Client for OpenStack services
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Latest Version


OpenStackClient (aka OSC) is a command-line client for OpenStack that brings the command set for Compute, Identity, Image, Object Store and Block Storage APIs together in a single shell with a uniform command structure.

The primary goal is to provide a unified shell command structure and a common language to describe operations in OpenStack.

  • PyPi - package installation
  • Online Documentation
  • Launchpad project - release management
  • Blueprints - feature specifications
  • Bugs - issue tracking
  • Source
  • Developer - getting started as a developer
  • Contributing - contributing code
  • Testing - testing code
  • IRC: #openstack-sdks on Freenode (
  • License: Apache 2.0

Getting Started

OpenStack Client can be installed from PyPI using pip:

pip install python-openstackclient

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

If you want to make changes to the OpenStackClient for testing and contribution, make any changes and then run:

python develop


pip install -e .


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

Authentication using username/password is most commonly used:

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

The corresponding command-line options look very similar:

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

If a password is not provided above (in plaintext), you will be interactively prompted to provide one securely.

Authentication may also be performed using an already-acquired 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>