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SALVE Configuration Deployment Language

Project description

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SALVE takes files and directories in a git repository, and handles the messy process of deploying those files onto a machine. It is safer to use than shell scripts in a number of ways, and guarantees idempotence – an oft-sought property for configuration management tools – for a wide class of deployment actions. It also backs up the preexisting versions of files that it changes when possible so that you can recover them if necessary at a later date.

More information is available at the SALVE Website.

How do I use it?

SALVE is a language, but also a compiler for that language written in python. You write “manifests” which describe where your files are meant to go, and SALVE validates that you can put them where you want before doing anything at all. It means learning a new language, but it also lets you specify how your config should be deployed in a more natural way, and protects you from a wide range of dangerous errors. The language is small and simple enough that you can learn all of the important parts in a few minutes, and answer any remaining questions in under half an hour.

To start writing manifests, you can go to the Quick-Start Guide. For a more detailed description of the SALVE language, the Language Page and the Examples Page are good resources.

Once you have a manifest you want to run, simply do a salve deploy with them. If you have installed the pip package, you can run

salve deploy –manifest path/to/root.manifest

or, if you are using the git repo as your source

python SALVE/ deploy –manifest path/to/root.manifest

What do I need to run it?

SALVE is fully compatible with Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5. It also works on pypy and pypy3.

It has no dependencies on python packages, so as long as you have one of these versions of Python installed, you can run SALVE. That means that you can always pull down the git repo and run it even on machines that don’t have pip or easy_install.

Python 2.6 Support

Python 2.6 is supported, but because OptParse is deprecated in Python 3.x, SALVE depends upon argparse.

To run SALVE with Python 2.6, you will need to install the argparse package, or do a pip or easy_install of salve to pull in the dependency automatically.


The Roadmap has been replaced with GitHub issues.


  • 2.4.1
    • SALVE now uses the python standard library for logging, rather than custom logging

    • Entire codebase (including tests) is now PEP8 and passes flake8

    • Significant refactoring to improve Code Climate scoring

  • 2.4.0
    • Paths can be expanded relative to the manifest being processed, rather than relative to the root manifest (this will become the default in version 3)

  • 2.3.1
    • Fixes to setuptools usage

    • Change markdown documents to reST

  • 2.3.0
    • Support for Python 2.6 (with argparse installed)

    • Primary Attribute style blocks

    • Filesys abstraction layer

    • Removed SALVE_ROOT automatic variable

    • Relocated default_settings.ini to salve/default_settings.ini

    • Default directory (without override) is directory of root manifest

  • 2.2.0
    • Travis and Coveralls integration

    • Improved internal logging and context handling

    • Support for Python 3

  • 2.1.0
    • Numerous log levels and output controls

    • Default attributes, which behave like the old 1.x version common attributes

    • Increased the context information produced when errors are raised

    • Regained code coverage in tests

    • Made the codebase PEP8 compliant (as per pep8 v1.2)

  • 2.0.0
    • Backups are now stored in a flat dir by hash, resolving some dir/file conflict issues

    • Change to backup logfile timestamp format, more human readable

    • Old python usage is now python deploy, and added stub python backup

    • Switched to argparse – now incompatible with python 2.6.x without libraries

    • common block attributes are now global, and have precedence over block-defined attributes

    • Action verification checks and warnings on failures and skips

  • 1.1.0
    • Large expansions to the testsuite

    • No SALVE actions are performed through the shell anymore

    • Permissions are now checked before actions are executed so that insufficient permissions will not crash the entire run

    • Error messages now take the common [filename], line [lineno]: [message] format

  • 1.0.3
    • Fixes major bug with dir copy not triggering file backups

    • Internal refactoring and cleanup in Blocks and Actions

  • 1.0.2
    • Fewer actions rely on shell commands and use shutil instead

    • Underspecifying an action no longer causes a failure for chown and chmod, but skips these actions instead

    • File create now does a touch -a instead of a touch, so that access time is changed instead of modified time

  • 1.0.1
    • Removed aggressive backups behavior that backed up directories and files on creation

    • Improved error reporting at levels of execution above the parser

  • 1.0.0
    • Addition of backups for overwritten files

    • Addition of SALVE_USER_PRIMARY_GROUP variable

    • Completed test coverage

  • beta 0.1.0
    • Addition of directory blocks

  • alpha 0.0.2
    • Expansion of relative paths

    • Fixes for configuration templating in blocks

    • Checks EUID before attempting chown

  • alpha 0.0.1
    • Basic functionality for file blocks and manifest blocks

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