2.3. Pywbemcli special command line features

Pywbemcli includes several features in the command syntax that are worth presenting in detail to help the user understand the background, purpose and syntactic implementation of the features. This includes:

  • The ability to receive either CIM instances or classes or only their names with only a change of an option on the commands that request CIM instances or classes. The --names-only/--no command option defines whether only the name or the complete object will be displayed. See Displaying CIM instances/classes or their names

  • The ability to define complete INSTANCE name command arguments or interactively select the instance names from a list presented by pywbemcli for certain objects rather than typing in long names the full name. See Specifying the INSTANCENAME command argument.

  • The ability to filter classes and instances returned from a number of the enumerate commands filtered by characteristics of the classes. Thus, for example, it can for experimental classes, association classes, and deprecated classes. See Filtering responses for specific types of classes

  • The ability to view information on multiple namespaces in a single command. Many of the pywbemcli commands target a term:Namespace in the WBEM server for as the source of information (ex. enumerate, get, associators, references). Commands like create, delete, and modify are restricted to a single namespace which can be either the default namespace defined for the connection or a namespace defined with the --namespace command option. Commands like enumerate, get, associators, and references can be used to get CIM information from multiple namespaces in a single pywbemcli request using the --namespace command option. Thus, if single namespace is defined (--namespace root/blah) that becomes the namespace for the command. However with these particular commands, multiple namespaces can be specified (--namespace root/cimv2,root/cimv3 or --namespace root/cimv2 --namespace root/cimv3) and the CIM objects retrieved from all of the namespaces on this list and displayed. See Using multiple namespaces with server requests.

2.3.1. pywbemcli command relation to WBEM operations

The following table defines which pywbemcli commands are used for the corresponding WBEM operations.

WBEM CIM-XML Operation

pywbemcli command group & command

Instance Operations:


instance enumerate INSTANCENAME


instance enumerate INSTANCENAME –names-only


instance get INSTANCENAME


instance modify


instance create


instance delete INSTANCENAME


instance associators INSTANCENAME


class associators CLASSNAME


instance associators INSTANCENAME –names-only


class associators CLASSNAME –names-only


instance references INSTANCENAME


class references CLASSNAME


instance references INSTANCENAME –names-only


class references CLASSNAME –names-only


instance invokemethod INSTANCENAME –names-only


class invokemethod CLASSNAME –names-only


instance query

Pull Operations:

Option –use-pull either or yes


instance enumerate INSTANCENAME


instance enumerate INSTANCENAME –names-only


instance associators INSTANCENAME


instance associators INSTANCENAME –names-only


instance references INSTANCENAME


instance references INSTANCENAME –names-only


instance references INSTANCENAME –names-only


part of pull sequence


part of pull sequence


part of pull sequence


Not implemented

Class Operations:


class enumerate CLASSNAME


class enumerate –names-only


class get CLASSNAME


Not implemented


Not implemented


class delete CLASSNAME

QualifierDeclaration Ops:


qualifier enumerate


qualifier get QUALIFIERNAME


Not implemented


Not Implemented

2.3.2. Specifying CIM property and parameter values

The instance create command, instance modify command, class invokemethod command, and instance invokemethod command define the values of properties and parameters that are to be applied to CIM instances and methods to be sent to the WBEM server.

For a single property or parameter these are the --property/-p or --parameter/-p command options with name and value in the form:

--property <name>=<value>
--parameter <name>=<value>
-p <name>=<value>


  • <name> is the name of the of the property or parameter.

  • <value> is the value of the property or parameter. The values represent the value of CIM types (ex. Uint32, String, etc.) or arrays of these types.

value := scalarValue | or arrayValues
arrayValues := scalarValue [ "," scalarValue]
scalarValue := integerValue, realValue, charValue, stringValue,
               datetimeValue, booleanValue, nullValue, objectPath of
               ANNEX A :term:`DSP0004`

These values define the syntax of the values to build CIM properties and CIM parameters to be sent to the CIM Server. Since the WBEM server requires that each property/parameter be typed to be created, pywbemcli retrieves the target CIM class from the WBEM Server to determine the CIM type and arrayness required to define a CIMProperty.

