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drpcli normally outputs JSON formatted objects or an array of objects. To help with some of the command line functions, we use the jq tool. This is available for both Linux and Darwin. You can specify output format to be YAML, with the --format=yaml flag.

In this doc we will assume that drpcli is already somewhere in the path and have setup the environment variables to access Digital Rebar Provision. See, rs_cli.

The drpcli tool is designed to provide a single, easy to use compiled stand-alone binary. It very closely mimics the API call parameters and usage, and allows for easy "transition" between the use of the CLI binary, and the use of the API calls.

We assume that you have the binary in your PATH somewhere (/usr/local/bin/drpcli in "production" mode by default). If you are using an "isolated" install mode, you will need to link the correct binary in to an appropriate directory in your PATH. For example:

ln -s $HOME/bin/linux/amd64/dr-provision $HOME/bin/
ln -s $HOME/bin/linux/amd64/drpcli $HOME/bin/

drpcli is a self documenting binary file. At any point you can simply hit <Enter> to see the current contextual help output. Some examples:

drpcli <Enter>
Prints usage for the top-level resources that may be manipulated.
drpcli templates <Enter>
Prints the resources that may be executed for the templates level.
drpcli templates create <Enter>
Will display the commands associated with just templates/create/

Note that the CLI syntax closely follows the API calls. For example:

drpcli templates create -< some_file.json

Would be equivalent to the HTTP REST API resource as follows:


See the rs_autocomplete for BASH shell auto completion.

Preference Setting

By default, Digital Rebar Provision (DRP) attempts to "do no harm". This means that by default, any system that receives a DHCP lease from the DRP Endpoint, will by default, be set to local mode, which means boot from local disks. You must explicitly change this behavior to enable provisioning activities of Machines.

It is necessary to get or set the preferences for the system, to enable OS Installs (BootEnvs).

# Show the current preference settings
drpcli prefs list

# Or get a specific one
drpcli prefs get unknownBootEnv

Set preference(s):

# Set a preference
drpcli prefs set unknownBootEnv discovery

# or chain multiples as pairs
drpcli prefs set unknownBootEnv discovery defaultBootEnv sledgehammer defaultStage discover

The system does validate values to make sure they are sane, so watch for errors.

BootEnv Operations

A bootenv is the primary component for an Operating System installation definition. A bootenv comprises two primary pieces:

  1. A bootenv JSON/YAML specification
  2. (usually) an ISO Image that installs that bootenv

The JSON/YAML specification will contain a set of definitions for the ISO image. The default distributed bootenv specs use the public mirror repos for the ISO images. You can create a customer bootenv with a pointer to your own hosted ISO images. An example looks something like:

root@demo:~$ drpcli bootenvs show ubuntu-16.04-install
"Available": true,
"Name": "ubuntu-16.04-install",
"OS": {
  "Family": "ubuntu",
  "IsoFile": "ubuntu-16.04.3-server-amd64.iso",
  "IsoSha256": "a06cd926f5855d4f21fb4bc9978a35312f815fbda0d0ef7fdc846861f4fc4600",
  "IsoUrl": "",
  "Name": "ubuntu-16.04",

This stanza shows the Ubuntu 16.04 bootenv along with the associated Mirror HTTP location the ISO will be installed from.

Installing a "Canned" BootEnv

Manipulating bootenv and template are handled by their own commands. There are some additional helpers especially when following the layout of the initial install.

To install a provided bootenv, do the following from the install location.

drpcli bootenvs uploadiso ubuntu-16.04-install

This is a CLI helper that is not in the API that will read the provided YAML bootenv file, upload the included or referenced template files (from the templates peer directory), upload the bootenv, and check for an existing ISO in the ISO repository. If an ISO is not present in the already uploaded list, it will check a local isos directory for the file. If that is not present and the bootenv contains a URL for the ISO, the ISO will attempt to be downloaded to the local isos directory and then uploaded into Digital Rebar Provision. Once upload, the ISO is "exploded" for access by machines in the file server file system space.

