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What is cloudmonkey?

cloudmonkey is a command line interface (CLI) tool for CloudStack written in Python. cloudmonkey can be use both as an interactive shell and as a command line tool which simplifies CS configuration and management. It is unofficially distributed by community maintained distribution at the cheese shop as well as within the git repository in tools/cli/. It can be used with Apache CloudStack 4.0-incubating and above.


  • Usable as a command line tool and interactive shell
  • Management server profiles: select, customize and use different server profiles using 
  • All commands are lowercase unlike API
  • Api Discovery using sync feature, with build time api precaching for failsafe sync
  • Raw api execution support
  • Auto-completion via double <tab>
  • Reverse search using Ctrl+R
  • Emacs compatible keybindings
  • Pipeable output
  • Unix shell execution
  • Support to handle async jobs using user defined blocking or non-blocking way
  • Tabular or JSON output with filtering of table columns
  • Colored output
  • Unicode support
  • Api parameter value completion



cloudmonkey requires Python 2.6 or above and has following dependencies:

Platform independent installation

For installing any Python package, pip is recommended:

To upgrade:

Thought a clean upgrade is recommended:

RHEL/CentOS 6.x (internet access required for python eggs repository)

or if pip available (pip is recommended)


Or, if pip is not available

Building from source code

cloudmonkey is moved to a separate git repo

more info @;a=commit;h=6f84e74a68d78705a06fe58f7927f42f61453a16


cloudmonkey reads configuration from ~/.cloudmonkey/config which is it's config file in user's home directory/.cloudmonkey.

Further it logs in ~/.cloudmonkey/log, stores history in ~/.cloudmonkey/history and caches discovered apis in ~/.cloudmonkey/cache. Only the log and history files can be custom paths and can be configured by setting appropriate file paths in ~/.cloudmonkey/config or by command:

Typical ~/.cloudmonkey/config for version 5.2.0 and above:

The following configuration parameters can be configured by using the 'set' command in cloudmonkey:




profileManagement server profile namelocal


Management server API url (it should contain full url with protocol, port etc and paths)



Timeout interval for polling async commands



User api key



User secret key


verifysslcertEnables/Disables SSL certification verification when making HTTP calls (per server profile)true
usernameCloudStack user nameadmin
passwordCloudStack user passwordpassword


Enable coloured output, set to false to disable



cloudmonkey prompt



Line based, JSON, or tabular output, set to default or json or table



Log file



History file



Poll for async commands, making it false will cause cloudmonkey to return jobid



Tries to predict api for listing a parameter value for an api, experimental may fail


Note: If both username/password and apikey/secretkey are set (i.e. have non-empty values), apikey and secretkey are used while making HTTP API calls.


Getting started

By default cloudmonkey will create 'local' server profile when it will start.

First set the management server API url, apikey and secretkey etc.

Api and Secret keys can be created via CloudStack management server UI, Accounts->Users->Generate keys. One can also use username and password though use of keys is recommended. CloudMonkey first tries to authenticate using apikey/secret key if provided, then if port specified in the URL is 8096 cloudmonkey assumes user is trying to use integration port and if both of them don't qualify i.e. keys are not provided and port is not 8096 we try to authenticate with username and password. 

Make sure your management server is running, discover and sync/pull latest apis:

The sync command in cloudmonkey pull a list of apis which are accessible to your user role, along with help docs etc. and stores the cache in ~/.cloudmonkey/cache. This allows cloudmonkey to be adaptable to changes in mgmt server, so in case the sysadmin enables a plugin such as Nicira NVP for that user role, the users can get those changes. New verbs and grammar (DSL) rules are created on the fly. A failsafe precache is bundled with the distribution but users are

Note: This features requires ApiDiscovery plugin to be enabled at the management server and it is enabled by default starting ACS 4.1 version.

Try autocompletion using tabbing:

Getting help

Help for any command can be obtained using help <cmd> or ?<cmd> or <cmd> --help or <cmd> -h, examples:

A typical help doc for an api will list all available acceptable arguments and required arguments.

