OpenStack Client Tools: Mac Install Errors

Today’s adventure is on the Mac OSX Mavericks, we tried to install OpenStack client tools and had some failures. Read on to see how we work around it.

The problem? On a brand-new OSX Mavericks tried to follow the instructions from the standard Guide at

Presumably, this is very simple. Just use commands like:

sudo pip install python-novaclient

Running the pip command works fine…but when you run any of the clients, you get the following type of error:

isgmj2chg3qp:~ n75029$ nova
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/nova", line 7, in 
    from import main
  File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/novaclient/", line 18, in 
    __version__ = pbr.version.VersionInfo('python-novaclient').version_string()
  File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pbr/", line 78, in version_string
    for part in self.release_string().split('.'):
  File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pbr/", line 70, in release_string
    self.release = self._get_version_from_pkg_resources()
  File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pbr/", line 62, in _get_version_from_pkg_resources
    return packaging.get_version(self.package)
  File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pbr/", line 870, in get_version
    raise Exception("Versioning for this project requires either an sdist" 
Exception: Versioning for this project requires either an sdist tarball, or access to an upstream git repository. Are you sure that git is installed?

The Solution – Long-Term

This is a known bug – see The problem is strictly related to how the software is installed and interactions between the pbr (Python Build Reasonableness – see packages. It will be fixed either in the OpenStack Juno or Kilo releases.

The Workaround

The basic problem is that the Python pbr module is looking to read the package version information only from the PKG-INFO file, which is not present when you use the pip install pattern recommended by OpenStack. While pbr will be fixed to look for package version information from the METADATA file as well as the PKG-INFO file, short-term we need a solution.

The answer is easy but a bit time-consuming: install from source.

Before you start to think that this is not a good idea, keep in mind that “source” is simply Python code. Which is all that pip would do; we’re just doing the steps manually. Because we are installing from source, the PKG-INFO file is created and installed in the application folders like /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/novaclient and everything works.

To do the install:

  • Pull down the package you want. You can find them at the Python Package Index at Simply search for the OpenStack client package name like python-novaclient and you’ll find the page you want. It will come down as a .tar.gz file.
  • Be sure to start with the pbr package. First uninstall it if it is there:
    sudo pip uninstall pbr

    Then uncompress the downloaded package; I used:

    tar xzf pbr-0.10.0.tar.gz
    cd pbr-0.10.0
    sudo python ./ install

    That’s it. The pbr package is now installed.

  • Repeat the above pattern for each of the OpenStack client tools. For example:
    tar xzf python-novaclient-2.20.0.tar.gz
    cd python-novaclient-2.20.0
    sudo python ./ install
  • And now, when you run the client tools they will work OK:

    isgmj2chg3qp:openstack-client n75029$ nova --version

    Happy Computing!

Team-oriented systems mentor with deep knowledge of numerous software methodologies, technologies, languages, and operating systems. Excited about turning emerging technology into working production-ready systems. Focused on moving software teams to a higher level of world-class application development. Specialties:Software analysis and development...Product management through the entire lifecycle...Discrete product integration specialist!

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