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The admin-openrc and demo-openrc files just set shell environment variables that make it easier to run the openstack command. They define your OpenStack identity and provide information like authentication URL and API versions.

Without them, commands would look similar to this:

$ openstack --os-username demo --os-project-name demo --os-domain-name default --os-auth-url http://controller:37375/v3 server list

instead of

$ source demo-openrc   # this is required only once
$ openstack server list

You can put these openrc files anywhere; just remember to source them after logging on and whenever you change your identity.

The install guide could be structured differently; for example it could first ask you to create the admin-openrc file, then use it to create initial domain, projects, users, and roles. Perhaps that would be easier to understand, and it would make you type a bit less, but the way it's done right now works well.