openstack (1) - Linux Manuals

openstack: OpenStack Command Line Client


openstack - OpenStack Command Line Client

OpenStack Command Line


openstack [<global-options>] <command> [<command-arguments>]

openstack help <command>

openstack --help


openstack provides a common command-line interface to OpenStack APIs. It is generally equivalent to the CLIs provided by the OpenStack project client libraries, but with a distinct and consistent command structure.


openstack uses a similar authentication scheme as the OpenStack project CLIs, with the credential information supplied either as environment variables or as options on the command line. The primary difference is the use of 'project' in the name of the options OS_PROJECT_NAME/OS_PROJECT_ID over the old tenant-based names.

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

openstack can use different types of authentication plugins provided by the keystoneclient library. The following default plugins are available:

token: Authentication with a token
password: Authentication with a username and a password

Refer to the keystoneclient library documentation for more details about these plugins and their options, and for a complete list of available plugins. Please bear in mind that some plugins might not support all of the functionalities of openstack; for example the v3unscopedsaml plugin can deliver only unscoped tokens, some commands might not be available through this authentication method.

Additionally, it is possible to use Keystone's service token to authenticate, by setting the options --os-token and --os-url (or the environment variables OS_TOKEN and OS_URL respectively). This method takes precedence over authentication plugins.

NOTE: To use the v3unscopedsaml method, the lxml package will need to be installed.


openstack takes global options that control overall behaviour and command-specific options that control the command operation. Most global options have a corresponding environment variable that may also be used to set the value. If both are present, the command-line option takes priority. The environment variable names are derived from the option name by dropping the leading dashes ('--'), converting each embedded dash ('-') to an underscore ('_'), and converting to upper case.

openstack recognizes the following global options:

--os-auth-plugin <auth-plugin>
The authentication plugin to use when connecting to the Identity service. If this option is not set, openstack will attempt to guess the authentication method to use based on the other options. If this option is set, its version must match --os-identity-api-version
--os-auth-url <auth-url>
Authentication URL
--os-url <service-url>
Service URL, when using a service token for authentication
--os-domain-name <auth-domain-name> | --os-domain-id <auth-domain-id>
Domain-level authorization scope (name or ID)
--os-project-name <auth-project-name> | --os-project-id <auth-project-id>
Project-level authentication scope (name or ID)
--os-project-domain-name <auth-project-domain-name> | --os-project-domain-id <auth-project-domain-id>
Domain name or id containing project
--os-username <auth-username>
Authentication username
--os-password <auth-password>
Authentication password
--os-token <token>
Authenticated token or service token
--os-user-domain-name <auth-user-domain-name> | --os-user-domain-id <auth-user-domain-id>
Domain name or id containing user
--os-user-domain-name <auth-user-domain-name> | --os-user-domain-id <auth-user-domain-id>
Domain name or ID containing user
--os-trust-id <trust-id>
id of the trust to use as a trustee user
--os-default-domain <auth-domain>
Default domain ID (Default: 'default')
--os-region-name <auth-region-name>
Authentication region name
--os-cacert <ca-bundle-file>
CA certificate bundle file
--verify | --insecure
Verify or ignore server certificate (default: verify)
--os-identity-api-version <identity-api-version>
Identity API version (Default: 2.0)
--os-XXXX-api-version <XXXX-api-version>
Additional API version options will be available depending on the installed API libraries.


To get a list of the available commands:

openstack --help

To get a description of a specific command:

openstack help <command>

Note that the set of commands shown will vary depending on the API versions that are in effect at that time. For example, to force the display of the Identity v3 commands: openstack --os-identity-api-version 3 --help

Print the bash completion functions for the current command set.
Print help for an individual command

Additional information on the OpenStackClient command structure and arguments is available in the OpenStackClient Commands wiki page.

Command Objects

The list of command objects is growing longer with the addition of OpenStack project support. The object names may consist of multiple words to compose a unique name. Occasionally when multiple APIs have a common name with common overlapping purposes there will be options to select which object to use, or the API resources will be merged, as in the quota object that has options referring to both Compute and Volume quotas.

Command Actions

The actions used by OpenStackClient are defined with specific meaning to provide a consistent behavior for each object. Some actions have logical opposite actions, and those pairs will always match for any object that uses them.


The command list displayed in help output reflects the API versions selected. For example, to see Identity v3 commands OS_IDENTITY_API_VERSION must be set to 3.


Show the detailed information for server appweb01:

openstack \
    --os-project-name ExampleCo \
    --os-username demo --os-password secrete \
    --os-auth-url http://localhost:5000:/v2.0 \
    server show appweb01

The same command if the auth environment variables (OS_AUTH_URL, OS_PROJECT_NAME, OS_USERNAME, OS_PASSWORD) are set:

openstack server show appweb01

Create a new image:

openstack image create \
    --disk-format=qcow2 \
    --container-format=bare \
    --public \
    --copy-from \


Placeholder for future local state directory. This directory is intended to be shared among multiple OpenStack-related applications; contents are namespaced with an identifier for the app that owns it. Shared contents (such as ~/.openstack/cache) have no prefix and the contents must be portable.


The following environment variables can be set to alter the behaviour of openstack. Most of them have corresponding command-line options that take precedence if set.

The authentication plugin to use when connecting to the Identity service, its version must match the Identity API version
Authentication URL
Service URL (when using the service token)
Domain-level authorization scope (name or ID)
Project-level authentication scope (name or ID)
Domain name or id containing project
Authentication username
Authenticated or service token
Authentication password
Domain name or id containing user
id of the trust to use as a trustee user
Default domain ID (Default: 'default')
Authentication region name
CA certificate bundle file
Identity API version (Default: 2.0)
Additional API version options will be available depending on the installed API libraries.


Bug reports are accepted at the python-openstackclient LaunchPad project "".


Please refer to the AUTHORS file distributed with OpenStackClient.


Copyright 2011-2014 OpenStack Foundation and the authors listed in the AUTHORS file.



OpenStack contributors


2012-2013 OpenStack Foundation


The OpenStackClient page in the OpenStack Wiki contains further documentation.

The individual OpenStack project CLIs, the OpenStack API references.