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salt cloud shaker

Now that salt-cloud is bundled with salt itself (and has been for 3+ months), it’s even easier to use salt cloud to provision minions easily.

As a Rackspace user, make sure to use the OpenStack provider. The current Rackspace driver actually tries to connect to the old cloud instances (pre-2010). Newer accounts won’t even have access to those, but that’s a discussion for a separate thread.

Let’s build stuff!

This article assumes you have a working salt master setup. The primary pieces you need are /etc/salt/cloud.providers and /etc/salt/cloud.profiles, both of which go on the salt master.

Example /etc/salt/cloud.providers

This setup needs to be replicated near exactly, replacing all the {keyword} with your own.

  # Setup the minion configuration, including the salt-master IP
  # This can be the service net if the master is in the same
  # Data Center.
    master: {master_ip}

  # Configure Rackspace using the OpenStack plugin
  provider: openstack
  identity_url: ''
  compute_name: cloudServersOpenStack
  protocol: ipv4

  # IAD 
  compute_region: IAD

  # Rackspace authentication credentials
  user: {rackspace_user}
  tenant: {rackspace_tenant_id} # Account number
  apikey: {rackspace_api_key}

Example /etc/salt/cloud.profiles

To use salt-cloud, you need to set up profiles for the type of box you want to use, pairing size, image and provider.

    provider: rackspace-cloud
    size: performance1-8
    image: Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) (PVHVM)

After getting all these set up, make sure to restart your salt master.

Launching servers via salt-cloud

Launching a single server is pretty easy. Just specify the profile from above and a name.

# salt-cloud -p ubuntu_13.10_pvhvm_perf1.8 bessie
[INFO    ] salt-cloud starting
[INFO    ] Creating Cloud VM bessie
[INFO    ] Rendering deploy script: ...

To launch a configured group of servers, create a map which can be located anywhere. For the following, I store the cloud map at /etc/salt/


          log_level: debug
          log_level: debug

          log_level: info
          log_level: info

Then to launch the configuration, simply use salt-cloud -m mapfile -P:

# salt-cloud -m /tmp/ -P
[INFO    ] salt-cloud starting
[INFO    ] Applying map from '/tmp/'.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I’m more than happy to help!

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Kyle Kelley



Kyle Kelley

Break things and enjoy life.

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