Salt 0.10.3 Release Notes


The latest taste of Salt has come, this release has many fixes and feature additions. Modifications have been made to make ZeroMQ connections more reliable, the beginning of the ACL system is in place, a new command line parsing system has been added, dynamic module distribution has become more environment aware, the new master_finger option and many more!

Major Features

ACL System

The new ACL system has been introduced. The ACL system allows for system users other than root to execute salt commands. Users can be allowed to execute specific commands in the same way that minions are opened up to the peer system.

The configuration value to open up the ACL system is called client_acl and is configured like so:

    - test..*
    - pkg.list_pkgs

Where fred is allowed access to functions in the test module and to the pkg.list_pkgs function.

Master Finger Option

The master_finger option has been added to improve the security of minion provisioning. The master_finger option allows for the fingerprint of the master public key to be set in the configuration file to double verify that the master is valid. This option was added in response to a motivation to pre-authenticate the master when provisioning new minions to help prevent man in the middle attacks in some situations.

Salt Key Fingerprint Generation

The ability to generate fingerprints of keys used by Salt has been added to salt-key. The new option finger accepts the name of the key to generate and display a fingerprint for.

salt-key -F master

Will display the fingerprints for the master public and private keys.

Parsing System

Pedro Algavio, aka s0undt3ch, has added a substantial update to the command line parsing system that makes the help message output much cleaner and easier to search through. Salt parsers now have --versions-report besides usual --version info which you can provide when reporting any issues found.

Key Generation

We have reduced the requirements needed for salt-key to generate minion keys. You're no longer required to have salt configured and it's common directories created just to generate keys. This might prove useful if you're batch creating keys to pre-load on minions.

Startup States

A few configuration options have been added which allow for states to be run when the minion daemon starts. This can be a great advantage when deploying with Salt because the minion can apply states right when it first runs. To use startup states set the startup_states configuration option on the minion to highstate.

New Exclude Declaration

Some users have asked about adding the ability to ensure that other sls files or ids are excluded from a state run. The exclude statement will delete all of the data loaded from the specified sls file or will delete the specified id:

  - sls: http
  - id: /etc/vimrc

Max Open Files

While we're currently unable to properly handle ZeroMQ's abort signals when the max open files is reached, due to the way that's handled on ZeroMQ's, we have minimized the chances of this happening without at least warning the user.

More State Output Options

Some major changes have been made to the state output system. In the past state return data was printed in a very verbose fashion and only states that failed or made changes were printed by default. Now two options can be passed to the master and minion configuration files to change the behavior of the state output. State output can be set to verbose (default) or non-verbose with the state_verbose option:

state_verbose: False

It is noteworthy that the state_verbose option used to be set to False by default but has been changed to True by default in 0.10.3 due to many requests for the change.

Te next option to be aware of new and called state_output. This option allows for the state output to be set to full (default) or terse.

The full output is the standard state output, but the new terse output will print only one line per state making the output much easier to follow when executing a large state system.

state_output: terse

state.file.append Improvements

The salt state file.append() tries not to append existing text. Previously the matching check was being made line by line. While this kind of check might be enough for most cases, if the text being appended was multi-line, the check would not work properly. This issue is now properly handled, the match is done as a whole ignoring any white space addition or removal except inside commas. For those thinking that, in order to properly match over multiple lines, salt will load the whole file into memory, that's not true. For most cases this is not important but an erroneous order to read a 4GB file, if not properly handled, like salt does, could make salt chew that amount of memory. Salt has a buffered file reader which will keep in memory a maximum of 256KB and iterates over the file in chunks of 32KB to test for the match, more than enough, if not, explain your usage on a ticket. With this change, also salt.modules.file.contains(), salt.modules.file.contains_regex(), salt.modules.file.contains_glob() and salt.utils.find now do the searching and/or matching using the buffered chunks approach explained above.

Two new keyword arguments were also added, makedirs, and source. The first, makedirs will create the necessary directories in order to append to the specified file, of course, it only applies if we're trying to append to a non-existing file on a non-existing directory:

        text: foo
        makedirs: True

The second, source, allows one to append the contents of a file instead of specifying the text.


    - source: salt://testfile

Security Fix

A timing vulnerability was uncovered in the code which decrypts the AES messages sent over the network. This has been fixed and upgrading is strongly recommended.