An engine that reads messages from Slack and can act on them

New in version 2016.3.0.


slackclient Python module


This engine requires a bot user. To create a bot user, first go to the Custom Integrations page in your Slack Workspace. Copy and paste the following URL, and replace myworkspace with the proper value for your workspace:

Next, click on the Bots integration and request installation. Once approved by an admin, you will be able to proceed with adding the bot user. Once the bot user has been added, you can configure it by adding an avatar, setting the display name, etc. You will also at this time have access to your API token, which will be needed to configure this engine.

Finally, add this bot user to a channel by switching to the channel and using /invite @mybotuser. Keep in mind that this engine will process messages from each channel in which the bot is a member, so it is recommended to narrowly define the commands which can be executed, and the Slack users which are allowed to run commands.

This engine has two boolean configuration parameters that toggle specific features (both default to False):

  1. control - If set to True, then any message which starts with the trigger string (which defaults to ! and can be overridden by setting the trigger option in the engine configuration) will be interpreted as a Salt CLI command and the engine will attempt to run it. The permissions defined in the various groups will determine if the Slack user is allowed to run the command. The targets and default_target options can be used to set targets for a given command, but the engine can also read the following two keyword arguments:

    • target - The target expression to use for the command

    • tgt_type - The match type, can be one of glob, list, pcre, grain, grain_pcre, pillar, nodegroup, range, ipcidr, or compound. The default value is glob.

    Here are a few examples:

    ! target=*
    !state.apply foo target=os:CentOS tgt_type=grain
    !pkg.version mypkg target=role:database tgt_type=pillar
  2. fire_all - If set to True, all messages which are not prefixed with the trigger string will fired as events onto Salt's ref:event bus <event-system>. The tag for these veents will be prefixed with the string specified by the tag config option (default: salt/engines/slack).

The groups_pillar_name config option can be used to pull group configuration from the specified pillar key.


In order to use groups_pillar_name, the engine must be running as a minion running on the master, so that the Caller client can be used to retrieve that minions pillar data, because the master process does not have pillar data.

Configuration Examples

Changed in version 2017.7.0: Access control group support added

This example uses a single group called default. In addition, other groups are being loaded from pillar data. The group names do not have any significance, it is the users and commands defined within them that are used to determine whether the Slack user has permission to run the desired command.

  - slack:
      token: 'xoxb-xxxxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
      control: True
      fire_all: False
      groups_pillar_name: 'slack_engine:groups_pillar'
            - '*'
            - list_jobs
            - list_commands
              cmd: jobs.list_jobs
              cmd: 'pillar.get salt:engines:slack:valid_commands target=saltmaster tgt_type=list'
            target: saltmaster
            tgt_type: glob
              target: '*'
              tgt_type: glob
              target: saltmaster
              tgt_type: list

This example shows multiple groups applying to different users, with all users having access to run Keep in mind that when using *, the value must be quoted, or else PyYAML will fail to load the configuration.

  - slack:
      groups_pillar: slack_engine_pillar
      token: 'xoxb-xxxxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
      control: True
      fire_all: True
      tag: salt/engines/slack
      groups_pillar_name: 'slack_engine:groups_pillar'
            - '*'
              cmd: jobs.list_jobs
              cmd: 'pillar.get salt:engines:slack:valid_commands target=saltmaster tgt_type=list'
            - garethgreenaway
            - '*'
class salt.engines.slack.SlackClient(token)
can_user_run(user, command, groups)

Break out the permissions into the following:

Check whether a user is in any group, including whether a group has the '*' membership

  • user (str) -- The username being checked against

  • command (str) -- The command that is being invoked (e.g.

  • groups (dict) -- the dictionary with groups permissions structure.

Return type:



On a successful permitting match, returns 2-element tuple that contains the name of the group that successfully matched, and a dictionary containing the configuration of the group so it can be referenced.

On failure it returns an empty tuple

commandline_to_list(cmdline_str, trigger_string)

cmdline_str is the string of the command line trigger_string is the trigger string, to be removed

control_message_target(slack_user_name, text, loaded_groups, trigger_string)

Returns a tuple of (target, cmdline,) for the response

Raises IndexError if a user can't be looked up from all_slack_users

Returns (False, False) if the user doesn't have permission

These are returned together because the commandline and the targeting interact with the group config (specifically aliases and targeting configuration) so taking care of them together works out.

The cmdline that is returned is the actual list that should be processed by salt, and not the alias.

fire(tag, msg)

This replaces a function in main called 'fire'

It fires an event into the salt bus.

format_return_text(data, function, **kwargs)

Print out YAML using the block mode

generate_triggered_messages(token, trigger_string, groups, groups_pillar_name)

slack_token = string trigger_string = string input_valid_users = set input_valid_commands = set

When the trigger_string prefixes the message text, yields a dictionary of:

    'message_data': m_data,
    'cmdline': cmdline_list, # this is a list
    'channel': channel,
    'user': m_data['user'],
    'slack_client': sc

else yields {'message_data': m_data} and the caller can handle that

When encountering an error (e.g. invalid message), yields {}, the caller can proceed to the next message

When the websocket being read from has given up all its messages, yields {'done': True} to indicate that the caller has read all of the relevant data for now, and should continue its own processing and check back for more data later.

This relies on the caller sleeping between checks, otherwise this could flood

get_config_groups(groups_conf, groups_pillar_name)

get info from groups in config, and from the named pillar

todo: add specification for the minion to use to recover pillar


Given a list of job_ids, return a dictionary of those job_ids that have completed and their results.

Query the salt event bus via the jobs runner. jobs.list_job will show a job in progress, jobs.lookup_jid will return a job that has completed.

returns a dictionary of job id: result


Get all channel names from Slack


Get all users from Slack

get_target(permitted_group, cmdline, alias_cmdline)

When we are permitted to run a command on a target, look to see what the default targeting is for that group, and for that specific command (if provided).

It's possible for None or False to be the result of either, which means that it's expected that the caller provide a specific target.

If no configured target is provided, the command line will be parsed for target=foo and tgt_type=bar

Test for this:

h = {'aliases': {}, 'commands': {'', 'pillar.get'},
    'default_target': {'target': '*', 'tgt_type': 'glob'},
    'targets': {'pillar.get': {'target': 'you_momma', 'tgt_type': 'list'}},
    'users': {'dmangot', 'jmickle', 'pcn'}}
f = {'aliases': {}, 'commands': {'', 'pillar.get'},
     'default_target': {}, 'targets': {},'users': {'dmangot', 'jmickle', 'pcn'}}

g = {'aliases': {}, 'commands': {'', 'pillar.get'},
     'default_target': {'target': '*', 'tgt_type': 'glob'},
     'targets': {}, 'users': {'dmangot', 'jmickle', 'pcn'}}

Run each of them through get_configured_target(('foo', f), 'pillar.get') and confirm a valid target


Raises ValueError if a value doesn't work out, and TypeError if this isn't a message type


cmdline: list

returns tuple of: args (list), kwargs (dict)

  • message_generator (generator of dict) -- Generates messages from slack that should be run

  • fire_all (bool) -- Whether to also fire messages to the event bus

  • tag (str) -- The tag to send to use to send to the event bus

  • interval (int) -- time to wait between ending a loop and beginning the next

run_commands_from_slack_async(message_generator, fire_all, tag, control, interval=1)

Pull any pending messages from the message_generator, sending each one to either the event bus, the command_async or both, depending on the values of fire_all and command

salt.engines.slack.start(token, control=False, trigger='!', groups=None, groups_pillar_name=None, fire_all=False, tag='salt/engines/slack')

Listen to slack events and forward them to salt, new version