Debugging Swift Command line Client

The below assumes you have installed swift command client in a Linux environment. If you have other operating systems, the debugging process might be slightly different, however the general rules should still apply.

Swift command line client is very much like other Linux commands; error messages are sent to standard output, which is the monitor.

If you get an error, you can always read the error message and generally it will give you very good hints about what might be wrong.

For example, if you execute swift list on the command line without authentication, the error message might look like this:

Auth version 1.0 requires ST_AUTH, ST_USER, and ST_KEY environment variables to be set or overridden with -A, -U, or -K.

Auth version 2.0 requires OS_AUTH_URL, OS_USERNAME, OS_PASSWORD, and OS_TENANT_NAME OS_TENANT_ID to be set or overridden with --os-auth-url, --os-username, --os-password, --os-tenant-name or os-tenant-id. Note: adding "-V 2" is necessary for this.

The above message indicates you that there are 2 authentication versions that swift currently supports and each version requires some environment variables to be set. To set these environment variables you can either source the script file downloaded from NeCTAR Dashboard or you can override it by using command line options.

You can always execute man swift or simply swift to get more help information and to learn about supported options.

If you find a useful command, you can also execute swift command --help, this will give you more specific help for the command.

Debugging Client Python API

Debugging client Python API takes more effort as it depends on how familiar with Python programming and what development environment you use.

The below provides some basic information about how you debug the client Python API.

You can debug your python code using Python debugger called pdb and you can find more information here.

The following code uses pdb debugger to debug a python file contains client python API code.


Once you executed the above code, the command line will be stopped on the first line of code and you can use some commands to control the execution flow.

Some useful ones to use are:

Command Action
b set a breakpoint
c continue debugging until you hit a breakpoint
s step through the code
n to go to next line of code
l list source code for the current file
u navigate up a stack frame
d navigate down a stack frame
p to print the value of an expression in the current context

Debugging Via HTTP

Both command line API and python API are accessed via a web service client. Thus the requests are all made by using HTTP and you can always refer to OpenStack Service End for further references about what should be presented in the HTTP requests. The swift API uses requests library to send and receive HTTP requests/responses.

For command line client, you can add --debug option to print out HTTP request header and HTTP response header, which give you a lot of more insight information. To verify parameters in the request header, you can refer to OpenStack service API to see what are expected.

To enable debugging information on the standard out for Python API, you can add the below code:


import logging
logger = logging.getLogger("swiftclient")


The will print the same output as adding --debug option for command line API.

Debugging via Source Code

If the above techniques are still not helpful, you can always look at the source code to find the problems.

The following source file structure is based on the installation in Ubuntu.

The command line swift command is located in '/usr/bin/swift'. By looking at this file, you should get a idea of how the various options are interpreted. This file acts as an interface for Python API.

The Python API files are located under '/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/swiftclient' and the most important file to look at is ''. This is file does all the request preparation, sending request and receiving response. It is also used by the command line swift client.