Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the extension methods and arguments?

Libcloud acts as a lowest common denominator and exposes a unified base API which allows you to work with many different cloud providers through a single code base.

Being a lowest common denominator by definition means that not all of the functionality offered by different cloud service providers is available through a base API.

Libcloud solves this problem and allows user to access provider specific functionality through a so called extension methods and arguments. Extension methods and arguments are all the methods and arguments which are prefixed with ex_.

Extension methods are there for your convenience, but you should be careful when you use them because they make switching or working with multiple providers harder.

How do I test if provider credentials are valid?

Libcloud makes the whole authentication process transparent to the user. As such, the easiest way to check if provider credentials are valid is by instantiating a driver and calling a method which results in an HTTP call.

If the credentials are valid, method will return a result, otherwise libcloud.common.types.InvalidCredsError exception will be thrown.

An example of such method is libcloud.compute.base.NodeDriver.list_nodes(). Keep in mind that depending on the account state, list_nodes method might return a lot of data.

If you want to avoid unnecessarily fetching a lot of data, you should find a method specific to your provider which issues a request which results in small amount of data being retrieved.

I want do add a new provider driver what should I do?

For now the best thing to do is to look at an existing driver and test cases for examples.

Libcloud currently supports more than 25 different providers. This means we have a broad range of examples of different APIs and authentication methods. APIs range from simple JSON based REST APIs to SOAP APIs. Authentication methods range from simple shared token and digest auth to HMAC signed requests.

I want to add / propose a new API, what should I do?

We are always open to accepting a now top level API as long as it matches the following criteria:

  1. API must be indented to manage an online infrastructure oriented Cloud service
  2. Similar service is offered by multiple providers
  3. It’s possible to build a common API on top of services provided by different services

Libcloud can be used with many different providers and acts as a lowest common denominator which makes the last point most important one. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to build a common Libcloud API even if multiple providers offer a similar service. Usually the case is that the APIs are vastly different and there aren’t enough common points which would allow us to build a cross-provider API which would still provide enough value to the end user.

If the API matches the criteria defined above, you should send a proposal to our mailing list where we can discuss it further. Ideally, the proposal should also contain a prototype of a driver for at least two different providers. This helps us make sure that the API you have designed is not biased towards a single provider.

How do I obtain Libcloud version?

You can obtain currently active Libcloud version by accessing the libcloud.__version__ variable.

Example #1 (command line):

python -c "import libcloud ; print libcloud.__version__"

Example #2 (code):

import libcloud