Oslo brings together generalist code reviewers and specialist API maintainers who share a common interest in tackling technical debt across the OpenStack project, and in making deployment and development experiences consistent across OpenStack projects.

OpenStack projects share many common design patterns and implementation details. Early in the history of OpenStack this resulted in a lot of code being copied out of one project into another. The Oslo project was created to address this situation, and to provide a home for common code used by multiple other OpenStack projects. Adopting oslo libraries makes a project more similar to the rest of OpenStack, and that consistency in turn improves the Operator/Deployer experience.


The Oslo team manages a growing set of libraries of Python code, either created from scratch, adopted from outside of the community, or extracted from other OpenStack projects. Each library has its own core review team, combining the efforts of specialists in the problem domain and the overall Oslo core review team.

Here are a few examples of the types of libraries managed by the Oslo team:

The oslo.config library provides tools for managing configuration option definitions, validation, configuration file parsing, and command line option processing.
The oslo.messaging library implements common inter-process communication patterns such as notifications and RPC. It includes drivers for different backends such as RabbitMQ, AMQP 1.0, and ZMQ. This pluggable backend pattern is common across OpenStack as a way to provide options for deployers familiar with different tool stacks.
The oslo.log library is a wrapper around Python’s standard logging tools, coupling them with oslo.config and applying OpenStack-specific requirements. Projects that use oslo.log make it easier for deployers to set up their logging in a consistent way, which in turn makes it easier to post-process the logs with tools like Logstash.

Brief History

The Oslo project started during the Bexar release time-frame, and grew slowly until being granted a PTL position just before the Grizzly cycle. During Grizzly, the team adopted the name “Oslo” (based on the Oslo Peace Accords and “bringing peace” to the OpenStack project, the name is not an acronym). The mission statement solidified and a core team was built during this time, and the oslo.config library was the first officially released Oslo library. oslo.messaging was released next, during the Havana cycle. After Grizzly, the amount of incubated code continued to grow while the team developed the tools needed to manage it. A major graduation push during the Juno and Kilo cycles resulted in a total of 26 libraries by early in the Liberty cycle.

The Incubator

Although the team prefers to develop new libraries from scratch as needs arise, one important source of code for Oslo libraries is code in an existing project that is identified as useful to another project. The existing implementation may be tightly coupled to the application, and need to be modified to make it more general. The Oslo team often uses a special incubator repository to evolve the API of the code as it is extracted from the original project, relying on “managed copy and paste” to allow breaking changes in the API by actually copying the results back into a small number of early consuming projects. As the API stabilizes, the code graduates to be a proper library.

For more details, refer to The Oslo Incubator in the Oslo team specs repository.


There are more projects consuming code from the Oslo incubator than we have Oslo contributors. Therefore, the Oslo team relies on “liaisons” in each consuming project to coordinate work as new code goes through incubation or new libraries are released. The current liaisons are listed on the CrossProjectLiaisons page in the wiki, and there are more details in the Oslo Liaison program spec.

Naming Libraries

There are currently three naming schemes used for Oslo libraries, each meant to signal where the library is expected to be useful.

  1. Libraries used for production runtime dependencies of OpenStack projects follow the naming pattern oslo.something for the library and dist, but use oslo_something for the top level package name to avoid using the oslo. namespace package.

    Examples of production runtime dependencies include oslo.config and oslo.messaging.

  2. Libraries used for non-production or non-runtime dependencies of OpenStack projects should follow the naming convention oslosomething (leaving out the . between “oslo” and “something”) for the library, dist, and top level package.

    Examples of non-production dependencies include oslosphinx and oslotest.

  3. Libraries that may be generally useful outside of OpenStack, no matter how they are used within OpenStack, should be given a descriptive and unique name, without the “oslo” prefix in any form.

    Other examples of Oslo names include pbr and taskflow.

For more details, refer to the Oslo naming policy spec.

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