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Enabling the OpenStack CLI

The OpenStack Command Line Interface (CLI) tool, also known as OpenStack Client (OSC) or simply openstack, conveniently provides access to various OpenStack APIs. Using the OpenStack CLI tool, you can remotely create and manage the lifecycle of objects related, for example, to Compute, Networking, or Storage.

Before installing openstack to your local laptop or workstation, you first need to have an OpenStack user in your Cleura Cloud account. Next, you create and download a special RC file onto your computer, modify it to reflect your OpenStack user’s credentials, and source it. Only then will you be able to use any installed openstack client.

Creating an OpenStack user

From your favorite web browser, navigate to the Cleura Cloud Management Panel start page, and login into your Cleura Cloud account.

Please make sure the left-hand side pane on the Cleura Cloud Management Panel is fully visible, click the Users category to expand it, and click on Openstack Users.

Add a new OpenStack user

Then, at the top right-hand side of the Cleura Cloud Management Panel, click once more the Add new Openstack user option. A new pane will slide into view, titled Create Openstack User.

Create new OpenStack user

Type in a username and a password for the new OpenStack user. To ensure you typed the password correctly, you must re-type it below. This password should be adequately strong, and thus a password manager may come in handy.

Set username and password

Scroll down a bit, so the Regions section is in full view. Expand one or more of the available regions you want your new user to have access to. For each one of the expanded regions, select one or more Projects. For each project, activate one or more Roles. (Hint: For an overview of the rights that roles provide, hover the mouse pointer over the exclamation mark icon by the Roles.)

Regions, projects, and roles

Optionally, type in a description for the new OpenStack user. Then, create the user by clicking the green Create button below the Description box.

User description and creation

The new OpenStack user will be ready in just a few seconds. At any time, you can view all available OpenStack users by going to the left-hand side pane on the Cleura Cloud Management Panel and selecting Users > Openstack Users.

All available OpenStack users

Downloading an RC file

On the Cleura Cloud Management Panel, expand the left-hand side vertical pane, click Users, and then Openstack Users. You will see, listed in the main pane, all available users. Click the three-dot round icon on the right of the user their RC file you want. From the drop-down menu that appears, select Download RC-File.

Download RC file

Before downloading the RC file onto your local computer, you must select one of the available projects to relate it to. Do so and then click the blue Download button.

Select project

A Save as dialog window appears. Select a convenient location and save your RC file.

Modifying and sourcing the RC file

The general naming for RC files goes like this:

your_username--region_name--project_name--rc

So, assuming your username is olafsdottir, and the RC file has been created for the fra1 region and the katla project, your RC file name should be this:

olafsdottir--fra1--katla--rc

Take a look at the contents of this file — they should be like this:

export OS_USERNAME=olafsdottir
export OS_PASSWORD=<your password goes here>
export OS_AUTH_URL=https://fra1.citycloud.com:5000
export OS_USER_DOMAIN_NAME=...
export OS_PROJECT_DOMAIN_NAME=...
export OS_REGION_NAME=Fra1
export OS_PROJECT_NAME="katla"
export OS_TENANT_NAME="katla"
export OS_AUTH_VERSION=3
export OS_IDENTITY_API_VERSION=3

Before you source the RC file, and thus initialize all relevant environment variables, make sure to edit the file and put your OpenStack user password in place of <your password goes here>. Also, change the permissions of the file, so it is readable and writable by your local user only:

chmod 600 olafsdottir--fra1--katla--rc

Then, go ahead and source it:

source olafsdottir--fra1--katla--rc

Installing the OpenStack CLI

If you do not have the OpenStack CLI tool readily available, use your operating system’s package manager or pip to install it. Some examples follow.

apt update && apt install python3-openstackclient
brew install openstackclient
pip install python-openstackclient

Testing access

Provided you have already sourced your RC file, you can now use the openstack command line tool to access various OpenStack APIs on the Cleura Cloud.

To make sure your local installation of openstack works as expected, type:

openstack token issue

If openstack can indeed connect to the Cleura Cloud OpenStack APIs, then you will get information, in tabular format, regarding the issuance of a new token.

To get general help regarding openstack, type:

openstack --help

When you need help on a specific command, type something like openstack help command.

Auto-adjusting the CLI output to your terminal size

Many of the subcommands available in the openstack CLI produce tabular about by default. To ensure that this output always fits neatly into your terminal window, you may add the following line either to OpenStack RC file(s), or to your shell initialization file (like .profile or .bashrc):

export CLIFF_FIT_WIDTH=1

Then, be sure to either re-source the file you modified, and/or restart your shell.


Last update: 2023-04-13
Created: 2022-10-26
Authors: Christos Varelas, Florian Haas