OpenStack docs and tooling in 20 minutes

I’ve gone through the routine several times now, so I decided to make it easy to replicate to help out some friends get started with all the tooling and setup needed to build, review, and contribute to OpenStack Documentation.

I’m a huge fan of CloudEnvy, so I’ve created a public github repository with the envy configuration and setup scripts to be able to set up a VM and completely build out all the existing documentation in roughly 20-25 minutes.

First, we install cloudenvy. It’s a python module, so it’s really easy to install with pip. My recommended installation process:

pip install -U cloudenvy

If you’re working on a mac laptop (like I do), you may need to use

sudo pip install -U cloudenvy

Once cloudenvy is installed, you need to set up the credentials to your handy-dandy local OpenStack cloud (y’all have one of those, don’t you?). For cloudenvy, you create a file in your home directory named .cloudenvy akin to this:

      os_username: username
      os_password: password
      os_tenant_name: tenant_name

Obviously, put in the proper values for your cloud.

Now you just need to clone the doctools envyfile setup, switch to that directory, and kick off Envy!

git clone
cd envyfile-openstack-docs
envy up

20-25 minutes later, you’ll have a virtual machine running with all the tooling installed, run-through, and the output generated for all the documentation in the openstack manuals repository. The envyfile puts all this into your virtual machine at


To get there, you can use the command envy ssh to connect to the machine and do what you need.

For more on the how-to with contributing to OpenStack documentation, check out the wiki page

Published by heckj

Developer, author, and life-long student. Writes online at

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