Configuring the CLI

Prior to using the CLI, ensure you are working from a whitelisted IP address. More information can be found under here

Source an OpenStack RC file

When no configuration arguments are passed, the OpenStack client tools will try to obtain their configuration from environment variables. To help you define these variables, the cloud dashboard allows you to download an OpenStack RC file from which you can easily source the required configuration.

To download an OpenStack RC file from the dashboard:

  • Log in to your project on the dashboard and select your preferred region.

  • From the left hand menu select “API Access” and click on

    “Download OpenStack RC File v3.0”. Save this file on the host where the client tools are going to be used from.

  • Source the configuration from the OpenStack RC file:

  • When prompted for a password, enter the password of the user who downloaded the file. Note that your password is not displayed on the screen as you type it in.


    You should never type in your password on the command line (or pass it as an argument to the client tools), because the password will be stored in plain text in the shell history file. This is unsafe and could allow a potential attacker to compromise your credentials.

  • You can confirm the configuration works by running a simple command, such as openstack network list and ensuring it returns no errors.


You are also able to download the Openstack RC file from the top-right corner where your login details are display as shown below:


Difference between OpenRC with or without MFA

You will notice that when you go to download the OpenRC file from the dashboard there are 2 version available. One that says OpenStackRC v3 and one that says OpenStackRC v3 (MFA Enabled)

Of course if you have MFA enabled then you will want to download the MFA enabled file; However, this file can be used on accounts without multi-factor authentication. The difference between the two is that the normal OpenstackRC file keeps a copy of your Username and Password and uses those for authentication against the cloud. Where as the MFA uses a token that gets passed to the API’s for confirmation.

You do not need to have MFA enabled to use the MFA RC file. You can just enter nothing when prompted for it, and the system will create a token from your username and password and authenticate it that way. This is useful for those that care more about Security than convenience. The trade off is that the Token has a lifespan. After 14 hours the token will expire and you will have to re-authenticate your credentials to continue working on your project via the CLI.

Setting up the command line environment on Windows

As the standard OpenStack RC file will not work in its current form, it is necessary to take a different approach.

To do this we will need to create the equivalent script using PowerShell. Add the following lines, replacing the place holder entries with the appropriate details from your OpenStack RC file which can be obtained following the steps above.

$env:OS_AUTH_URL = ""
$env:OS_TENANT_NAME = "<tenant-name>"
$env:OS_TENANT_ID = "<tenant-id>"
$env:OS_USERNAME = "<username>"

$password = Read-Host 'Please enter your OpenStack Password' -AsSecureString
$env:OS_PASSWORD = [Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($password))

Save the file as a ‘.ps1’ file and run it from a PowerShell session. To confirm if the variables were set correctly, run the following command:

Get-ChildItem Env: | Where-Object {$ -match "OS_"}

The output should show the following 5 variables