Grant McWilliams

Tech Virtualization Blog Cleaning up XCP's xe command with BASH

Cleaning up XCP's xe command with BASH

I've mentioned before that XCP/Xenserver's xe command is great for scripting but not always that great for interactive use. Because XCP relies so much on using UUID's for identification it's not very human friendly. Also the xe help is quite bad leading to our team that's working on writing documentation for xe. Even so xe makes a great scripting tool. 

To show the difference between xe's output and what I think it could be let me introduce my script available in the XCP Downloads Section of this website. The xe command has a tendency to show output on multiple lines which isn't very parsable and is sort of hard to read. I understand that it's easier to program though. I however, like as much info on one line as possible allowing me to send the output into awk/cut if I wish and also keeps formatting clean. 

Below is the output from xe template-list 


You can see the output doesn't wrap well and isn't that easy to read. My biggest irritation is trying to find the template for the OS I want to use. There are a lot of templates and I usually end up scrolling for quite some time to get the right one. My other choice is to pipe the output of xe template-list into grep -B1 to search for the name and print the line before the name-label which will show the UUID number. For instance xe template-list | grep -B1 'Red Hat'. As easy as that is I find myself scanning the output of xe template-list in order to know what to grep for which defeats the purpose of grepping. 

To solve this I wrote a small script called (list template). Below is the output. 


You can also pass a -v (verbose) flag to get the descriptions too. 



Tech Virtualization Blog Cleaning up XCP's xe command with BASH