Listing Installed BootEnvs

A list of all existing bootenv installed on the DRP Endpoint can be obtained with the list command. However, you usually do not wish to see all the JSON values, and a simple jq filter can help output just the keys you are interested in, as follows:

drpcli bootenvs list | jq -r '.[].Name'


Cloning a BootEnv

Sometimes there is a bootenv but it is necessary to make changes. These can be handled by template inclusion, but for now let's just focus on basic "cut and paste" style editing.

drpcli bootenvs show ubuntu-16.04-install --format yaml > new-file.yaml
# Edit the file
# change the Name field to something new. *MUST DO THIS*
# change the OS->Name field to something new to avoid sharing an iso directory.
# Edit other parameters as needed
drpcli bootenvs create - < new-file.yaml

This is a shallow clone. It will reuse the templates unless they are explicitly modified. It is possible to use the * install command, but any new templates would need to be added to a templates* directory in the current directory.

Creating a BootEnv

It might be necessary to create an empty bootenv by doing the following:

drpcli bootenvs create emtpy_bootenv

This bootenv will not be Available, but will allow for additional editing.

Editing a BootEnv

It might be necessary to edit a bootenv. To do this, get the latest copy with the show command. Edit the file as needed. Then using the update command, put the value back. The --format=yaml is optional, but I find YAML easier to edit.

drpcli bootenvs show discovery --format=yaml > discovery.yaml
# Edit the discovery.yaml as needed
drpcli bootenvs update discovery - < discovery.yaml

Downloading ISOs by URL

While the uploadiso command for BootEnvs, Profiles, Stages, and Machines provides a mechanism to download ISOs to satisfy the ISO requirement of a BootEnv or its customization, it is sometimes helpful to pull the ISO and locally and distribute this. Often times wget or curl is used for this process. Some URLs require signatures by RackN to get access to the ISO. The CLI and UX handle this for you. If a signed URL is needed, the drpcli provides a sign URL feature to provide a limited time use URL for download purposes.

drpcli system signurl <url>

This will return if the URL needs to be signed or other errors on failure. If successful, a new URL with a signature will be provided that is valid for a limited about of time, usually an hour. The command requires access to DRP with a valid license.

Subnet Operations

Subnet definitions provide the necessary information for DHCP IP Address lease assignments, and allows Machines to be enrolled/discovered by a DRP Endpoint. For any Layer 2 subnet/network that you wish to install Machines from, you must also specify a Subnet definition for. In some environments, a Subnet definition may not be needed to allow Machines to be discovered.

Cloning a Subnet

It might be necessary to create a new subnet from an existing one. To do this, do the following:

drpcli subnets show eth0 | jq -r > new_subnet.json
# edit the new_subnet.json file with the new information
drpcli subnets create -< new_subnet.json

Creating a new Subnet

A new subnet can be created from a JSON specification. It is necessary to use all the following JSON keys to successfully create a new Subnet that can be immediately used to manage machines -- the rest of the keys will be autofilled with reasonable defaults.

echo '
  "Name": "local_subnet",
  "Subnet": "",
  "ActiveStart": "",
  "ActiveEnd": "",
  "ActiveLeaseTime": 60,
  "Enabled": true,
  "ReservedLeaseTime": 7200,
  "Strategy": "MAC",
  "Options": [
    { "Code": 3, "Value": "", "Description": "Default Gateway" },
    { "Code": 6, "Value": "", "Description": "DNS Servers" },
    { "Code": 15, "Value": "", "Description": "Domain Name" }
} ' > /tmp/local_subnet.json

drpcli subnets create -< /tmp/local_subnet.json

Note that the "Description" is purely cosmetic and not used - however, it can be safely specified as it'll be ignored ( it's added here for the readers reference). You must provide the minimum DHCP Options as specified above. You can find a complete set of DHCP Options at:


For complete documentation and information you can find the DHCP Options officially documented in RFC2132

Updating a Subnet

From time to time, you may need to modify an existing Subnet definition. Depending on your changes, you have a couple of options.