The scalarValues limitations with respect to the definitions in DSP0004 include:

  • Only decimal integers are allowed (octal, hex, and binary are not supported).

  • Integers must be in the value range of the corresponding CIM type (ex. Uint32) defined in the class to which the property is being applied.

  • The format for objectPath is the WBEM URI as defined in Specifying the INSTANCENAME command argument

Quotes around the value are only required if the value includes whitespace. See backslash-escaped for information on use of backslashes in formating property and parameter argument values.

The following are examples of scalar property definitions:

-p p1=SomeText
-p p2=\"Text with space\"
-p pint=3
-p psint=-3

For array properties the values are defined separated by commas:

-p <property-name>=<value>(,<value>)

For example:

-p strarray=abc,def,ghjk
-p strarray2=\"ab c\",def

2.3.3. Displaying CIM instances/classes or their names

The pywbem API includes different WBEM operations (ex. EnumerateInstances, EnumerateInstanceNames, EnumerateClasses, and EnumerateClassNames) to request CIM objects or just their names. To simplify the overall command line syntax pywbemcli combines these into a single command (i.e. enumerate, references, associators) in the class command group and the instance command group and includes the --names-only/--no command option that determines whether the names or the CIM objects are retrieved from the WBEM server.

Thus, for example an instance enumerate command with and without the --names-only/--no option:

$ pywbemcli --mock-server tests/unit/simple_mock_model.mof instance enumerate CIM_Foo

instance of CIM_Foo {
   InstanceID = "CIM_Foo1";
   IntegerProp = 1;

instance of CIM_Foo {
   InstanceID = "CIM_Foo2";
   IntegerProp = 2;

instance of CIM_Foo {
   InstanceID = "CIM_Foo3";

$ pywbemcli --mock-server tests/unit/simple_mock_model.mof instance enumerate CIM_Foo --names-only


2.3.4. Specifying the INSTANCENAME command argument

The INSTANCENAME argument used by some pywbemcli commands (e.g instance get) specifies the instance path (aka instance name) of a CIM instance in a CIM namespace of a WBEM server.

The instance name (INSTANCENAME argument) can be specified in two ways:

  • By specifying a complete untyped WBEM URI as defined in section The INSTANCENAME command argument as a WBEM URI. The namespace of the instance is the namespace specified in the WBEM URI, or the namespace specified with the --namespace/-n command option, or the default namespace of the connection. Any host name in the WBEM URI will be ignored.

  • By specifying the WBEM URI with the wildcard “?” in place of the keys component of the WBEM URI, as defined in section Interactively selecting INSTANCENAME command argument (i.e. CLASSNAME.?). The namespace of the instance is the namespace specified with the --namespace/-n command option, or the default namespace of the connection. If there is only a single instance, that instance is selected automaticaly with without user request.

  • By specifying the WBEM URI without keybindings and using the --key/-k command option to specify the keybindings ad defined in section Defining INSTANCENAME command argument with –key option. The advantage of this technique is that it eliminates the use of the double quote surrounding the key values. The INSTANCENAME command argument as a WBEM URI

The format used by pywbemcli for specifying complete INSTANCENAME arguments on the command line is an untyped WBEM URI for instance paths as defined in DSP0207, this is the standard format. There is also a historical format for WBEM URIs that is described in the pywbem.CIMInstanceName.to_wbem_uri() method.

The INSTANCENAME argument can be specified using the standard format or the historical format.

Because pywbemcli always works with a single WBEM server at a time, the authority component of the WBEM URI does not need to be specified in an INSTANCENAME argument. Because the namespace type of the WBEM URI (e.g. “http” or “https”) is not relevant for identifying the CIM instance, the namespace type does not need to be specified in an INSTANCENAME argument.

With these simplifications and using the (simpler) historical format, the format for the INSTANCENAME argument can be described by the following ABNF:

INSTANCENAME = [ NAMESPACE ":" ] CLASSNAME [ "." keybindings ]

keybindings = keybinding *( "," keybinding )

keybinding = PROPERTYNAME "=" value

value = integerValue / charValue / stringValue / datetimeValue / booleanValue / referenceValue

referenceValue = "\"" escaped_INSTANCENAME "\""


  • NAMESPACE, CLASSNAME and PROPERTYNAME are namespace, class and key property name, respectively, as used elsewhere in pywbemcli.

