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Execute remote commands or processes.

Project description


A very simplistic remote-command-executor using connections to hosts (ssh, local, containers, and several others are supported) and Python in the remote end.

All the heavy lifting is done by execnet, while this minimal API provides the bare minimum to handle easy logging and connections from the remote end.

remoto is a bit opinionated as it was conceived to replace helpers and remote utilities for ceph-deploy, a tool to run remote commands to configure and setup the distributed file system Ceph. ceph-medic uses remoto as well to inspect Ceph clusters.

Example Usage

The usage aims to be extremely straightforward, with a very minimal set of helpers and utilities for remote processes and logging output.

The most basic example will use the run helper to execute a command on the remote end. It does require a logging object, which needs to be one that, at the very least, has both error and debug. Those are called for stderr and stdout respectively.

This is how it would look with a basic logger passed in:

>>> conn = remoto.Connection('hostname')
>>> run(conn, ['ls', '-a'])
INFO:hostname:Running command: ls -a

The run helper will display the stderr and stdout as ERROR and DEBUG respectively.

For other types of usage (like checking exit status codes, or raising upon them) remoto does provide them too.

Remote Commands

Calling remote commands can be done in a few different ways. The most simple one is with

>>> from remoto.process import run
>>> from remoto import connection
>>> Connection = connection.get('ssh')
>>> conn = Connection('myhost')
>>> run(conn, ['whoami'])
INFO:myhost:Running command: whoami

Note however, that you are not capturing results or information from the remote end. The intention here is only to be able to run a command and log its output. It is a fire and forget call.


This callable, allows the caller to deal with the stderr, stdout and exit code. It returns it in a 3 item tuple:

>>> from remoto.process import check
>>> check(conn, ['ls', '/nonexistent/path'])
([], ['ls: cannot access /nonexistent/path: No such file or directory'], 2)

Note that the stdout and stderr items are returned as lists with the \n characters removed.

This is useful if you need to process the information back locally, as opposed to just firing and forgetting (while logging, like

Remote Functions

There are two supported ways to execute functions on the remote side. The library that remoto uses to connect (execnet) only supports a few backends natively, and remoto has extended this ability for other backend connections like kubernetes.

The remote function capabilities are provided by LegacyModuleExecute and JsonModuleExecute. By default, both ssh and local connection will use the legacy execution class, and everything else will use the legacy class. The ssh and local connections can still be forced to use the new module execution by setting:

conn.remote_import_system = 'json'


The default module for docker, kubernetes, podman, and openshift. It does not require any magic on the module to be executed, however it is worth noting that the library will add the following bit of magic when sending the module to the remote end for execution:

if __name__ == '__main__':
    import json, traceback
    obj = {'return': None, 'exception': None}
        obj['return'] = function_name(*a)
    except Exception:
        obj['exception'] = traceback.format_exc()
    except AttributeError:

This allows the system to execute function_name (replaced by the real function to be executed with its arguments), grab any results, serialize them with json and send them back for local processing.

If you had a function in a module named foo that looks like this:

import os

def listdir(path):
    return os.listdir(path)

To be able to execute that listdir function remotely you would need to pass the module to the connection object and then call that function:

>>> import foo
>>> conn = Connection('hostname')
>>> remote_foo = conn.import_module(foo)
>>> remote_foo.listdir('.')

Note that functions to be executed remotely cannot accept objects as arguments, just normal Python data structures, like tuples, lists and dictionaries. Also safe to use are ints and strings.


When using the legacy execution model (the default for local and ssh connections), modules are required to add the following to the end of that module:

if __name__ == '__channelexec__':
    for item in channel:

This piece of code is fully compatible with the json execution model, and would not cause conflicts.

Automatic detection for ssh connections

There is automatic detection for the need to connect remotely (via SSH) or not that it is infered by the hostname of the current host (vs. the host that is connecting to).

If the local host has the same as the remote hostname, a local connection (via Popen) will be opened and that will be used instead of ssh, and avoiding the issues of being able to ssh into the same host.

Automatic detection for using sudo

This magical detection can be enabled by using the detect_sudo flag in the Connection class. It is disabled by default.

When enabled, it will prefix any command with sudo. This is useful for libraries that need super user permissions and want to avoid passing sudo everywhere, which can be non-trivial if dealing with root users that are connecting via SSH.

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