Make os-instance-actions read deleted instances

Change the os-instance-actions API to read deleted instances so the owner can see the actions performed on their deleted instance.

Problem description

The os-instance-actions API currently does not read deleted instances [1].

Also, instance_actions are not soft deleted when an instance is deleted, so we can still read them out of the DB without needing the read_deleted=’yes’ flag.

The point of instance actions is auditing, and in the case of a post-mortem when an instance is deleted, instance_actions would be used for this, but because of the API limitation, you can’t get those out of the API using the deleted instance.

Use Cases

  1. Multiple users are in the same project/tenant.

  2. User A deletes a shared instance.

  3. User B wants to know what happened to it (or who deleted it).

User B should be able to lookup the instance actions on the instance since they are in the same project as user A.

Proposed change

Add a microversion change to the os-instance-actions API so that we mutate the context and set the read_deleted=’yes’ attribute when looking up the instance by uuid.


  • We can assume that operators are listening for nova notifications and storing those off for later lookup in the case that they need to determine who deleted an instance. This is not a great assumption since it relies on an external monitoring system being setup outside of nova, which is optional.

  • Operators can query the database directly to get the instance actions for a deleted instance, but then they have to know the nova data model. And only operators can do that, it doesn’t allow for tenant users to do this lookup themselves (so they’d have to open a support ticket to the operator to do the lookup for them).

Data model impact


REST API impact

Impacted API: os-instance-actions

Impacted methods: GET

The os-instance-actions API only has two GET requests:

  1. index: list the instance actions by instance uuid

  2. show: show details on an instance action by instance uuid and request id

    including, if authorized, the related instance action events.

The request and response values do not change in the API. The expected response codes do not change - there is still a 404 returned if the instance or instance action is not found.

The only change is that when looking up the instance, we set the read_deleted=’yes’ flag on the context. This will be done within a conditional block based on the microversion in the request.

Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact

We can bump the max support API version in python-novaclient automatically for this change since it’s self-contained in the server side API code, the client does not have to do anything except opt into the microversion.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact


Developer impact




Primary assignee:

Matt Riedemann <>

Other contributors:


Work Items

  • If the microversion in the request satisfies the minimum version required, temporarily mutate the context when reading the instance by uuid from the database. For example:

    with utils.temporary_mutation(context, read_deleted='yes'):
        instance = common.get_instance(self.compute_api, context, server_id)




  1. Unit tests will be updated.

  2. Functional tests (API sample tests) will be provided for the microversion change. The scenarios are basically:

    • Delete an instance and try to get it’s instance actions where the microversion requested does not meet the minimum requirement and assert that nothing is returned.

    • Delete an instance and try to get it’s instance actions where the microversion requested does meet the minimum requirement and assert that the related instance actions are returned.

Documentation Impact




Release Name