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OpenStack Client

OpenStackclient (aka python-openstackclient) is a command-line client for the OpenStack APIs. It is primarily a wrapper to the stock python-*client modules that implement the actual REST API client actions.

This is an implementation of the design goals shown in OpenStack Client Wiki. The primary goal is to provide a unified shell command structure and a common language to describe operations in OpenStack. The master repository is on GitHub.

OpenStackclient has a plugin mechanism to add support for API extensions.


OpenStackClient is considered to be beta release quality as of the 0.3 release; no assurances are made at this point for ongoing compatibility in command forms or output. We do not, however, expect any major changes at this point.

Getting Started

OpenStackclient can be installed from PyPI using pip:

pip install python-openstackclient

Developers can use the install virtualenv script to create the virtualenv:

python tools/
source .venv/bin/activate
python develop

Unit tests are now run using tox. The script provides compatibility but is generally considered deprecated.

The client can be called interactively by simply typing:


There are a few variants on getting help. A list of global options and supported commands is shown with --help:

openstack --help

There is also a help command that can be used to get help text for a specific command:

openstack help
openstack help server create


The CLI is configured via environment variables and command-line options as listed in

The 'password flow' variation is most commonly used:

export OS_AUTH_URL=<url-to-openstack-identity>
export OS_PROJECT_NAME=<project-name>
export OS_USERNAME=<user-name>
export OS_PASSWORD=<password>  # (optional)
export OS_USE_KEYRING=true  # (optional)

The corresponding command-line options look very similar:

--os-auth-url <url>
--os-project-name <project-name>
--os-username <user-name>
[--os-password <password>]

If a password is not provided above (in plaintext), you will be interactively prompted to provide one securely. If keyring is enabled, the password entered in the prompt is stored in keyring. From next time, the password is read from keyring, if it is not provided above (in plaintext).

The token flow variation for authentication uses an already-aquired token and a URL pointing directly to the service API that presumably was acquired from the Service Catalog:

export OS_TOKEN=<token>
export OS_URL=<url-to-openstack-service>

The corresponding command-line options look very similar:

--os-token <token>
--os-url <url-to-openstack-service>

Additional command-line options and their associated environment variables are listed here:

--debug             # turns on some debugging of the API conversation
--verbose | -v      # Increase verbosity of output. Can be repeated.
--quiet | -q        # suppress output except warnings and errors
--help | -h         # show a help message and exit

Building Documentation

This documentation is written by contributors, for contributors.

The source is maintained in the doc/source folder using reStructuredText and built by Sphinx

Building Manually:

cd doc
make html

Results are in the build/html directory.

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