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Version 16 (modified by leonwlaw, 7 years ago)

Quick pass of GENI->Clearinghouse. Left link/file references intact.

Seattle Clearinghouse XML-RPC Client Library

The Seattle Clearinghouse XML-RPC Client Library is a Python XMLRPC client for communicating with the Seattle Clearinghouse XML-RPC Interface.

You can download the the client from here: Seattle Clearinghouse Python XMLRPC Client. Look for the link to "original format" at the bottom of that page to download the file.


  1. Download the client code linked to above (it is a Python module).
  2. In your Python script, import seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.
  3. Create an instance (or multiple instances, if desired) of the class seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.SeattleClearinghouseClient.
    The following parameters can be passed to the constructor:
    • username: Your username. (Required)
    • private_key_string: Your private key. (Either this or the api_key is required)
    • api_key: Your api_key.
    • xmlrpc_url: The url where the Seattle Clearinghouse XMLRPC server is located. (Defaults is our main Seattle Clearinghouse testbed's xmlrpc url.)
    • allow_ssl_insecure: True/False, if set to True, allows SSL to operate in an INSECURE manner. Do not use allow_ssl_insecure=True in production code. (Default is False)
    • ca_certs_file: The location of a file containing your trusted CA certificates. (Default is a file named cacert.pem in the same directory that you place in.)
  4. Once a client object has been created, simply invoke the object's methods.

Using Secure SSL

In order to perform secure SSL communication with Seattle Clearinghouse:

  • You must have M2Crypto installed.
  • You must set the value of CA_CERTIFICATES_FILE to the location of a PEM file containing CA certificates that you trust. If you don't know where this is on your own system, you can download this file from a site you trust. One such place to download this file from is:

If you can't fulfill the above requirements, you can still use this client with XMLRPC servers that use https but you will be vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. To enable this insecure mode, include the argument allow_ssl_insecure=True when creating a SeattleClearinghouseClient instance.

SeattleClearinghouseClient Methods

Please note, these methods are not the same as the XML-RPC API calls. The clientlib methods are simply convenient wrappers for those calls. As such, most methods here have identical return values as the actual XMLRPC calls. Refer to the Seattle Clearinghouse XMLRPC API spec for more info about what these functions return.

Available methods on SeattleClearinghouseClient objects:

The acquire methods all return a list of acquired resources, following the Seattle Clearinghouse XMLRPC API spec.

  • acquire_lan_resources(num): Acquires num LAN vessels.
  • acquire_wan_resources(num): Acquires num WAN vessels.
  • acquire_nat_resources(num): Acquires num NAT vessels.
  • acquire_random_resources(num): Acquires num random vessels.
  • release_resources(handlelist): Release all vessels referenced by handles given in handlelist.
  • renew_resources(handlelist): Renew all vessels referenced by handles given in handlelist (that is, extend their expiration dates to 7 days from the current time).
  • get_resource_info(): Get a list of dictionaries describing all vessels currently acquired by the account. Each dictionary is of the form {'node_ip':node_ip, 'node_port':node_port, 'vessel_id':vessel_id, 'node_id':node_id, 'handle':handle, 'expires_in_seconds':seconds}
  • get_account_info(): Get account information. This is a dictionary containing the keys{'user_port', 'user_name', 'max_vessels', 'user_affiliation'}
  • get_public_key(): Get user's public key.


The following exceptions can be raised by SeattleClearinghouseClient methods:

  • SeattleClearinghouseError -- Base class for all exceptions raised by the SeattleClearinghouseClient.
  • CommunicationError -- Indicates that XMLRPC communication failed.
  • InternalError -- Indicates an unexpected error occurred, probably either a bug in this client or a bug in Seattle Clearinghouse.
  • AuthenticationError -- Indicates an authentication failure (invalid username and/or API key).
  • InvalidRequestError -- Indicates that the request is invalid.
  • NotEnoughCreditsError -- Indicates that the requested operation requires more vessel credits to be available then the account currently has.
  • UnableToAcquireResourcesError -- Indicates that the requested operation failed because Seattle Clearinghouse was unable to acquire the requested resources.

See the comments in the file for details on when each exception is raised.


Here is an example of how to use the Seattle Clearinghouse XML-RPC Client. This could be a python script which you run.

Example of using the seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc module's SeattleClearinghouseClient.

This script tries to acquire, renew, and release some vessels and prints out
various information along the way.

# This module must be in your python path (for example, in the same directory
# as the current script is in).
import seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc

USERNAME = "your_username"

# Only one of either the API key or the private key is needed. If providing
# your API key, be sure to pass the API key to the !SeattleClearinghouseClient
# constructor below.
#API_KEY = "your_api_key"
PRIVATE_KEY_STRING = open("your_username.privatekey").read()

# Allowing SSL to be insecure means it will be susceptible to MITM attacks.
# See the instructions in for using SSL securely.

def do_example_acquire_renew_release():
  client = seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.SeattleClearinghouseClient(username=USERNAME,

  # Obtain general information about the account corresponding to the username
  # and API key.
  account_info = client.get_account_info()
  print("Account info: " + str(account_info))

  # Obtain information on vessels already acquired by this account.
  # The value returned is a list of dictionaries where each dictionary
  # describes a vessel.
  already_acquired_vessels = client.get_resource_info()
  print("Vessels already acquired: " + str(already_acquired_vessels))

  print("Number of vessels this account has available to acquire: " +
        str(account_info['max_vessels'] - len(already_acquired_vessels)))

  # Attempt to acquire two vessels on WAN nodes.
    # This is a list of dictionaries just like the one above.
    newly_acquired_vessels = client.acquire_wan_resources(2)
  except seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.NotEnoughCreditsError, err:
    print("Couldn't acquire resources because we don't have enough vessel " +
          "credits: " + str(err))
  except seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.UnableToAcquireResourcesError, err:
    print("Couldn't acquire vessels because Seattle Clearinghouse doesn't have enough " +
          "of what we asked for: " + str(err))
  print("Acquired WAN vessel: " + str(newly_acquired_vessels))

  acquired_handle_list = []
  for infodict in newly_acquired_vessels:
  # Attempt to renew the two vessels we just acquired. 
  except seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.NotEnoughCreditsError, err:
    # This is probably not going to happen immediately after acquiring vessels.
    print("Couldn't renew vessels because we are over our vessel credit " +
          "limit: " + str(err))
  print("Renewed the vessel we just acquired.")
  print("Summary of all of our acquired vessels:")
  all_vessels_list = client.get_resource_info()
  for vesselinfo in all_vessels_list:
    print("Vessel " + str(vesselinfo["vessel_id"]) +
          " on nodemanager accessible at " + str(vesselinfo["node_ip"]) + ":" +
          str(vesselinfo["node_port"]) + " expires in " +
          str(vesselinfo["expires_in_seconds"]) + " seconds.")

  # Release the two vessels we just acquired.
  print("Released the vessel we just acquired.")

def main():
  except seattleclearinghouse_xmlrpc.Seattle ClearinghouseError:
    # In a real script, you'd want to handle this. Could be an authentication
    # error, communication error, etc. You can use the fine-grained exceptions
    # rather than the base exception of Seattle ClearinghouseError to do different
    # things based on what the actual problem was.

if __name__ == "__main__":