This module is designed for advanced users who want to learn more about command line tools to control the NeCTAR resources. This can help to automate procedures, for example with scripts for backup processes. Worked examples of the OpenStack command line tool openstack are included in this Module.

The previous modules have covered all you need to know to get started with the Research Cloud — this module is going to show how all of this can be done using only a few command line tools. If you are not comfortable with the command line, rest assured that you already have all knowledge required to work with the Cloud using the Dashboard and the other tools discussed in previous Modules. If you like using the command line to get things done, you will love the extra information given in this module!

The following topics are going to be covered:

  • Installation of OpenStack command line clients
  • Launching and terminating an instance
  • Taking snapshots of instances and relaunching from snapshots
  • Creating and deleting volumes
  • Making backups and taking snapshots of volumes
  • Accessing the object store


The following videos go through most of the content in this module and offer a less in-depth description of the subject than the documentation does.


The notation throughout the training documents can be interpreted as follows:

Words in italics are used for names and terminology, e.g. name of a software, or name of a computing concept. It may also just emphasise a word in the traditional way. Quotations are also written in italics and are put in between quotatioin marks.

Words in bold are used to highlight words which identify important concepts of a paragraph, to make it easier for users to skim through the text to find a paragraph which explains a certain idea, concept or technology.


Additional information which is optional to read is displayed in info boxes like this one.


Important information is displayed in boxes like this one.


Definition of terms are displayed in boxes of this style.


Possibly specific prerequisites for reading a particular section are contained in this type of box at the beginning of a section.

The use of command line tools is part of this course. In a Terminal, you will be directed to type in commands. Commands are formatted as follows:

command-name argument1 argument2 ... argumentn

Throughout the exercises, when you see a word in pointed brackets, like <this-word>, it means that you have to replace everything inside the brackets, and including the brackets, with whatever is described within the brackets.

For example, if you are prompted to run a command named the-command which takes two arguments:

the-command -f <yourfile>

Then you have to replace the second argument, <yourfile>, with the file name that is being referenced in the exercise. For example

the-command -f thefile.txt

When editing a file, the contents of it will be displayed in a different font and with background colour as follows:

The content of the file
The next line in this file

Output on the command line terminal is printed in boxes formatted as follows:

NectarInstance:~ Jennifer$ whoami