Install OpenStack CLI


This How-to serves as manual on how to install the OpenStack CLI (Command Line Interface). With the OpenStack CLI you can manage and monitor your stacks.


  • Install latest OpenStack command line client and required plugins


  • PC/MAC
  • Admin rights
  • Basic computer skills
  • We assume you know how to utilise SSH and SSH keys.

In this manual we expect that you haven't installed any of the required tools.
If you already installed any of the tools, please skip that specific step.

Required OpenStack client version to work with the SysEleven Stack
OpenStack client version 3.13.x is the minimum to work with multiple regions. Please make sure to install the latest stable version.

Snap on Linux

If you are using snap on your Linux distribution, you only need the following step for installing openstackclient:

sudo snap install openstackclients

You can now proceed to conclusion.

Python and virtual environment

We recommend to use Python 3 and install the OpenStack client into a python virtual environment.
Even though you could install the OpenStack client system-wide, we will describe the procedure to install it in a virtual environment instead. A virtual environment has the advantage to not collide with dependencies other projects may have on your system.

Python installation


You may need to install a different Python 3 than the one provided by Apple's XCode tools. At the time of writing this there were problems installing certain python modules if you use Apple's python3. You could install Python 3 using the installer available on or install it from Homebrew.

First open Terminal or if installed iTerm2.

To install python3 from Homebrew:

brew install python3

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS or Fedora

Install python3 and some essential build tools which might be needed when you install the openstack client later.

sudo yum install python3 python3-devel gcc

Ubuntu or Debian

Install python3 and some essential build tools which might be needed when you install the openstack client later.

sudo apt install -q -y python3-minimal python3-venv python3-dev build-essential


Install Python 3 using the installer available for download on
After the installation is finished, open the command prompt (cmd) and check that the python (or python3) command opens a python prompt. Exit the prompt with Ctrl+Z and Enter.


Create a virtual environment called "env", which will create a subdirectory "env". Activate the virtual environment and upgrade pip in it.

MAC or Linux

python3 -m venv env
source env/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip


python -m venv env
pip install --upgrade pip

OpenStack Client

Install the OpenStack CLI client and recommended plugins, to be able to communicate with the corresponding OpenStack APIs:

pip install python-openstackclient python-barbicanclient python-cinderclient python-designateclient python-glanceclient python-heatclient python-neutronclient python-novaclient python-octaviaclient

The command above will install the general OpenStack client and the plugins for the following OpenStack APIs:

  • barbican - Key Manager API
  • cinder - Block Storage Volume API
  • designate - Domain Name Service API
  • glance - Image API
  • heat - Orchestration API
  • neutron - Network API
  • nova - Compute API
  • octavia - Load Balancer API

On Windows the installation may fail because of missing development tools. Follow the instructions you see on your screen to install those.


We have installed the OpenStack Client and we now can use it.
To be able to use the OpenStack CLI tools the API access needs to be configured now.

If needed you can list all commands:

openstack --help