). For example:


For compatibility with the older sdc-* tools from node-smartdc, triton also supports SDC_URL, SDC_ACCOUNT, etc. environment variables.

Bash completion

Install Bash completion with

triton completion > /usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/triton     # Mac
triton completion > /etc/bash_completion.d/triton               # Linux

Alternatively, if you don't have or don't want to use a "bash_completion.d" dir, then something like this would work:

triton completion > ~/.triton.completion
echo "source ~/.triton.completion" >> ~/.bashrc

Then open a new shell or manually source FILE that completion file, and play with the bash completions:

triton <TAB>

triton CLI Usage

Create and view instances

$ triton instance list

We have no instances created yet, so let's create some. In order to create an instance we need to specify two things: an image and a package. An image represents what will be used as the root of the instances filesystem, and the package represents the size of the instance, eg. ram, disk size, cpu shares, etc. More information on images and packages below - for now we'll just use SmartOS 64bit and a small 128M ram package which is a combo available on the Joyent Public Cloud.

$ triton instance create base-64 t4-standard-128M

Without a name specified, the container created will have a generated ID. Now to create a container-native Ubuntu 14.04 container with 2GB of ram with the name "server-1"

$ triton instance create --name=server-1 ubuntu-14.04 t4-standard-2G

Now list your instances again

$ triton instance list
SHORTID   NAME      IMG                     STATE         PRIMARYIP        AGO
7db6c907  b851ba9   base-64@15.2.0          running   9m
9cf1f427  server-1  ubuntu-14.04@20150819   provisioning  -                0s

Get a quick overview of your account

$ triton info
name: Dave Eddy
totalDisk: 50.5 GiB
totalMemory: 2.0 MiB
instances: 2
    running: 1
    provisioning: 1

To obtain more detailed information of your instance

$ triton instance get server-1
    "id": "9cf1f427-9a40-c188-ce87-fd0c4a5a2c2c",
    "name": "251d4fd",
    "type": "smartmachine",
    "state": "running",
    "image": "c8d68a9e-4682-11e5-9450-4f4fadd0936d",
    "ips": [
    "memory": 2048,
    "disk": 51200,
    "metadata": {
        "root_authorized_keys": "(...ssh keys...)"
    "tags": {},
    "created": "2015-09-08T04:56:27.734Z",
    "updated": "2015-09-08T04:56:43.000Z",
    "networks": [
    "dataset": "c8d68a9e-4682-11e5-9450-4f4fadd0936d",
    "primaryIp": "",
    "firewall_enabled": false,
    "compute_node": "44454c4c-5400-1034-8053-b5c04f383432",
    "package": "t4-standard-2G"

SSH to an instance

Connect to an instance over SSH

$ triton ssh b851ba9
Last login: Wed Aug 26 17:59:35 2015 from
   __        .                   .
 _|  |_      | .-. .  . .-. :--. |-
|_    _|     ;|   ||  |(.-' |  | |
  |__|   `--'  `-' `;-| `-' '  ' `-'
                   /  ; Instance (base-64 15.2.0)

[root@7db6c907-2693-42bc-ea9b-f38678f2554b ~]# uptime
 20:08pm  up   2:27,  0 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.01
[root@7db6c907-2693-42bc-ea9b-f38678f2554b ~]# logout
Connection to closed.

Or non-interactively

$ triton ssh b851ba9 uname -v

Manage an instance

Commonly used container operations are supported in the Triton CLI:

$ triton help instance
    list (ls)           List instances.
    get                 Get an instance.
    create              Create a new instance.
    delete (rm)         Delete one or more instances.

    start               Start one or more instances.
    stop                Stop one or more instances.
    reboot              Reboot one or more instances.

    ssh                 SSH to the primary IP of an instance
    wait                Wait on instances changing state.
    audit               List instance actions.

View packages and images

Package definitions and images available vary between different data centers and different Triton cloud implementations.

To see all the packages offered in the data center and specific package information, use

$ triton package list
$ triton package get ID|NAME

Similarly, to find out the available images and their details, do

$ triton image list
$ triton images ID|NAME

Note that docker images are not shown in triton images as they are maintained in Docker Hub and other third-party registries configured to be used with Joyent's Triton clouds. In general, docker containers should be provisioned and managed with the regular docker CLI (Triton provides an endpoint that represents the entire datacenter as a single DOCKER_HOST. See the Triton Docker documentation for more information.)

TritonApi Module Usage

Node-triton can also be used as a node module for your own node.js tooling. A basic example appropriate for a command-line tool is:

var mod_bunyan = require('bunyan');
var mod_triton = require('triton');

var log = mod_bunyan.createLogger({name: 'my-tool'});

// See the `createClient` block comment for full usage details:
    log: log,
    // Use 'env' to pick up 'TRITON_/SDC_' env vars. Or manually specify a
    // `profile` object.
    profileName: 'env',
    unlockKeyFn: mod_triton.promptPassphraseUnlockKey
}, function (err, client) {
    if (err) {
        // handle err

    client.listImages(function (err, images) {
        client.close();   // Remember to close the client to close TCP conn.
        if (err) {
            console.error('listImages err:', err);
        } else {
            console.log(JSON.stringify(images, null, 4));

See the following for more details:


This section defines all the vars in a TritonApi config. The baked in defaults are in "etc/defaults.json" and can be overriden for the CLI in "~/.triton/config.json" (on Windows: "%APPDATA%/Joyent/Triton/config.json").

Name Description
profile The name of the triton profile to use. The default with the CLI is "env", i.e. take config from SDC_* envvars.
cacheDir The path (relative to the config dir, "/.triton") where cache data is stored. The default is "cache", i.e. the triton CLI caches at "/.triton/cache".

node-triton differences with node-smartdc

  • There is a single triton command instead of a number of sdc-* commands.
  • TRITON_* environment variables are preferred to the SDC_* environment variables. However the SDC_* envvars are still supported.
  • Node-smartdc still has more complete coverage of the Triton CloudAPI. However, triton is catching up and is much more friendly to use.

Development Hooks

Before commiting be sure to, at least:

make check      # lint and style checks
make test-unit  # run unit tests

A good way to do that is to install the stock pre-commit hook in your clone via:

make git-hooks

Also please run the full (longer) test suite (make test). See the next section.

Test suite

node-triton has both unit tests (make test-unit) and integration tests (make test-integration). Integration tests require a config file, by default at "test/config.json". For example:

$ cat test/config.json
    "profileName": "east3b",
    "allowWriteActions": true,
    "image": "minimal-64",
    "package": "g4-highcpu-128M",
    "resizePackage": "g4-highcpu-256M"

See "test/config.json.sample" for a description of all config vars. Minimally just a "profileName" or "profile" is required.

Warning: Running the integration tests will create resources and could incur costs if running against a public cloud.

Run all tests:

make test

You can use TRITON_TEST_CONFIG to override the test file, e.g.:

$ cat test/coal.json
    "profileName": "coal",
    "allowWriteActions": true
$ TRITON_TEST_CONFIG=test/coal.json make test

where "coal" here refers to a development Triton (a.k.a SDC) "Cloud On A Laptop" standup.

Release process

Here is how to cut a release:

  1. Make a commit to set the intended version in "package.json#version" and changing ## not yet released at the top of "" to:

    ## not yet released
    ## $version
  2. Get that commit approved and merged via, as with all commits to this repo. See the discussion of contribution at the top of this readme.

  3. Once that is merged and you've updated your local copy, run:

    make cutarelease

    This will run a couple checks (clean working copy, versions in package.json and match), then will git tag and npm publish.


MPL 2.0