A Brief History

openstacksdk started its life as three different libraries: shade, os-client-config and python-openstacksdk.


shade started its life as some code inside of OpenStack Infra’s nodepool project, and as some code inside of the Ansible OpenStack Modules. Ansible had a bunch of different OpenStack related modules, and there was a ton of duplicated code. Eventually, between refactoring that duplication into an internal library, and adding the logic and features that the OpenStack Infra team had developed to run client applications at scale, it turned out that we’d written nine-tenths of what we’d need to have a standalone library.

Because of its background from nodepool, shade contained abstractions to work around deployment differences and is resource oriented rather than service oriented. This allows a user to think about Security Groups without having to know whether Security Groups are provided by Nova or Neutron on a given cloud. On the other hand, as an interface that provides an abstraction, it deviates from the published OpenStack REST API and adds its own opinions, which may not get in the way of more advanced users with specific needs.


os-client-config was a library for collecting client configuration for using an OpenStack cloud in a consistent and comprehensive manner, which introduced the clouds.yaml file for expressing named cloud configurations.


python-openstacksdk was a library that exposed the OpenStack APIs to developers in a consistent and predictable manner.

After a while it became clear that there was value in both the high-level layer that contains additional business logic and the lower-level SDK that exposes services and their resources faithfully and consistently as Python objects. Even with both of those layers, it is still beneficial at times to be able to make direct REST calls and to do so with the same properly configured Session from python-requests. This led to the merge of the three projects.

The original contents of the shade library have been moved into openstack.cloud and os-client-config has been moved in to openstack.config.