The following page documents the IBM VPC cloud integration in pycloudlib.


To operate on IBM VPC an IBM Cloud API key is required. This should be set in pycloudlib.toml or passed to pycloudlib.IBM at initialization time.

SSH Keys

IBM VPC requires an SSH key to be uploaded before using it. See the SSH Key page for more details.

Image Lookup

Note: IBM does not contain daily Ubuntu images.

To find latest released image ID for a release of Ubuntu:


The return image ID can then be used for launching instances.


Launching an instance requires at a minimum an image ID. Optionally, a user can specify an instance type or a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC):

inst_0 = ibm.launch('r010-7334d328-7a1f-47d4-8dda-013e857a1f2b')
inst_1 = ibm.launch('r010-7334d328-7a1f-47d4-8dda-013e857a1f2b', instance_type='bx2-metal-96x384', user_data=data)
vpc = ibm.get_or_create_vpc('custom_vpc')
inst_2 = ibm.launch('r010-7334d328-7a1f-47d4-8dda-013e857a1f2b', vpc=vpc)

If no VPC is specified the region’s default VPC, including security group is used. See the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) section below for more details on creating a custom VPC.

If further customization of an instance is required, a user can pass additional arguments to the launch command and have them passed on.

inst = ibm.launch(

By default, the launch method will wait for cloud-init to finish initializing before completing. When launching multiple instances a user may not wish to wait for each instance to come up by passing the wait=False option.

instances = []
for inst in range(num_instances):
    instances.append(ibm.launch('r010-7334d328-7a1f-47d4-8dda-013e857a1f2b', wait=False))

for instance in instances:

Similarly, when deleting an instance, the default action will wait for the instance to complete termination. Otherwise, the wait=False option can be used to start the termination of a number of instances:


for instance in instances:

for instance in instances:

An existing instance can get used by providing an instance-id.

instance = ibm.get_instance('i-025795d8e55b055da')


A snapshot of an instance is used to generate a new backing Custom Image. The generated image can in turn get used to launch new instances. This allows for customization of an image and then re-use of that image.

inst = ibm.launch('r010-7334d328-7a1f-47d4-8dda-013e857a1f2b')
inst.execute('touch /etc/foobar')
snapshot = ibm.snapshot(
inst_prime = ibm.launch(snapshot)

The snapshot function returns a string of the created Custom Image ID.

To delete the image when the snapshot is no longer required:


Unique Operations

The following are unique operations to the IBM cloud.

Virtual Private Clouds

A pre-existent VPC can be set in the config file or be passed as argument to the cloud.IBM constructor. If not set, pycloudlib will default to {region}-default-vpc.

ibm = IBM(vpc="my-custom-vpc", ...)

Another possibility is to create a custom VPC on the fly, then one can be created and then later used during instance creation.

vpc = ibm.get_or_create_vpc(name)
ibm.launch('r010-7334d328-7a1f-47d4-8dda-013e857a1f2b', vpc=vpc)

If the VPC is destroyed, all instances and subnets will be deleted as well.