Introducing The Browser Terminal

Use the OpenStack command line anywhere using our new OpenStack browser terminal. If you’ve ever struggled to use the official OpenStack client, this feature is for you.

No downloads, no complicated setup or configuration – just OpenStack at your fingertips.

Introducing The Browser Terminal

What is it?

We’re proud to introduce a brand new feature in our online dashboard: The OpenStack Browser Terminal.

The terminal emulates the user experience of the official OpenStack command line client but runs completely within your browser with no additional components to worry about installing or configuring.

Why did we make it?

Basically, to make life easier for more of our users.

OpenStack has had an official command line client for a number of years. Unfortunately, the client is non-trivial to use because there are several installation steps to go through before it’s possible to interact with your cloud resources.

There are multiple setup methods depending on the user’s operating system. We’ve also had a lot of feedback from users who are struggling to configure the client correctly.

By loading up the terminal section in our dashboard, users are presented with a web-native version of the OpenStack client. This is pre-configured with their own user credentials and ready to accept commands.

To try it out for yourself, log into the DataCentred dashboard and go to the Terminal section.


OpenStack Browser Terminal

How does the OpenStack Browser Terminal work?

Docker in the OpenStack Browser TerminalSo how does this work?

Well, we brought together two open source tools to bring the OpenStack command line experience to the browser. The first of which is Docker, the highly popular container tool. By creating a container that runs the OpenStack client, we can authentically replicate the user experience in its entirety.

We inject the container with the proper configuration and then run the command against our APIs. The response is passed back to the browser and rendered using the excellent jQuery Terminal project. This comes together to provide an experience that’s very close to running the client locally on your machine.

Who would find this helpful?

Because it runs web-natively, it’s very easy to get things done when you’re on the move.

If you’ve ever needed to quickly fire off some commands then the terminal can run on any device with a browser and an Internet connection. You’re not tied to a specific machine or device type because there is nothing to install or configure.

Also, if you’re new to OpenStack (or to command line interfaces) then the browser terminal relieves a lot of suffering involved in the initial setup. There is a large amount of built-in help and assistance, with guides and tutorials baked in. As a result, it will quickly help you become comfortable interacting with your cloud resources on the command line.

How to get Started?

The OpenStack Browser Terminal is available to use today. Click the video below to watch a short introduction.




Happy Stacking! 👍

Sean Handley
Senior Developer