The openstack-compute shell utility

The openstack-compute shell utility interacts with OpenStack Compute servers from the command line. It supports the entirety of the OpenStack Compute API (plus a few Rackspace-specific additions), including some commands not available from the Rackspace web console.

To try this out, you’ll need a Rackspace Cloud account — or your own install of OpenStack Compute (also known as Nova). If you’re using Rackspace you’ll need to make sure to sign up for both Cloud Servers and Cloud Files – Rackspace won’t let you get an API key unless you’ve got a Cloud Files account, too. Once you’ve got an account, you’ll find your API key in the management console under “Your Account”.

You’ll need to provide openstack-compute with your Rackspace username and API key. You can do this with the --username and --apikey options, but it’s easier to just set them as environment variables by setting two environment variables:


Your Rackspace Cloud username.


Your API key.

For example, in Bash you’d use:

export COPENSTACK_COMPUTE_API_KEY=yadayadayada

From there, all shell commands take the form:

openstack-compute <command> [arguments...]

Run openstack-compute help to get a full list of all possible commands, and run openstack-compute help <command> to get detailed help for that command.