Remove the API support for generating a keypair

As agreed on the last PTG, given RSA-SHA1 support is removed from recent OSes, we prefer to remove the possibility to generate a keypair directly by Nova and just be able to import a public key.

Problem description

During the Yoga release, we triaged an open bug report [1] which noted the fact that OpenSSH 8.8 removed support for RSA/SHA1 signatures [2]. As a result of this change in OpenSSH behavior, keypairs generated by Nova are incompatible with recent guest OSes like CentOS9. This leads to guests that are inaccessible via SSH using the created keypairs.

The consensus of the Nova community during the last PTG was to remove the generation of keypairs from the os-keypairs API.

Use Cases

As a user, I want to ssh to my instance without getting problems because I generated a keypair.

As an admin, I want a seamless experience for my users and I let them to generate their own keypairs depending on the images they want.

Proposed change

We’ll propose a new API microversion that will force the user to send a public key.

Accordingly, the JSON request schema of POST /os-keypairs will look like this :

create_v2XX = {
    'type': 'object',
    'properties': {
        'keypair': {
            'type': 'object',
            'properties': {
                'type': {
                    'type': 'string',
                    'enum': ['ssh', 'x509']
                'public_key': {'type': 'string'},
                'user_id': {'type': 'string'},
            'required': ['name', 'public_key'],
            'additionalProperties': False,
    'required': ['keypair'],
    'additionalProperties': False,

The JSON response will also change as we no longer generate private keys :

  • private_key will never be returned from that microversion

Given we’ll create a new microversion, we’ll also use it for allowing . (dot) and @ (at) characters for the keypair name as it was accepted on a previous spec for Xena [3].

This will mean that we will modify the _validate_new_key_pair() method to accept those parameters only if wanted (which also means we will move this method to the keypairs specific API module).


For API interoperability reasons, we would have had to also create a new API microversion if we wanted to support a new keypair type, eg. edcsa, which defeats the purpose of simplicity.

Data model impact


REST API impact

All the details are already described above. The response will only drop the meaningless private_key value as we continue to return a keypair with its signature. No policy changes are identified, as we only drop support for a capability.

Security impact

We’ll improve security, for sure, by not letting Nova to create keypairs that are disabled by OS policy due to the flaws of SHA-1 (even if ssh-rsa can verify keys with SHA-256 hash algorithm) [4].

Notifications impact


Other end user impact

novaclient and openstackclient new releases will remove support for generating a keypair if you opt-in for the recent server microversion.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact


Developer impact


Upgrade impact




Primary assignee:


Feature Liaison


Work Items

  • write the API change.

  • amend documentation and tests.

  • write novaclient, openstacksdk and openstackclient support for this.




Unittests for sure, but we’ll also need to modify Tempest to generate the keypair by itself and import it into Nova. Thanks to the FIPS support we already have, a conditional in Tempest already pre-generates a keypair and tampers the payload by adding the generated public key [5], so we should just make it default in our upstream jobs.

Documentation Impact

None, besides API documentation.




Release Name