Rackspace Cloud API – Create NextGen cloud servers

The purpose of this post is to show how you can build Rackspace Next Generation cloud servers using the API. Building via the API will allow you to script server builds so you can avoid having to use the control panel. This also provides you the building blocks for understanding deployment automation.

This guide will only show you how to create a cloud server. Feel free to review http://docs.rackspace.com for learning about all the possible operations that can be done through the API.

In this example, we are going to build 2 512M CentOS 6.4 Cloud Servers via the Rackspace Cloud API. The servers will be named:


When working with the API, I like to use a tool called httpie to simplify things a bit. You can install this by:

yum install httpie

Now that we have httpie installed, lets get an auth token from the API:

echo '{"auth": {"RAX-KSKEY:apiKeyCredentials": {"username": "YOUR_USERNAME","apiKey":"YOUR_API_KEY"}}}' | http post https://identity.api.rackspacecloud.com/v2.0/tokens

The token you need will be listed next to “id” field as shown below

        "token": {
            "expires": "2013-07-09T23:17:08.634-05:00", 
            "id": "2334aasdf5555j3hfhd22245dhsr", 
            "tenant": {
                "id": "123456", 
                "name": "123456"

To simplify things moving forward, we will set some local variables that we’ll use when communicating with the API:

export endpoint="https://ord.servers.api.rackspacecloud.com/v2/"

NOTE: Change the endpoints region accordingly (ord or dfw).

Now, lets see what images are available. I’m looking for a CentOS 6.4 image:

http get $endpoint/$account/images/detail X-Auth-Token:$token

The id of the CentOS 6.4 image in this case is:

            "id": "e0ed4adb-3a00-433e-a0ac-a51f1bc1ea3d", 

We wanted a 512M server, so we must find the flavors id:

http get $endpoint/$account/flavors X-Auth-Token:$token

This shows that the 512M flavor has the id of:

            "id": "2", 

All the information has been collected. Time to prep 2 json files that we’ll be using to build the 2 servers:

cat << EOF > test01.example.com.json
    "server" : {
        "name" : "test01.example.com",
        "imageRef" : "e0ed4adb-3a00-433e-a0ac-a51f1bc1ea3d",
        "flavorRef" : "2"

cat << EOF > test02.example.com.json
    "server" : {
        "name" : "test02.example.com",
        "imageRef" : "e0ed4adb-3a00-433e-a0ac-a51f1bc1ea3d",
        "flavorRef" : "2"

Finally, we have everything we need to begin the builds. Execute the build by:

http post $endpoint/$account/servers @test01.example.com.json X-Auth-Token:$token
http post $endpoint/$account/servers @test02.example.com.json X-Auth-Token:$token

When you run each POST statement above, 2 fields will be returned by the API. Be sure to record these somewhere:
– adminPass : This is your servers root password
– id : This is your servers id number that will be referenced next.

A new server is not useful without knowing its IP address. After a few minutes pass, you can retrieve the IP address by running:

http get $endpoint/$account/servers/YOUR_SERVER_ID X-Auth-Token:$token
http get $endpoint/$account/servers/YOUR_OTHER_SERVER_ID X-Auth-Token:$token

The 2 relevant fields you will need for this example are posted below:

        "accessIPv4": "", 
                    "addr": "", 

Now you can SSH into your server using the IP and admin password that have been returned by the API.