Install Python-Novaclient on Windows

This article describes how to remotely manage a Rackspace Cloud Server by using the
python-novaclient package running on Microsoft® Windows®.

Remote management

The Cloud Control Panel isn't the only way to
manage Cloud Servers. If you're running a script or program, you can use the
Cloud Servers API,
but that involves some coding effort.

If you want to manage your servers from the command line and not deal directly with the
API, you can use an open-source client application called python-novaclient.

Note: Rackspace does not maintain the nova client, so you should consider the software as
in development.


To run python-novaclient, you need to install python® 2.6 or later on your system. You can
run the client from either a desktop computer or a remote system, such as a Cloud Server.

Make sure you install the setuptools package when you install python. A python distribution
such as ActiveState ActivePython,
discussed in the next section, includes setuptools.

To run the nova client, you need to have access to your Rackspace Cloud account username
and password.

Install ActiveState ActivePython on Windows

If you don't have a python installation on your Windows system, download
and install the free community version of ActiveState ActivePython.

Download and run the installer.

Install the python-novaclient package

After you install ActiveState Python, use the python package installer pip to
download and install novaclient automatically. Perform the following steps:

  1. To open a command window, go to the Start menu and type cmd in the Search box.

  2. In the command window, enter the following command to install the pbr package and avoid a
    package bug:

    pip install pbr==0.5.21
  3. Enter the following command to install a metapackage that includes the latest version
    of python-novaclient and the Rackspace extensions:

    pip install rackspace-novaclient python-novaclient==3.3.0
  4. When the installations finish, close the command window.

The rackspace-novaclient package is a metapackage that uses pip to install the client and all
Rackspace extensions for the client. If you have any problems with the metapackage,
use pip to install the python-novaclient and rackspace-auth-openstack packages

Install with other python distributions

Some python distributions might not include setuptools. If you're using another python
distribution, such as the official python distribution, you can install the
python setuptools package from pypi
and use easy_install to install pip:

easy_install pip

Then, follow the installation instructions in the preceding section.

Environment variables

Now that you have installed the nova client, set up the environment variables that
allow it to connect to your Rackspace Cloud account.

Find the environment variables editor

For most Windows versions, set your environment variables through the
System Control Panel, by performing the following steps:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, navigate to the System and Security section and select System.
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab in the top navigation.
  4. In the Startup and Recovery section, click Environment Variables.

If you have any trouble finding the System Control Panel, type environment
in the Start menu Search box. This action provides a link that lets you edit your environment
variables. If given a choice between editing values for your user account or the system,
choose the selection for your user account.

Set the environment variables

Now set your environment variables. In the User variables for Administrator section,
click an environment variable and then click New.

The following table describes the required variable names and values:

Variable nameValue typeDescription
OS_USERNAMEusernameSet this value to your Rackspace Cloud account username.
OS_TENANT_NAMEaccount numberSet this value to your Rackspace Cloud account number, visible in the upper-right corner in the Cloud Control Panel.
OS_AUTH_SYSTEMrackspace Set this value to rackspace to connect to the Rackspace Cloud.
OS_PASSWORDpassword or API keySet this value to your Rackspace Cloud API key. You can retrieve your API key in the Cloud Control Panel. For information about how to find your API key, see View and reset your API key. With a non-Rackspace Openstack cloud, you usually put the account password in this variable.
OS_AUTH_URLidentity endpointSet this value to the endpoint for the identity service the client uses to authenticate for API operations. For the US and AUS Rackspace Cloud that is, and for the UK Rackspace Cloud, it is
OS_REGION_NAMEdata center regionThe code for the data center region containing the servers you want to manipulate. You can check your server's data center by checking its details screen in the Cloud Control Panel. The data center code is just the first three letters of the data center's identifier, such as DFW or ORD. You can override the region setting with the --os-region-name command-line option.

After you've set all seven environment variables, click OK when prompted to complete the process until all the windows close.

Note Any command windows you already have open do not reflect the changes to your environment variables until
you close and reopen them.

Test the client

To make sure the nova client is ready to go, open a new command
window by going to the Start Menu and entering the following text in the search box.


To see if you can talk to the API server, run the following command at the command prompt:

nova image-list

If the command is successful, the system provides a list of the images available
to create a server.

View the command list

To get a full list of commands, enter the following command:

nova help

Note: You won't be able to use every command listed. The nova client was
written for use with recent development versions of OpenStack, so it might include support for
some features that Rackspace has not yet implemented in the Rackspace Cloud.

You can get more help for a specific command by running the following command:

nova help <command>

For example, to learn about the create command, run the following command:

nova help create


The client doesn't provide detailed errors. Because many people enter the username,
tenant name, or password incorrectly, be sure to double-check those settings.

Remember that if you change any environment variables, you need to close your command
window and open a new one to work with the new values.

You can also use the options listed at the end of the nova help output to override
some environment variable settings. If you're unsure about the region, for example, you can
substitute it with the --os-region-name option as follows:

nova --os-region-name ORD image-list

Next steps

By following the instructions in this article, you can set up the nova client
so that you can access it and it can talk to your Rackspace Cloud account.
To look at some common operations, you can perform with the client, such as creating
servers and taking snapshots, see
Useful python-novaclient commands.