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ISalt: Interactive Salt Programming

Project description

ISalt is an IPython style console to facilitate the debugging or even development of Salt code.

Salt code typically makes use of a number of dunder (i.e., _d_ouble _under_score) variables such as __salt__, __opts__, __grains__, __proxy__, or __pillar__, etc., which give you quick access to various resources and features. They also have a different meaning depending on the context - for example, __opts__ on the Minion side is a different object than __opts__ on the Master side; __salt__ on the Minion side gives you access to the list of Execution Modules, while __salt__ on the Master side provides the Runners, and so on.

The main difficulty when working with these variables is that they only make sense when actually running Salt and having a Master and eventually one or more Minions running. It often happens that you don’t necessarily want to have these services running when writing a new function (that use these dunders), or just want to quickly debug something without pushing code to production.

With ISalt, you can easily get access to these variables, by simply executing isalt, e.g.,

$ isalt
>>> __salt__['']()
>>> __grains__['osfinger']

In other words, ISalt is an enhanced IPython console which gives you access to the Salt global variables typically used in Salt code.


ISalt is distributed via PyPI, and you can install it by executing:

$ pip install isalt


No specific version for either of these packages, so it doesn’t mess up with your environment. It should normally work well with any version.


One of the most important details to keep in mind is the difference between running the code on the Minion side, versus Master side (where we can further distinguish between code to be executed as a Runner, vs. Execution Module for an arbitrary Minion – for the former you may need to provide the Minion ID using the --minion-id CLI argument).

Typically, when you install ISalt where you have a Salt Minion running, it should be sufficient to execute just $ isalt.

When you want to use ISalt on the Master side, but to test Execution Modules, you can run $ isalt --on-master.

When you’re looking into evaluating Runner code, you can only do this one the Master side, therefore, you’d need to start the console as $ isalt --master.

You can check the complete list of CLI optional arguments by

$ isalt -h
usage: isalt [-h] [--saltenv SALTENV] [--pillarenv PILLARENV] [-c CFG_FILE]
             [-e CFG_FILE_ENV_VAR] [--minion-cfg MINION_CFG_FILE]
             [--master-cfg MASTER_CFG_FILE] [--minion] [--master]
             [--minion-id MINION_ID] [--on-minion] [--on-master]

ISalt console

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --saltenv SALTENV     Salt environment name.
  --pillarenv PILLARENV
                        The Salt environment name to compile the Pillar from.
  -c CFG_FILE, --cfg-file CFG_FILE
                        The absolute path to the ISalt config file.
                        The name of the environment variable pointing to the
                        ISalt config file.
  --minion-cfg MINION_CFG_FILE
                        The absolute path to the Minion config file.
  --master-cfg MASTER_CFG_FILE
                        The absolute path to the Master config file.
  --minion              Prepare the Salt dunders for the Minion side.
  --master              Prepare the Salt dunders for the Master side.
  --minion-id MINION_ID
                        The Minion ID to compile the Salt dunders for. This
                        argument is optional, however it may fail when ISalt
                        is not able to determine the Minion ID, or take it
                        from the environment variable, etc.
  --on-minion           Whether should compile the dunders for the Minion
                        side, starting the ISalt console on the Minion
                        machine. The main difference is that the Pillar and
                        Grains are compiled locally, while when using --on-
                        master, it's using the local cached data.
  --on-master           Whether should compile the dunders for the Minion
                        side, starting the ISalt console on the Master
                        machine. This option is ignored when used in
                        conjunction with --master.

Project details

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