Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saltstack salt-ssh - getting started

When first experimenting with salt-ssh, you might be feeling your way around and encounter some of these issues.

Proper reading of the documentation and understanding of how salt-ssh operates with rosters will avoid some of those listed, but I describe them below anyway.

Fault 1: Permission denied: '/etc/salt/pki/master/ssh'

Try running salt-ssh on the local machine as root

Fault 2: Tabs in roster file

Although roster file does not have a file extension indicating it is Yaml, it is parsed as Yaml by Salt

Remove any tabs

Fault 3: missing /etc/salt/pki/master/ssh/salt-ssh.rsa

Until you have run salt-ssh as root,
the necessary files in /etc/salt/pki/master/ssh will not be generated

Run as root on local machine to initialise

Fault 4: remote host has not got in its authorized_keys

/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id -i /etc/salt/pki/master/ssh/ someuser@box

Fault 5: /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: ERROR: No identities found

You are probably trying to copy the salt-ssh private key (denied) rather than the public key (likely 644 permission)

Fault 6: IOErrors reported for remote host for directories in following list:

  • /etc/salt
  • /var/cache/salt
  • /var/log/salt
roster file for the unprivileged user should be changed to sudo: True
When the connection at the remote end is instructed to use sudo (as shown above) then those 3 directories will be initiated properly on the remote host

Fault 7:  [CRITICAL] Unable to import msgpack or msgpack_pure python modules

This error message is often associated with IOError described in Fault 6. Once the remote directories are created and there are no more reports of IOError, then this import message should also disappear

Fault 8: unprivileged user on remote does not have enough sudo powers

%saltpepper   ALL=NOPASSWD:ALL

And then add the unprivileged user to group saltpepper (or whatever you preferred group for controlling sudo is)

Example of invoking file.find on remote host via salt-ssh

( This article is not a general guide to Saltstack. Please comment or pingback by all means, but only comments directly related to salt-ssh will be read or published. )

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gnome 3 - the Hud plus strengths

The top left hand corner of my Gnome 3 shows 'Activities'

Click 'Activities' to bring up a list of your favourite programs

Program not already a marked 'favourite'? - two options:

Press Alt+F2 and type the full program name


Press Super key and type first few letters of program name

The Super key way is a little shorter and gives you a visual feedback of the program icon before you select it.

If you find yourself regularly using Gimp and it is not already shown in the left 'Activities' icon list, then (whilst Gimp is open), right click it's icon in 'Activities' and choose 'Add to favourites'

If you have been using Ubuntu 12.04 and Unity, then the Gnome 3 way of doing things should feel a little familiar already.

Gnome 3 and Debian 8 / Ubuntu 14:

Gnome 3 is maturing now, and any Gnome 3.10 upwards, is a good desktop environment.

Some strengths of Gnome 3:
  • It is fast. If you are an Ubuntu user using a refurbished machine, then you will benefit from the extra speed of this iso install
  • It is perfect for folks leaving Ubuntu for another Linux experience.
    ( The left hand favourites bar and the hud way of doing things should feel familiar )
  • Chromebook fans who are familiar with the 'add-on' way of altering their desktop experience, will find a similar model in Gnome 3
Whilst Gnome 3 itself is mature, the distributions themselves will need time to integrate Gnome 3 effectively.

Packagers and bug fixers will find the first year of Gnome 3.10 / 3.12 availability in their favoured distribution, a bit of a learning experience.

  • "Is that a question or a bug?"
  • "Is there a gnome shell extension for that?"
  • "Where are the pre-packaged gnome shell extensions?"
  • "Is it Gnome 3's job to integrate NetworkManager notifications or the distributions?"
  • "Where / how to warn of updates / update manager items?"
  • "Do I like the 'add-on' mentality of the new Gnome?"
  • "Do I consider Gnome 3 complete and usable yet?" 
There are many question and answer sources for Gnome, but for Gnome 3 particularly you might try this superuser link.