Set the NTP Server pool via DHCP Option 42 for subnet "local_subnet"
drpcli subnets set local_subnet option 42 to ""
Set the DHCP IP assignment from the following pick list for subnet "local_subnet". See pickers for a detailed description of the available Picker types
drpcli subnets pickers local_subnet hint,nextFree,mostExpired
Set the nextserver for PXE operation for subnet "local_subnet"
drpcli subnets nextserver local_subnet
Set the subnet DHCP range of IP addresses for subnet "local_subnet"
drpcli subnets range local_subnet
Set Active lease to 60 mins, and reserved lease to 7200 mins for subnet "local_subnet"
drpcli subnets leasetimes local_subnet 60 7200
Update a subnet to set it to disabled (do not discover, and do not provision on this subnet, for subnet "local_subnet"
drpcli subnets update local_subnet '{ "Enabled": false }'
Update a subnet with the contents of the specified JSON file, for subnet "local_subnet"
drpcli subnets update local_subnet -< update-local_subnet.json

Deleting a Subnet

To remove a Subnet and subsequently cease PXE provisioning operations for that Subnet, perform the following:

drpcli subnets destroy local_subnet

List and Show Subnets

Viewing configuration for all subnets can be done with the list command as follows:

drpcli subnets list

To show an individual subnet, you will need the subnet name. To show just the subnet names, you can use jq to filter the output, as follows:

drpcli subnets list | jq '.[].Name'

Once you have determined which subnet you'd like to show specific information for, you can do so with the following command:

# show the YAML formatted output for 'local_subnet' subnet
drpcli subnets show local_subnet --format=yaml

Template Operations

Templates are reusable blocks of code, that are dynamically expanded when used. This allows for very sophisticated and complex operations. It also allows for carefully crafted Templates to be re-usable across a broad set of use cases.

Cloning a Template

It might be necessary to create a new template from an existing one. To do this, do the following:

drpcli templates show net_seed.tmpl | jq -r .Contents > new.tmpl
# Edit the new.tmpl to be what is required
drpcli templates upload new.tmpl as new_template

In this case, we are using jq to help us out. jq is a JSON processing command line filter. JSON can be used to retrieve the required data. In this case, we are wanting the Contents of the template. We save that to file, edit it, and upload it as a new template, new_template.

It is possible to use the create subcommand of template, but often times upload is easier.


Remember to add the new template to a bootenv or another template as an embedded template.

Updating a Template

It might be necessary to edit an existing template. To do this, do the following:

drpcli templates show net_seed.tmpl | jq -r .Contents > edit.tmpl
# Edit the edit.tmpl to be what is desired
drpcli templates upload edit.tmpl as net_seed.tmpl

We use jq to get a copy of the current template, edit it, and use the upload command to replace the template. If there already is a template present, then it can be replaced with the upload command.

Param Operations

Parameters are simply key/value pairs. However, DRP provides a strong typing model to enforce a specific type to a given Param. This ensures that Param values are valid elements as designed by the operator.

Creating a Param

It might be necessary to create a new parameter, an empty Param may be created by doing the following:

drpcli params create '{ "Name": "fluffy" }'


drpcli params create fluffy

The system will attempt to use any sent string as the Name of the Param. To be complete, it is required to also speciy the Type that param must be:

drpcli params create '{ "Description": "DNS domainname", "Name": "domainname", "Schema": { "type": "string" } }'

In this example, the type string was defined for the param.

Deleting a Param

It might be necessary to delete a parameter.

drpcli params destroy fluffy


The destroy operation will fail if the param is in use.

Editing a Param

It might be necessary to update a Param. An example to add a type of string to our fluffy param above would be:

drpcli params update fluffy '{ "Schema": { "type": "string" } }'

Profile Operations

profiles are simply collections of parameter - they conveniently group multiple parameter for easy consumption by other elements of the provisioning service.

