Getting Started with Rackspace

Installing the SDK

You must install through Composer, because this library has a few dependencies:

composer require rackspace/php-opencloud

Once you have installed the library, you will need to load Composer’s autoloader (which registers all the required namespaces):

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

And you’re good to go!

Quick deep-dive: building some Nova instances

In this example, you will write code that will create a Cloud Servers instance running Ubuntu.

1. Setup the client and pass in your credentials

To authenticate against the Rackspace API and use its services:


require 'vendor/autoload.php';

use OpenCloud\Rackspace;

$client = new Rackspace(Rackspace::US_IDENTITY_ENDPOINT, array(
    'username' => 'foo',
    'apiKey'   => 'bar'

You can see in the first example that the constant Rackspace::US_IDENTITY_ENDPOINT is just a string representation of Rackspace’s identity endpoint ( Another difference is that Rackspace uses API key for authentication, whereas OpenStack uses a generic password.

2. Pick what service you want to use

In this case, we want to use the Compute (Nova) service:

$compute = $client->computeService(null, 'ORD');

The first argument is the name of the service as it appears in the OpenStack service catalog. If in doubt, you can leave blank and it will revert to the default name for the service. The second argument is the region; you may use:

  • DFW (Dallas)
  • ORD (Chicago)
  • IAD (Virginia)
  • LON (London)
  • HKG (Hong Kong)
  • SYD (Sydney)

The third and last argument is the type of URL; you may use either publicURL or internalURL. If you select internalUrl all API traffic will use ServiceNet (internal IPs) and will receive a performance boost.

3. Select your server image

Servers are based on “images”, which are effectively just the type of operating system you want. Let’s go through the list and find an Ubuntu one:

$images = $compute->imageList();

foreach ($images as $image) {
    if (strpos($image->name, 'Ubuntu') !== false) {
        $ubuntu = $image;

Alternatively, if you already know the image ID, you can do this much easier:

$ubuntu = $compute->image('868a0966-0553-42fe-b8b3-5cadc0e0b3c5');

4. Select your flavor

There are different server specs - some which offer 1GB RAM, others which offer a much higher spec. The ‘flavor’ of a server is its hardware configuration. So if you want a 2GB instance but don’t know the ID, you have to traverse the list:

$flavors = $compute->flavorList();

foreach ($flavors as $flavor) {
    if (strpos($flavor->name, '2GB') !== false) {
        $twoGbFlavor = $flavor;

Again, it’s much easier if you know the ID:

$twoGbFlavor = $compute->flavor('4');

5. Thunderbirds are go!

Okay, you’re ready to spin up a server:

use Guzzle\Http\Exception\BadResponseException;

$server = $compute->server();

try {
    $response = $server->create(array(
        'name'   => 'My lovely server',
        'image'  => $ubuntu,
        'flavor' => $twoGbFlavor
} catch (BadResponseException $e) {
    // No! Something failed. Let's find out:
    printf("Request: %s\n\nResponse: %s", $e->getRequest(), $e->getResponse());

You can also call a polling function that checks on the build process:

use OpenCloud\Compute\Constants\ServerState;

$callback = function($server) {
    if (!empty($server->error)) {
    } else {
        echo sprintf(
            "Waiting on %s/%-12s %4s%%",
            isset($server->progress) ? $server->progress : 0

$server->waitFor(ServerState::ACTIVE, 600, $callback);

So, the server will be polled until it is in an ACTIVE state, with a timeout of 600 seconds. When the poll happens, the callback function is executed - which in this case just logs some output.

Next steps

Read our docs for the Compute v2 service.