New in version 2018.3.0.

Changed in version 3000.


This functionality is under development and could be changed in the future releases

Many times it is useful to store the results of a command during the course of an execution. Salt Slots are designed to allow you to store this information and use it later during the highstate or other job execution.

Slots extend the state syntax and allows you to do things right before the state function is executed. So you can make a decision in the last moment right before a state is executed.

Execution functions


Using execution modules return data as a state values is a first step of Slots development. Other functionality is under development.

Slots allow you to use the return from a remote-execution function as an argument value in states.

Slot syntax looks close to the simple python function call.

__slot__:salt:<module>.<function>(<args>, ..., <kwargs...>, ...)

For the 3000 release, this syntax has been updated to support parsing functions which return dictionaries and for appending text to the slot result.

__slot__:salt:<module>.<function>(<args>..., <kwargs...>, ...).dictionary ~ append

There are some specifics in the syntax coming from the execution functions nature and a desire to simplify the user experience. First one is that you don't need to quote the strings passed to the slots functions. The second one is that all arguments handled as strings.

Here is a simple example:

    - name: __slot__:salt:test.echo(text=/tmp/some_file)
    - source: __slot__:salt:test.echo(/etc/hosts)

This will execute the test.echo execution functions right before calling the state. The functions in the example will return /tmp/some_file and /etc/hosts strings that will be used as a target and source arguments in the state function file.copy.

Here is an example of result parsing and appending:

    - name: ~ /subdirectory
    - source: salt://somefile

Example Usage

In Salt, slots are a powerful feature that allows you to populate information dynamically within your Salt states. One of the best use cases for slots is when you need to reference data that is created or modified during the course of a Salt run.

Consider the following example, where we aim to add a user named 'foobar' to a group named 'known_users' with specific user and group IDs. To achieve this, we utilize slots to retrieve the group ID of 'known_users' as it is created or modified during the Salt run.

    - name: known_users

    - name: foobar
    - uid: 600
    - gid:"known_users").gid
    - require:
      - group: add_group_known_users

In this example, the add_group_known_users state ensures the presence of the 'known_users' group. Then, within the add_user state, we use the slot"known_users").gid to dynamically retrieve the group ID of 'known_users,' which may have been modified during the execution of the previous state. This approach ensures that our user 'foobar' is associated with the correct group, even if the group information changes during the Salt run.

Slots offer a flexible way to work with changing data and dynamically populate your Salt states, making your configurations adaptable and robust.

Execution module returns as file contents or data

The following examples demonstrate how to use execution module returns as file contents or data in Salt states. These examples show how to incorporate the output of execution functions into file contents or data in the file.managed and file.serialize states.

Content from execution modules

You can use the results of execution modules directly as file contents in Salt states. This can be useful for dynamically generating file content based on the output of execution functions.

Example 1: Using `test.echo` Output as File Content

The following Salt state uses the test.echo execution function to generate the text "hello world." This output is then used as the content of the file /tmp/things.txt:

    - name: /tmp/things.txt
    - contents: __slot__:salt:test.echo("hello world")

Example 2: Using Multiple `test.echo` Outputs as Appended Content

In this example, two test.echo execution functions are used to generate "hello" and "world" strings. These strings are then joined by newline characters and then used as the content of the file /tmp/things.txt:

    - name: /tmp/things.txt
    - contents:
      - __slot__:salt:test.echo("hello")
      - __slot__:salt:test.echo("world")

Serializing data from execution modules

You can also serialize data obtained from execution modules and write it to files using Salt states. This allows you to capture and store structured data for later use.

Example: Serializing `grains.items()` Output to JSON

In this example, the grains.items() execution function retrieves system information. The obtained data is then serialized into JSON format and saved to the file /tmp/grains.json:

    - name: /tmp/grains.json
    - serializer: json
    - dataset: __slot__:salt:grains.items()

These examples showcase how to leverage Salt's flexibility to use execution module returns as file contents or serialized data in your Salt states, allowing for dynamic and customized configurations.