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How to retrieve RSA private key when creating keypair using Compute API?

asked 2015-02-10 15:12:14 -0500

zxcviii gravatar image

updated 2015-02-10 15:13:07 -0500

I'm currently writing a simple UI for doing a limited set of actions in Openstack and I've become stuck on allowing the user of the interface to make a call to create a keypair, and then get a .pem file in return with their private key.

As far as I'm aware the POST/v2/​{tenant_id}​/os-keypairs only returns a response with the public key, fingerprint,name and user id. I'm a novice with this type of security so I may be missing something straightforward, but any advice on how to handle keypair creation in this way would be appreciated!

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answered 2015-02-10 19:29:45 -0500

larsks gravatar image

When you have questions about the Nova API, one of the best things you can do is run the nova command line client with the --debug flag, which will show you exactly what requests are being made. For example, if you run:

nova --debug keypair-create testkey

You see that it makes a POST to the /v2/<tenant_id>/os-keypairs endpoint:

curl -i '' -X POST [...]
  -d '{"keypair": {"name": "testkey"}}'

And that it gets back a JSON response containing both a public_key and private_key keys:

  "keypair": {
    "fingerprint": "20:41:b0:e1:0d:df:3e:00:b3:c0:8d:37:a8:a2:dd:f0",
    "name": "testkey",
    "user_id": "564bafe6f37f4d88bd028c12d47d6dde",
    "private_key": "-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----...",
    "public_key": "ssh-rsa ...",

And this is hopefully exactly what you need.

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Fantastic, thank you so much. It didn't occur to me to try the actual POST as opposed to relying on documentation to be accurate. Highly appreciate your advice.

zxcviii gravatar imagezxcviii ( 2015-02-10 20:10:58 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-02-10 15:12:14 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 10 '15