OpenStack command-line interface cheat sheet

OpenStack command-line interface cheat sheet

Here is a list of common commands for reference.

Identity (keystone)

List all users

$ openstack user list

List Identity service catalog

$ openstack catalog list

Images (glance)

List images you can access

$ glance image-list

Delete specified image

$ glance image-delete IMAGE

Describe a specific image

$ glance image-show IMAGE

Update image

$ glance image-update IMAGE

Upload kernel image

$ glance image-create --name "cirros-threepart-kernel" \
  --disk-format aki --container-format aki --is-public False \
  --file ~/images/cirros-0.3.1~pre4-x86_64-vmlinuz

Upload RAM image

$ glance image-create --name "cirros-threepart-ramdisk" \
  --disk-format ari --container-format ari --is-public False \
  --file ~/images/cirros-0.3.1~pre4-x86_64-initrd

Upload three-part image

$ glance image-create --name "cirros-threepart" --disk-format ami \
  --container-format ami --is-public False \
  --property kernel_id=$KID-property ramdisk_id=$RID \
  --file ~/images/cirros-0.3.1~pre4-x86_64-blank.img

Register raw image

$ glance image-create --name "cirros-raw" --disk-format raw \
  --container-format bare --is-public False \
  --file ~/images/cirros-0.3.1~pre4-x86_64-disk.img

Compute (nova)

List instances, check status of instance

$ nova list

List images

$ openstack image list

List flavors

$ nova flavor-list

Boot an instance using flavor and image names (if names are unique)

$ nova boot --image IMAGE --flavor FLAVOR INSTANCE_NAME
$ nova boot --image cirros-0.3.1-x86_64-uec --flavor m1.tiny \

Login to instance

# ip netns
# ip netns exec NETNS_NAME ssh USER@SERVER
# ip netns exec qdhcp-6021a3b4-8587-4f9c-8064-0103885dfba2 \
  ssh cirros@


In CirrOS the password for user cirros is “cubswin:)” without the quotes.

Show details of instance

$ nova show NAME
$ nova show MyFirstInstance

View console log of instance

$ nova console-log MyFirstInstance

Set metadata on an instance

$ nova meta volumeTwoImage set newmeta='my meta data'

Create an instance snapshot

$ nova image-create volumeTwoImage snapshotOfVolumeImage
$ openstack image show snapshotOfVolumeImage

Pause, suspend, stop, rescue, resize, rebuild, reboot an instance


$ nova pause NAME
$ nova pause volumeTwoImage


$ nova unpause NAME


$ nova suspend NAME


$ nova resume NAME


$ nova stop NAME


$ nova start NAME


$ nova rescue NAME
$ nova rescue NAME --rescue_image_ref RESCUE_IMAGE


$ nova resize NAME FLAVOR
$ nova resize my-pem-server m1.small
$ nova resize-confirm my-pem-server1


$ nova rebuild NAME IMAGE
$ nova rebuild newtinny cirros-qcow2


$ nova reboot NAME
$ nova reboot newtinny

Inject user data and files into an instance

$ nova boot --user-data FILE INSTANCE
$ nova boot --user-data userdata.txt --image cirros-qcow2 \
  --flavor m1.tiny MyUserdataInstance2

To validate that the file was injected, use ssh to connect to the instance, and look in /var/lib/cloud for the file.

Inject a keypair into an instance and access the instance with that keypair

Create keypair

$ nova keypair-add test > test.pem
$ chmod 600 test.pem

Start an instance (boot)

$ nova boot --image cirros-0.3.0-x86_64 --flavor m1.small \
  --key-name test MyFirstServer

Use ssh to connect to the instance

# ip netns exec qdhcp-98f09f1e-64c4-4301-a897-5067ee6d544f \
  ssh -i test.pem cirros@

Manage security groups

Add rules to default security group allowing ping and SSH between instances in the default security group

$ nova secgroup-add-group-rule default default icmp -1 -1
$ nova secgroup-add-group-rule default default tcp 22 22

Networking (neutron)

Create network

$ neutron net-create NAME

Create a subnet

$ neutron subnet-create NETWORK_NAME CIDR
$ neutron subnet-create my-network

Block Storage (cinder)

Used to manage volumes and volume snapshots that attach to instances.

Create a new volume

$ cinder create SIZE_IN_GB --display-name NAME
$ cinder create 1 --display-name MyFirstVolume

Boot an instance and attach to volume

$ nova boot --image cirros-qcow2 --flavor m1.tiny MyVolumeInstance

List volumes, notice status of volume

$ cinder list

Attach volume to instance after instance is active, and volume is available

$ nova volume-attach INSTANCE_ID VOLUME_ID auto
$ nova volume-attach MyVolumeInstance 573e024d-5235-49ce-8332-be1576d323f8 auto


On the Xen Hypervisor it is possible to provide a specific device name instead of automatic allocation. For example:

$ nova volume-attach MyVolumeInstance 573e024d-5235-49ce-8332-be1576d323f8 /dev/vdb

This is not currently possible when using non-Xen hypervisors with OpenStack.

Manage volumes after login into the instance

List storage devices

# fdisk -l

Make filesystem on volume

# mkfs.ext3 /dev/vdb

Create a mountpoint

# mkdir /myspace

Mount the volume at the mountpoint

# mount /dev/vdb /myspace

Create a file on the volume

# touch /myspace/helloworld.txt
# ls /myspace

Unmount the volume

# umount /myspace

Object Storage (swift)

Display information for the account, container, or object

$ swift stat
$ swift stat ACCOUNT
$ swift stat CONTAINER
$ swift stat OBJECT

List containers

$ swift list
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