Cloud Shell is pre-installed in the OpenAPI Explorer. Cloud Shell is an online CLI tool built on Alibaba Cloud CLI. No need to install and configure AccessKey.

The Alibaba Cloud product APIs are divided into two types, RPC API and RESTful API. Most products use RPC style. The method of calling an API differs from different API types.

You can determine the API type by the following characteristics:

  • If an API requires the Action parameter, then the API is the RPC type. If an API requires thePathPattern API, then the API is the RESTful type.
  • In general, all APIs in a product are of the same type.
  • Each API only supports one calling method. An error ApiNotFound is returned if a wrong method is used.

Start Cloud Shell

To use Cloud Shell in OpenAPI explorer, follow these steps:
  1. Open a web browser, enter to access OpenAPI Explorer.
  2. On the top menu, click Online Linux Shell.
  3. Log on to Cloud Shell with your Alibaba Cloud account.

Call RPC APIs in Cloud Shell

Use the following command to call an RPC API:
aliyun <ProductCode> <ActionName> [--parameter1 value1 --paramter2 value2]


  • ProductCode: The code of the product to call. For example, the product code of ECS is ecs and the product code of SLB isslb. Run the aliyun --help command to obtain product codes.

  • ActionName: The API to call. For example, call the DescribeInstanceAttribute API to view the detailed information of an ECS instance.

  • parameter: The parameters of the API. For more information about each parameter, see the API documentation of each product.


Run the following command to view the detailed information of an ECS instance.
Note Change the ID of the ECS instance that you want to view before run the command.
aliyun ecs DescribeInstanceAttribute --InstanceId i-bp198exxxxxx | jq 

Call RESTful APIs in the Cloud Shell

Some Alibaba Cloud products, such as Container Service, provide RESTful APIs. The calling method of RESTful APIs is different from that of RPC APIs. The request structure is as follows when calling RESTful APIs in the Cloud Shell:
  • GET method
    aliyun <ProductCode> GET /<Resource>
    aliyun cs GET /clusters
  • POST method
    aliyun <ProductCode> POST /<Resource> --body "$(cat input.json)"
    aliyun cs POST /clusters//attach --header "Content-Type=application/json" --body "$(cat attach.json)"
  • DELETE method
    aliyun <ProductCode> DELETE /<Resource>
    aliyun cs DELETE /clusters/<cluster-id>