Example help for listUsers api:

Management server profiles

CloudMonkey version 5.2.0 and above will support multiple (management) server profiles, so one can use the tool on the fly toggling between different CloudStack server in the interpreter mode. If cloudmonkey starts for the first time, it will create a default server profile by the name [local] and use the following default values which one can then override using the `set` command. The profile in use is set in the [core] section's profile parameter which is read at the time cloudmonkey loads.

 To create a new server profile, one can use: set profile <profile-name> and this will create a new server profile config section in ~/.cloudmonkey/config and use the above default values. Using set command on params such as url, username, password etc. will set these values for the currently selected profile only. Note: profile names cannot be whitespace/blank '', core or ui.

Tabular output

You may enable tabular listing and even choose set of column fields, this allows you to create your own field using the filter param which takes in comma separated argument. If argument has a space, put them under double quotes. The create table will have the same sequence of field filters provided. If your present cli does not have this, pl. upgrade cloudmonkey: pip install --upgrade cloudmonkey
To enable tabular output:


Tabular output comes with filtering, using filter parameter you can ask cloudmonkey to filter particular columns (like select field of mysql).

JSON output

JSON output formats cloudmonkey's output into pretty generated JSON documents. Filtering may also be used to limit the result set. Even with filtering, a valid JSON document is generated and may be saved into an external file and processed with your favorite programming language. If your present cli does not have this, pl. upgrade cloudmonkey: pip install --upgrade cloudmonkey
To enable json output:


Filtering output

CloudMonkey can filter output based on keys. Starting 5.3.0, filter is supported for all display outputs (json, default and table) and autocompletion works as well.

Emacs style key handling

Ctrl+a (start of the line)
Ctrl+e (end of the line)
Ctlr+w (remove one word from back)
Ctrl+u (remove whole line) etc.

Reverse Searching

Ctrl+R etc. If it does not work and also any issue with tab completion it's probably a readline issue on your env. If autocompletion using tabs does not work for you, pl. open an issue on jira, issues.a.o

Debug log

By default cloudmonkey logs in ~/.cloudmonkey_log which can be changed using the set command:

One can tail the log to keep track on what's happening:

Using as a command line tool

Use cloudmonkey as a command line tool, by passing args to cloudmonkey. Example:

It can also take in list of commands from a file and interpret them, for example:

The follow example illustrates how one can use cloudmonkey to automate their deployments, this one deploys a basic zone:

Argument passing

Arguments can be passed to an api command using the syntax; <cmd> <verb> key1=value1 etc.
By default cloudmonkey's lexical parser parses like shlex and split by spaces.

If values have spaces, one can put them under quotes, like:

Some api accept array or maps as their arguments, in that case use arg0.key=value syntax. For example, while creating network offering:

Text processing using pipes

Text processing is very easy, one can pipe the data and call their favourite text processors, be it awk, sed or grep.

Automation using shell

Automation can be done using shell or ! followed by shell commands. For example:

For example if one has to create 100 users, one can execute cloudmonkey with args in a loop:

Raw API execution

Use the special command api to send a raw api. It does not do autocompletion and assumes the user knows what he's trying to do.
For example:

In latest version, we can directly call a raw api on the shell with parameters, example:

Async Job execution

There are two kinds of apis in CloudStack, one are blocking or synchronous and other one is non-blocking or asynchronous. By default for async apis like deploying a vm ec. are polled by cloudmonkey, one can set cloudmonkey not to poll or wait till the api is finished using:

This causes an async command in cloudmonkey to return a jobid which can be used to poll the completion of that command. This is particularly useful if one wants to starts a lot of VMs without having to wait for the commands to complete. The job can be polled using query async job command, like:

Parameter completion

Starting 5.3.0 version, parameter implementation works well for api arguments which are of uuid and boolean types. It can be enabled by setting paramcompletion to true. To automatically find out how to get values for a api arg it uses two heuristics (list apis and most likely related list api) so it is quite possible there are corner cases where this may fail. Whenever a list api is called or when parameter completion calls a list api in background, those results (pair of uuid and name strings) are cached by CloudMonkey to speed up rendering. The cache is kept for next 10-15 mins, after which a list api is called again in the background.


cloudmonkey was named after the beloved mascot of Apache CloudStack.
Dev ML: The Apache CloudStack Team <>
Maintainer: Rohit Yadav <>

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