API Plugins


Nova has two API plugin frameworks, one for the original V2 API and one for what we call V2.1 which also supports V2.1 microversions. The V2.1 API acts from a REST API user point of view in an identical way to the original V2 API. V2.1 is implemented in the same framework as microversions, with the version requested being 2.1.

The V2 API is now frozen and with the exception of significant bugs no change should be made to the V2 API code. API changes should only be made through V2.1 microversions.

This document covers how to write plugins for the v2.1 framework. A microversions specific document covers the details around what is required for the microversions part. It does not cover V2 plugins which should no longer be developed.

There may still be references to a v3 API both in comments and in the directory path of relevant files. This is because v2.1 first started out being called v3 rather than v2.1. Where you see references to v3 you can treat it as a reference to v2.1 with or without microversions support.

The original V2 API plugins live in nova/api/openstack/compute/legacy_v2 and the V2.1 plugins live in nova/api/openstack/compute.

Note that any change to the Nova API to be merged will first require a spec be approved first. See here for the appropriate repository. For guidance on the design of the API please refer to the OpenStack API WG

Basic plugin structure

A very basic skeleton of a v2.1 plugin can be seen here in the unittests. An annotated version below:

"""Basic Test Extension"""

from nova.api.openstack import extensions
from nova.api.openstack import wsgi

ALIAS = 'test-basic'
# ALIAS needs to be unique and should be of the format
# ^[a-z]+[a-z\-]*[a-z]$

class BasicController(wsgi.Controller):

    # Define support for GET on a collection
    def index(self, req):
        data = {'param': 'val'}
        return data

    # Defining a method implements the following API responses:
    #   delete -> DELETE
    #   update -> PUT
    #   create -> POST
    #   show -> GET
    # If a method is not definied a request to it will be a 404 response

    # It is also possible to define support for further responses
    # See `servers.py <http://git.openstack.org/cgit/openstack/nova/tree/nova/nova/api/openstack/compute/servers.py>`_.

class Basic(extensions.V3APIExtensionBase):
    """Basic Test Extension."""

    name = "BasicTest"
    alias = ALIAS
    version = 1

    # Both get_resources and get_controller_extensions must always
    # be definied by can return an empty array
    def get_resources(self):
        resource = extensions.ResourceExtension('test', BasicController())
        return [resource]

    def get_controller_extensions(self):
        return []

All of these plugin files should live in the nova/api/openstack/compute directory.


Policy (permission) is defined etc/nova/policy.json. Implementation of policy is changing a bit at the moment. Will add more to this document or reference another one in the future. Note that a ‘discoverable’ policy needs to be added for each plugin that you wish to appear in the /extension output. Also look at the authorize call in plugins currently merged.


The Nova REST API is separated into different plugins in the directory ‘nova/api/openstack/compute/’

Because microversions are supported in the Nova REST API, the API can be extended without any new plugin. But for code readability, the Nova REST API code still needs modularity. Here are rules for how to separate modules:

  • You are adding a new resource The new resource should be in standalone module. There isn’t any reason to put different resources in a single module.
  • Add sub-resource for existing resource To prevent an existing resource module becoming over-inflated, the sub-resource should be implemented in a separate module.
  • Add extended attributes for existing resource In normally, the extended attributes is part of existing resource’s data model too. So this can be added into existing resource module directly and lightly. To avoid namespace complexity, we should avoid to add extended attributes in existing extended models. New extended attributes needn’t any namespace prefix anymore.


The v2.1 API validates a REST request body with JSON-Schema library. Valid body formats are defined with JSON-Schema in the directory ‘nova/api/openstack/compute/schemas’. Each definition is used at the corresponding method with the validation.schema decorator like:

def update(self, req, id, body):

Nova supports the extension of JSON-Schema definitions based on the loaded API extensions for some APIs. Stevedore library tries to find specific name methods which return additional parameters and extends them to the original JSON-Schema definitions. The following are the combinations of extensible API and method name which returns additional parameters:

  • Create a server API - get_server_create_schema()
  • Update a server API - get_server_update_schema()
  • Rebuild a server API - get_server_rebuild_schema()
  • Resize a server API - get_server_resize_schema()

For example, keypairs extension(Keypairs class) contains the method get_server_create_schema() which returns:

    'key_name': parameter_types.name,

then the parameter key_name is allowed on Create a server API.

Support files

At least one entry needs to made in setup.cfg for each plugin. An entry point for the plugin must be added to nova.api.v21.extensions even if no resource or controller is added. Other entry points available are

  • Modify create behaviour (nova.api.v21.extensions.server.create)
  • Modify rebuild behaviour (nova.api.v21.extensions.server.rebuild)
  • Modify update behaviour (nova.api.v21.extensions.server.update)
  • Modify resize behaviour (nova.api.v21.extensions.server.resize)

These are essentially hooks into the servers plugin which allow other plugins to modify behaviour without having to modify servers.py. In the past not having this capability led to very large chunks of unrelated code being added to servers.py which was difficult to maintain.

Unit Tests

Should write something more here. But you need to have both unit and functional tests.

Functional tests and API Samples

Should write something here

Commit message tags

Please ensure you add the DocImpact tag along with a short description for any API change.

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