    The namespace, if specified, must be the target namespace of the operation. The purpose of being able to specify a namespace in INSTANCENAME is not to override the target namespace, but to use returned instance names that may contain a namespace, unchanged.

  • integerValue, charValue, stringValue, datetimeValue and booleanValue are defined in ANNEX A of DSP0004.

    Note that stringValue and datetimeValue when used in INSTANCENAME have exactly one set of surrounding double quotes (i.e. they cannot be constructed via string concatenation).

    Note that charValue when used in INSTANCENAME has exactly one set of surrounding single quotes.

    Note that DSP0004 prevents the use of real32 or real64 typed properties as keys.

  • escaped_INSTANCENAME is a backslash-escaped INSTANCENAME where at least backslash and double quote characters are backslash-escaped

Examples for UNIX-like shells. See backslash-escaped for information on use of backslashes:

pywbemcli instance get root/cimv2:MY_Foo.ID=42
pywbemcli instance get MY_Foo.ID=42
pywbemcli instance get "MY_Foo.CharKey='x'"
pywbemcli instance get 'MY_Foo.InstanceID="foo1"'
pywbemcli instance get "MY_Foo.InstanceID=\"$value\""
pywbemcli instance get 'MY_CS.CreationClassName="MY_CS",Name="MyComp"'
pywbemcli instance get 'MY_LogEntry.Timestamp="20190901183853.762122+120"'

Examples for Windows command processor:

pywbemcli instance get root/cimv2:MY_Foo.ID=42
pywbemcli instance get MY_Foo.ID=42
pywbemcli instance get MY_Foo.CharKey='x'
pywbemcli instance get MY_Foo.InstanceID="foo1"
pywbemcli instance get MY_Foo.InstanceID="%value%"
pywbemcli instance get MY_CS.CreationClassName="MY_CS",Name="MyComp"
pywbemcli instance get MY_LogEntry.Timestamp="20190901183853.762122+120" Interactively selecting INSTANCENAME command argument

To simplify creating the INSTANCENAME argument on the command line, pywbemcli provides a wildcard character “?” that can be used in the INSTANCENAME argument in place of the keybindings component of the WBEM URI.

If an INSTANCENAME argument specifies the wildcard key, pywbemcli performs an interactive selection of the instance name by enumerating the instance names of the specified class, displaying the list of instance names along with index numbers, and prompting the user for the index number of the instance name to be used.

The ABNF for the INSTANCENAME argument with a wildcard key is:


wildcard = "?"


  • CLASSNAME is a class name as used elsewhere in pywbemcli.

Thus, in place of the full WBEM URI (ex. CIM_Foo.InstanceID="CIM_Foo1"), the user specifies CIM_Foo.? for the INSTANCENAME argument to trigger the interactive selection, as shown in the following example:

$ pywbemcli --mock-server tests/unit/simple_mock_model.mof instance get CIM_Foo.?
Pick Instance name to process
0: root/cimv2:CIM_Foo.InstanceID="CIM_Foo1"
1: root/cimv2:CIM_Foo.InstanceID="CIM_Foo2"
2: root/cimv2:CIM_Foo.InstanceID="CIM_Foo3"
Input integer between 0 and 2 or Ctrl-C to exit selection: 0  << user enters 0
instance of CIM_Foo {
   InstanceID = "CIM_Foo1";
   IntegerProp = 1;
}; Defining INSTANCENAME command argument with –key option

The INSTANCENAME may be specified by a combination of the namespace/classname as an argument with the --key/-k command option to define keybindings. Each --key/-k option definition defines a single keybinding in the form name=value. In general, the value component does not require the double quote that is required with the WBEM URI format unless there are space characters in a string value.


CIM_Foo --key InstanceId=inst1 Filtering responses for specific types of classes

Several of the commands include result filter options that filter returned information to include only those classes that have the defined filter option. Thus, pywbemcli class enumerate --association displays only classes that have the Association qualifier set. The filters are documented in the class filter options table below.

All of this filtering is done in pywbemcli so that it may require that significant information on the classes be requested from the server that would not be required without the filter. Thus, these commands may take more processing time.