Creating a Profile

It might be necessary to create a profile. An empty profile can be created by doing the following:

drpcli profiles create '{ "Name": "myprofile" }'


drpcli profiles create myprofile

The system will attempt to use any sent string as the Name of the profile.

Additionally, JSON can be provided to fill in some default values.

drpcli profiles create '{ "Name": "myprofile", "Params": { "string_param1": "string", "map_parm1": { "key1": "value", "key2": "value2" } } }'

Alternatively, you can create profiles from an existing file containing JSON, as follows:

echo '{ "Name": "myprofile", "Params": { "string_param1": "string", "map_parm1": { "key1": "value", "key2": "value2" } } }' > my_profile.json
drpcli profiles create -< my_profile.json

Deleting a Profile

It might be necessary to delete a profile. It is possible to use the destroy command in the profile CLI, but the profile must not be in use. Use the following:

drpcli profiles destroy myprofile

Altering an Existing Profile (including the global profile)

It might be necessary to update an existing profile, including global. parameter values can be set by doing the following:

drpcli profiles set myprofile param crazycat to true
# These last two will show the value or the whole profile.
drpcli profiles get myprofile param crazycat
drpcli profiles show myprofile


Setting a parameter's value to null will clear it from the structure.

Alternatively, the update command can be used to send raw JSON similar to create.

drpcli profiles update myprofile '{ "Params": { "string_param1": "string", "map_parm1": { "key1": "value", "key2": "value2" }, "crazycat": null } }'

Update is an additive operation by default. So, to remove items, null must be passed as the value of the key to be removed.

Machine Operations

A machine is typically a physical bare metal server, as DRP is intended to operate on bare metal infrastructure. However, it can represent a Virtual Machine instance and provision it equally. DRP does not provide control plane activities for virtualized environments (eg VM Create, etc. operations).

Creating a Machine

It might be necessary to create a machine. Given the IP that the machine will boot as all that is required is to create the machine and assign a bootenv. To do this, do the following:

drpcli machine create '{ "Name": "", "Address": "" }'

This would create the machine named with an expected IP Address of dr-provision will create the machine, create a UUID for the node, and assign the bootenv based upon the * defaultBootEnv* preference.

drpcli machine create '{ "Name": "", "Address": "", "BootEnv": "ubuntu-16.04-install" }'

This would do the same thing as above, but would create the machine with the * ubuntu-16.04-install* bootenv.


The bootenv MUST exist or the create will fail.

To create an empty machine, do the following:

drpcli machine create

This will create an empty machine named


The defaultBootEnv bootenv MUST exist or the create will fail.

Adding or Removing a Profile to a Machine

It might be necessary to add or remove a profile to or from a machine. To add a profile, do the following:

drpcli machines addprofile "dff3a693-76a7-49ce-baaa-773cbb6d5092" myprofile

To remove a profile, do the following:

drpcli machines removeprofile "dff3a693-76a7-49ce-baaa-773cbb6d5092" myprofile

The machine update command can also be used to modify the list of profile.

Changing BootEnv on a Machine

It might be necessary to change the bootenv associated with a machine. To do this, do the following:

drpcli machines bootenv drpcli "dff3a693-76a7-49ce-baaa-773cbb6d5092" mybootenv


The bootenv MUST exists or the command will fail.

