Open Hour 2021-DEC-16

December 16, 2021 - Alyssa Rock


  • General updates and announcements
  • Release updates
  • Community forum updates
  • Salt doc updates
  • Heist updates
  • Help wanted
  • Salt Enhancement Proposals
  • Q&A plus discussion

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General updates and announcements

  • SaltConf21 breakout sessions are now available on YouTube and new sessions are being added every day. Be sure to subscribe! SaltConf 21 playlist
  • Open Hours are held every 1st and 3rd Thursday from 10a.m. to 11a.m. Pacific.
  • This is the last open hour of 2021! Our next Salt Community Open Hour will be January 6th.


Release updates

Community forum updates

  • This week’s featured issue: debugging salt-api.
  • The solution to this problem is not to debug salt-api itself. Try debugging in salt-call, then debug in the salt minion. If you’re having authentication issues, salt-a is your friend.
  • Also keep in mind that most people seem to make a common mistake of passing a dictionary as a string. It’s sometimes difficult to know if you’re passing a dictionary, a string, or a list, etc. Pay attention to your data type and the needs of the Python module that you’re passing to.
  • Another best practice is to remove as many variables as you can when you are testing or debugging. Try to run the same command from the master, then try to run it as a salt-call local from the minion. If something breaks in the new test, that helps you isolate the issue.

Salt docs updates

  • Alyssa has recently joined the Salt team as a technical writer. She shared her top reasons why she wanted to join this community and this team.
  • Alyssa is currently working on creating the foundation for how docs requests can be made and docs work will be done. To that end, she’s creating her system for handling small doc requests and tasks and her system for handling larger, more strategic documentation initiatives. She’ll share her system with the community in January.
  • Currently, the best way to communicate with Alyssa about the Salt docs is to join the #documentation channel on our Slack workspace or open an issue. If you’re interested in joining the docs working group, let her know on that channel!

Heist updates

  • Megan shared the latest about Heist updates and provided a demo of a new Heist feature called onedir for installing Salt.
  • Onedir is an alternative to singlebin (single binary), which Heist already supports.
  • When singlebin runs, it puts everything into a temp directory and then runs. With the onedir method, everything needed to run Salt is in that directory already.
  • There are pros and cons to either method:
    • Singlebin is faster to copy over, but it is slower to start up the minion or any salt command.
    • Onedir takes longer to copy over, but it is faster when starting up the minions.
  • The next step in development is to do some initial testing with Windows. When we add Windows support and should see significant speed increases when starting up the minion.
  • You can watch the video of Open Hour for a speed demo of onedir.

Help wanted

Salt Enhancement Proposals (SEPs)

Open Salt Enhancement Proposals (SEPs)

Q&A plus discussion

  • Q: How will packaging for RHEL 8 be impacted by EOL for Python 3.6?
    • A: The team is currently discussing this and working to resolve it. Some discussions have centered around using Tiamat builds on RHEL 8. Typically we’ve continued to support what the default is. Even if we get the Tiamat packages fixed for Phosphorus, we’d still support older versions. Regardless of the decision, we’ll be careful with the testing and rollout to ensure that it doesn’t damage anyone’s environment.
  • Q: Can we get a formal set of guidelines or recommendations for pushing a new module into a Salt Extension?
    • A: We’ve had a lot of internal discussions around this. Salt extensions are relatively new and the team hasn’t formally codified the guidelines around what should and shouldn’t be extension modules yet. However, we’ll make sure that discussion happens in the beginning of the new year and that whatever is decided is well-defined, well-documented, and well-publicized.