Filter option name

Component filtered


Association qualifier(class) (see Note 1)


Indications qualifier(class)


Experimental qualifier(class)


Deprecated qualifier (any class element)

--since <CIM_Version_string>

Version qualifier GE <CIM_Version_string> (see Note 2)

--schema <schema_string>

Schema component of classname equality(see Note 3)

--subclasses <classname>

Subclasses of <classname>.


Classes with no subclass.

  1. The filters defined as --.../--no-... allow testing for the existence of the condition (association qualifier exists) or the non-existence(association qualifier does not exist on the class). When neither definition of the option is defined the association qualifier is ignored in the filtering. This applies to boolean qualifier declarations.

  2. The CIM version string value in the Version qualifier is defined as 3 integers separated by periods (ex. 2.14.0). All 3 integers must exist.

  3. The schema component is True if the schema component of classname (characters before “_” match <schema_string>). Ex –schema “CIM”

  4. The --leaf-classes filter can be important because the pywbem MOF compiler can compile all dependent classes given only the leaf classes.

If multiple filter options are applied, all of the boolean options must be true for the class to be displayed and only the classes that pass non-boolean filters (ex. --schema CIM) for the classes to be displayed.

Thus, for example:

  • the combination of --subclass-of CIM_blah and --leaf-classes will return all leaf classes that are a subclass of CIM_Blah.

  • --association and no-experimental will display only classes that have the Association qualifier set and the Experimental qualifier not set.

The following example displays classnames that are not associations (--no-association). The use of --deep-inheritance option returns the complete set of classes in the namespace rather than just direct subclasses (in this case the root classes).

$ pywbemcli --name mymock class enumerate --no --deep-inheritance --no-association

2.3.5. Using multiple namespaces with server requests

This feature was added in pywbemcli version 1.1.0.

Generally the CIM/XML commands defined by the DMTF execute operations on a single CIM namespace in the WBEM server. Thus, the command:

instance enumerate <classname> -n interop

is a request to the WBEM server to return instances of of <classname> from namespace interop.

However, pywbemcli expands this to allow some requests to be executed against multiple namespaces in a single request. This was done primarily to allow viewing CIM objects in the server across namespaces (ex. comparing classes between namespaces).

The commands enumerate, get, associators, and references for the command groups class and instance allow issuing requests on multiple namespaces in a single pywbemcli command. The qualifiers group enumerate command also handles multiple namespaces. Multiple namespace for a command is defined with the --namespace option by defining the set of namespaces to be included rather than just a single namespace. If the default-namespace is not defined is the connection default namespace.

The responses are displayed in the same form as with a single namespace except that the namespace is included for each type of display to allow the user to determine which data is in which namespace. With MOF, the namespace appears as a MOF namespace pragma (commented because not all WBEM server compilers honor the namespace pragma). With tables, a namespace column is included.

For example:

# pywbemcli instance enumerate CIM_Door --namespace root/cimv2, root/cimv3

# pywbemcli instance get CIM_Subscription.? --namespace root/cimv2 --namespace root/cimv3

returns the instances of CIM_Door from two namespaces.

A table output has the following form with table output

pywbemcli> -o table instance enumerate CIM_Foo -n root/cimv2,root/cimv3
Instances: CIM_Foo
| namespace   | InstanceID          | IntegerProp   |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo1"          | 1             |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo2"          | 2             |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo3"          |               |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo30"         |               |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo31"         |               |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo_sub1"      | 4             |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo_sub2"      | 5             |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo_sub3"      | 6             |
| root/cimv2  | "CIM_Foo_sub4"      | 7             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo1"          | 1             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo2"          | 2             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo3"          |               |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo3-third-ns" | 3             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo30"         |               |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo31"         |               |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo_sub1"      | 4             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo_sub2"      | 5             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo_sub3"      | 6             |
| root/cimv3  | "CIM_Foo_sub4"      | 7             |

The –namespace option can be defined either using multiple definitions of the option: --namespace root/cimv2 --namespace root/cimv3 or as a single options with the namespace names comma-separated: --namespace root/cimv2,root/cimv3.

The class find command and also process multiple namespaces in a single request but the default if the namespace is not provided is to use all of the namespaces defined in the server since the goal of these commands is to execute a wide search for the define class or instance entities.