Rename a Machine

By default, machines are given names based on the machines primary network MAC address. Most infrastructure environments need to rename machines to fall in line with a naming scheme in use with the company. To do that safely, we will use the existing Machine object information as a baseline to apply a Patch operation to the JSON. This is a two-step process that is completed in the following example:

  1. First lets define the Machine (UUID) that we're going to operate on, and lets get the current name of the machine for reference (fred in this case).
# get our machine to operate on
        export UUID="f6ca7bb6-d74f-4bc1-8544-f3df500fb15e"

        # our reference starting point for 'Name'
        drpcli machines show $UUID | jq '.Name'
  1. We now need to obtain the Machine object JSON tha we are going to apply the patch against.
 # get current machine object that we want to reference the change against
        drpcli machines show $UUID  > /tmp/machine.json
  1. Now that we have our reference Machine object, we'll use the update option to the machines manipulation.
 # set the name using the reference JSON object
        drpcli machines update $UUID '{ "Name": "wilma" }' --ref /tmp/machine.json

        # outputs
          "Address": "",
          "Name": "wilma",

Here is a single command example (using our $UUID variable above) that does not require temporary files.

drpcli machines update $UUID '{ "Name": "barney" }' --ref "$(drpcli machines show $UUID)"

You can update "unsafely", but if multiple updates occur, you can't guarantee that you're changing what you expected to (e.g. someone/thing else beat you to the punch). It is almost always a better pattern to ensure you make a Machine name change with the use of the --ref Machine Object.

 # this is a BAD way to do it - as it does not guarantee atomicity
        drpcli machines update $UUID '{ "Name": "betty" }'

        # outputs
          "Address": "",
          "Name": "betty",

DHCP Operations

Creating a Reservation

It might be necessary to create a reservation. This would be to make sure that a specific MAC Address received a specific IP Address. Here is an example command.

drpcli reservations create '{ "Addr": "", "Token": "08:00:27:33:77:de", "Strategy": "MAC" }'

Additionally, it is possible to add DHCP options or the Next Boot server.

drpcli reservations create '{ "Addr": "", "Token": "08:01:27:33:77:de", "Strategy": "MAC", "NextServer": "", "Options": [ { "Code": 44, "Value": "" } ] }'

Remember to add an option 1 (netmask) if a subnet is not being used to fill the default options.

Advanced Workflow

Placeholder for Advanced Workflow overview.


Placeholder for Stages information.

Stage Maps

Placeholder for Stage Map information.


Placeholder for Tasks information.


Placeholder for Jobs information.

User Operations

Creating a User

It might be necessary to create a user. By default, the user will be created without a valid password. The user will only be able to access the system through granted tokens.

To create a user, do the following:

drpcli users create fred


This user will NOT be able to access the system without additional admin action.

Granting a User Token

Sometimes as an administrator, it may be necessary to grant a limited use and scope access token to a user. To grant a token, do the following:

drpcli users token fred

This will create a token that is valid for 1 hour and can do anything. Additionally, the CLI can take additional parameters that alter the token's scope (model), actions, and key.

drpcli users token fred ttl 600 scope users action password specific fred

This will create a token that is valid for 10 minutes and can only execute the password API call on the user object named fred.

To use the token in with the CLI, use the -T option.

drpcli -T <token> bootenvs list

Deleting a User

It might be necessary to remove a reset from the system. To remove a user, do the following:

drpcli users destroy fred

Revoking a User's Password

To clear the password from a user, do the following:

drpcli users update fred '{ "PasswordHash": "12" }'

This basically creates an invalid hash which matches no passwords. Issued tokens will still continue to function until their times expire.

Secure User Creation Pattern

A secure pattern would be the following:

  • Admin creates a new account
drpcli users create fred
  • Admin creates a token for that account that only can set the password and sends that token to new user.
drpcli users token fred scope users action password ttl 3600
  • New user uses token to set their password
drpcli -T <token> users password fred mypassword

Creating Support Bundles

If you are having issues with Digital Rebar the RackN engineering team may request a support bundle from you to assist them with troubleshooting your issue. drpcli can be used to create the bundles.


Support bundles are a new feature in drpcli 4.5

  • DRP will not start or crashes
drpcli support bundle


This command must be run from the DRP endpoint.

  • Machine having problems with a workflow or task
drpcli support machine-bundle [id]

How to update drpcli to obtain the support commands: rs_kb_00049