The Command Line Interface


The Command Line Interface (CLI) provides a way to interact with Chameleon resources using shell and scripting tools. Chameleon uses the OpenStack Client to provide CLI functionality. This documentation section provides an overview on how to install the OpenStack Client and configure your shell environment to access Chameleon features.


Some of the Chameleon features are only accessable via the CLI, such as the Gnocchi metrics and the advanced networking features.


Chameleon Cloud is primarily designed to support Unix-like environments. Threfore, it is highly recommended using CLI in a Unix-like system. For Windows 10 users, you may want to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux to get better experience with the Chameleon CLI.

Installing the CLI


  1. Python - Check if you have Python installed.
  2. PIP - If you’re using Python 2.7.9 (or greater) or Python 3.4 (or greater), then PIP comes installed with Python by default.

OpenStack Client Installation

  1. Install the CLI by typing pip install python-openstackclient in the terminal.
  2. Verify that it has installed correctly by typing openstack. You will enter the Openstack Client in interactive mode and your prompt should change to (openstack).
  3. Exit the client by typing exit.

The OpenStack RC Script

You must use the OpenStack RC Scripts to configure the environment variables for accessing Chameleon features. You can downloaded the script from the Chameleon GUI at the API Access.

  1. Log in to the GUI at CHI@TACC or CHI@UC.


    Download RC file from the site you would like to interact with.

  2. Select the project you wish to access via Project and Region Menu.

    The Project Dropdown

    The Project Dropdown

  3. Download OpenStack RC Script using User Menu by clicking on Openstack RC File v3.

    The OpenStack RC File v3 link in the User Dropdown

    The OpenStack RC File v3 link in the User Dropdown

  4. Run the following command in the terminal:

    source <path/to/openstack_rc_file>


    The command would not work for Windows users. Skip this step and the next step if you are using Windows system.

  5. Enter your password when prompted.

  6. For macOS/Linux users, your current terminal session has been configured to access your project. Now type openstack in your terminal session.

    For Windows users, you have to provide the environment variables in the OpenStack RC script as openstack command parameters. Run the following command in your Windows prompt:

    openstack --os-auth-url <OS_AUTH_URL> \
    --os-project-id <OS_PROJECT_ID> \
    --os-project-name <OS_PROJECT_NAME> \
    --os-user-domain-name <OS_USER_DOMAIN_NAME> \
    --os-username <OS_USERNAME> \
    --os-password <OS_PASSWORD> \
    --os-region-name <OS_REGION_NAME> \
    --os-interface <OS_INTERFACE> \
    --os-identity-api-version <OS_IDENTITY_API_VERSION>

    Replace values of the parameters by reading from the OpenStack RC script.

    Another way to configure OpenStack Client for Windows users is to add/edit environment variables manually via System Properties window. Then, click on Environment Variables… button and manually add/edit the environment variables in OpenStack RC Script to Environment Variable window.

    System Properties Window of Windows System

    System Properties Window of Windows System


    For macOS/Linux users, every time when open a new terminal, you have to run the source command to access OpenStack Client.


    If you get authentication error, check if you input your password correctly.

  7. Type project list at the (openstack) prompt. You should see a list of the projects you belong to.


    If you get permission error at this step, please check that 1) the terminal session has been configured correctly with the environment variables; 2) the OpenStack RC script you source is v3; 3) the OpenStack Client version is the latest. To check the OpenStack Client version, use openstack --version command. Some older version of the OpenStack Client may cause errors.


    If you get the Missing value error when using a command, it is likely that your terminal session has not been configured correctly and completely with the environment variables. The error may be fixed by re-running the source command over the OpenStack RC Script or using the command line switches.

Using the CLI

You can use the CLI in either Interactive Mode or Shell Mode. In either mode, the OpenStack Client has to be configured by using the OpenStack RC Script or by providing the command line switches. For more information about the usage of OpenStack Client, run openstack --help.

Interactive Mode

The Interactive Mode allows you to use the openstack commands through an interactive prompt. To start the Interactive Mode, type openstack in the configured terminal. Once entering the Interactive Mode, you will see a (openstack) prompt. Type the command you would like to run at the prompt. To find out the commands, type help.

Shell Mode

Each CLI command can be used in your terminal exactly the same way that it appears in the Interactive Mode, simply by preceding the command with openstack. For example, the command image list in the Interactive Mode is equivalent to the command openstack image list in the Shell Mode.