Open Hour 2022-JUNE-30

June 30, 2022 - Alyssa Rock


  • General updates and announcements
  • Outside collaboration
  • From the community forums
  • The new Salt install guide
  • New utils SEP
  • Q&A plus discussion

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General updates and announcements


Outside collaboration

  • For those who may have received emails related to non-VMware employee membership of the saltstack or on GitHub:
    • Non-VMware members are going to be changed to “outside collaborators” – permissions will still stay the same, per user, per repository in our org. The only differences are:
      • No longer a member of the saltstack org
      • No longer a member of teams inside of the saltstack org
  • Becoming an “outside collaborator” means that your user account will have the same level of permissions to all repositories you have been granted as a saltstack org member, either via team membership or as an individual org member
  • We have reached out to the users we see as being impacted, and have reached out via the Community Slack.
  • If you have permissions to repositories, while not a member of the saltstack org itself, this doesn’t impact you and you will continue to retain your permissions.
  • Reach out to Derek (ScriptAutomate) or Chunga for questions or support if needed.

From the community forums

  • Right now there is a Stack Overflow topic that recommends using pillar.items in Jinja. Don’t use pillar.items in jinja unless you like wasting resources. When you use pillar.items, it will reach out to the master. At that point, the master re-render your pillars, which will multiply the amount of work the master has to do for each minion.
  • Instead of using pillar.items, use a pillar dictionary or use pillar.raw for the in-memory pillar.

The new Salt install guide

New utils SEP

  • There’s a new SEP that proposes to deprecate the __utils__ loader​:
  • In this presentation, Pedro made his argument in favor of the SEP and deprecating utils. The nice thing about utils is that it simplifies the way you use the Salt utilities. However, it creates a lot of development headaches for Salt. One reason is that it complicates the way you have to think about architecting utility modules. The other reason is that it makes the usage of Salt inconsistent.
  • Deprecating utils will definitely break functionality, but Pedro has created a proof of concept workaround which allows you to use the old functionality. It will issue a warning encouraging you to move toward the new functionality.
  • Wayne asks that if someone is using utils in a way that is impacted by this, we would appreciate knowing about that use case.
  • However, Wayne also pointed out that many massive bugs and user errors are caused by utils.

Q&A plus discussion

  • Q: Do we have a solidified release date for Phosphorus yet?
    • We’re getting close to wrapping up the remaining items before we prepare for release.
  • Q: Do we have any updates about Salt Conf?
    • There have been some changes to VMware’s policies about hosting open source events and Chunga is working on getting answers. One thing Chunga can say is that VMware Explore will have an open source track where Salt and Idem will be featured prominently. He hopes to have more information to share soon.
    • A related question was whether a community member coming to Salt Lake City could arrange to meet up with Salt team members. The answer is that these kind of meetups are definitely encouraged and allowed. We just can’t refer to it as “Salt Conf.”
  • Q: Does Tiamat replace distribution-based installs?
    • We will provide system packages and behind the scenes they will be built with Tiamat. You’ll be able to use your package manager as usual.
  • Q: Will Tiamat change how additional Python libraries are installed?
    • Yes and no. You’ll be able to pip install dependencies as normal. However, if you want to install a different version of Python in your Salt infrastructure, you will have to use a workaround that involves editing configurations.
  • Q: Are there any Tiamat-based distribution packages available for testing at this time?
  • Q: Any recommendations how to reduce Salt calls?
    • We need some more context, so try posting that question in #develop or #wg_formulas channel and we’ll see if we can offer advice.
  • Q from Gareth to the community: When the new installation directions move to the Salt Install Guide, what do you want repo to be in the future? What do you use it for? Feel free to offer us feedback.