Getting Started with OpenStack

Installing the SDK

You must install through Composer, because this library has a few dependencies:

composer require rackspace/php-opencloud

Once you have installed the library, you will need to load Composer’s autoloader (which registers all the required namespaces):

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

And you’re good to go!

Quick deep-dive: building some Nova instances

In this example, you will write code that will create a Nova instance running Ubuntu.

1. Setup the client and pass in your credentials

To authenticate against Keystone:

use OpenCloud\OpenStack;

$client = new OpenStack('', array(
    'username'   => 'foo',
    'password'   => 'bar',
    'tenantName' => 'baz'

You will need to substitute in the public URL endpoint for your Keystone service, as well as your username, password and tenantName. You can also specify your tenantId instead of tenantName if you prefer.

2. Pick what service you want to use

In this case, we want to use the Nova service:

$compute = $client->computeService('nova', 'regionOne');

The first argument is the name of the service as it appears in the OpenStack service catalog. For OpenStack users, this must be retrieved and entered in your code. If you are unsure how to retrieve the service name, follow these steps:

  1. Setup the $client object, as above
  2. Copy and run this code:
  1. This will output all the items in your service catalog. Go through the outputted list and find your service, making note of the “name” field. This is the name you will need to enter as the first argument. You will also be able to see the available regions.

The second argument is the region. The third and last argument is the type of URL; you may use either publicURL or internalURL.

3. Select your server image

Instances are based on “images”, which are effectively just the type of operating system you want. Let’s go through the list and find an Ubuntu one:

$images = $compute->imageList();

foreach ($images as $image) {
    if (strpos($image->name, 'Ubuntu') !== false) {
        $ubuntu = $image;

Alternatively, if you already know the image ID, you can do this much easier:

$ubuntu = $compute->image('868a0966-0553-42fe-b8b3-5cadc0e0b3c5');

4. Select your flavor

There are different server specs - some which offer 1GB RAM, others which offer a much higher spec. The ‘flavor’ of an instance is its hardware configuration. So if you want a 2GB instance but don’t know the ID, you have to traverse the list:

$flavors = $compute->flavorList();

foreach ($flavors as $flavor) {
    if (strpos($flavor->name, '2GB') !== false) {
        $twoGbFlavor = $flavor;

Again, it’s much easier if you know the ID:

$twoGbFlavor = $compute->flavor('4');

5. Thunderbirds are go!

Okay, you’re ready to spin up a server:

use Guzzle\Http\Exception\BadResponseException;

$server = $compute->server();

try {
    $response = $server->create(array(
        'name'   => 'My lovely server',
        'image'  => $ubuntu,
        'flavor' => $twoGbFlavor
} catch (BadResponseException $e) {
    // No! Something failed. Let's find out:
    printf("Request: %s\n\nResponse: %s", $e->getRequest(), $e->getResponse());

As you can see, you’re creating a server called “My lovely server” - this will take a few minutes for the build to complete. You can always check the progress by logging into your Controller node and running:

nova list

You can also execute a polling function immediately after the create method that checks the build process:

use OpenCloud\Compute\Constants\ServerState;

$callback = function($server) {
    if (!empty($server->error)) {
    } else {
        echo sprintf(
            "Waiting on %s/%-12s %4s%%",
            isset($server->progress) ? $server->progress : 0

$server->waitFor(ServerState::ACTIVE, 600, $callback);

So, the server will be polled until it is in an ACTIVE state, with a timeout of 600 seconds. When the poll happens, the callback function is executed - which in this case just logs some output.

More fun with Nova

Once you’ve booted up your instance, you can use other API operations to monitor your Compute nodes. To list every node on record, you can execute:

$servers = $compute->serverList();

foreach ($servers as $server) {
    // do something with each server...
    echo $server->name, PHP_EOL;

or, if you know a particular instance ID you can retrieve its details:

$server = $compute->server('xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxx');

allowing you to update its properties:

   'name' => 'New server name'

or delete it entirely:


Next steps

Read our docs for the Compute v2 service.