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The infrastructure middleman.

Project description

PythonPackage ContainerImage CodeQL


The infrastrucure middleman


Broker is a tool designed to provide a common interface between one or many services that provision virtual machines or containers. It is an abstraction layer that allows you to ignore most of the implementation details and just get what you need.


Broker's docs can be found at the wiki for this repo:


Install cmake with dnf install cmake

Install Broker either by cloning locally with pip install . or with pip install broker for the latest version from PyPI.

Copy the example settings file to broker_settings.yaml and edit it.

(optional) If you are using the Container provider, install the extra dependency based on your container runtime of choice with either pip install broker[podman] or pip install broker[docker].

(optional) If you are using the Beaker provider, install the extra dependency with dnf install krb5-devel and then pip install broker[beaker].

To run Broker outside of its base directory, specify the directory with the BROKER_DIRECTORY environment variable.

Configure the broker_settings.yaml file to set configuration values for broker's interaction with its providers.

Basic CLI Usage

Checking out a VM or container To checkout a single VM with arbitrary arguments:

broker checkout --workflow test-workflow --workflow-arg1 something --workflow-arg2 else

To checkout multiple VMs at once:

broker checkout --workflow test-workflow --count 3

To pass complex data structures:

broker checkout --container-host my-image --args-file tests/data/broker_args.json --extra tests/data/args_file.yaml


Broker allows you to define configurable nicknames for checking out vms. Just add yours to setting.yaml and call with the --nick option

broker checkout --nick rhel7

Listing your VMs and containers

Broker maintains a local inventory of the VMs and containers you've checked out. You can see these with the inventory command.

broker inventory

To sync your inventory from a supported provider, use the --sync option.

broker inventory --sync AnsibleTower

To sync an inventory for a specific instance, use the following syntax with --sync.

broker inventory --sync Container::<instance name>

Extending your VM lease time

Providers supporting extending a VM's lease time make that functionality available through the extend subcommand.

broker extend 0
broker extend hostname
broker extend vmname
broker extend --all

Checking in VMs and containers

You can also return a VM to its provider with the checkin command. Containers checked in this way will be fully deleted regardless of its status. You may use either the local id (broker inventory), the hostname, or "all" to checkin everything.

broker checkin
broker checkin 0
broker checkin 1 3
broker checkin --all

Gaining information about Broker's providers

Broker's providers command allows you to gather information about what providers are avaiable as well as each providers actions. Additionally, you can find out information about different arguments for a provider's action with this command.

broker providers --help
broker providers AnsibleTower --help
broker providers AnsibleTower --workflows
broker providers AnsibleTower --workflow test-workflow

Run arbitrary actions

If a provider action doesn't result in a host creation/removal, Broker allows you to execute that action as well. There are a few output options available as well. When executing with the Container provider, a new container will be spun up with your command (if specified), ran, and cleaned up.

broker execute --help
broker execute --workflow my-awesome-workflow --additional-arg True
broker execute -o raw --workflow my-awesome-workflow --additional-arg True --artifacts last

Machine processable output

If running in a CI or other automated environment, Broker offers the choice to store important output information in an output file. This is json-formatted data. Please be aware that any existing file with the matching path and name will be erased.

broker --output-file output.json checkout --nick rhel7
broker --output-file inventory.json inventory

Run Broker in the background

Certain Broker actions can be run in the background, these currently are: checkout, checkin, duplicate, and execute. When running a command in this mode, it will spin up a new Broker process and no longer log to stderr. To check progress, you can still follow broker's log file. Note that background mode will interfere with output options for execute since it won't be able to print to stdout. Those should kept in log mode.

broker checkout --background --nick rhel7
broker checkin -b --all
broker execute -b --workflow my-awesome-workflow --artifacts

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