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Qubes OS DevOps automation toolkit

This software helps you automate development operations on Qubes OS through industry-standard configuration management solutions.

Do you learn better by example? Then jump to the directory examples/ to get started right away.

The software in this kit includes the following:

  1. A computer program bombshell-client that can run in dom0 or in any domU, which uses the qubes.VMShell Qubes RPC service to provide an interactive session with a shell interpreter (or any program of your choice) from a VM to any other VM.
  2. A connection plug-in for Ansible that uses bombshell-client to make the full power of Ansible automation available to Qubes OS administrators and users.
  3. A set of commands for SaltStack salt-ssh that fake SSH and SCP using bombshell-client to enable SaltStack management of Qubes OS VMs.
  4. A set of action plugins for Ansible that interface with the new Qubes OS 3.1 Salt management stack.
  5. A set of DevOps automation skeletons / examples to get you up and running without having to construct everything yourself.
  6. A lookup plugin for qubes-pass to get you to look up passwords for your infrastructure stored in separate VMs.
  7. A module and action plugin for qubes-pass to get you to store passwords needed to manage your infrastructure in separate VMs.

bombshell-client and the other programs in this toolkit that depend on it, can be used to run operations from one VM to another, in the following combinations:

  • Qubes VM -> Qubes VM
  • Qubes VM -> Qubes dom0 (see below for enablement instructions)
  • Qubes dom0 -> Qubes VM
  • Qubes VM -> network (SSH) -> Qubes VM on another Qubes host (see below)
  • normal desktop Linux -> network (SSH) -> Qubes VM on another Qubes host

What this means for you is quite simple. With this toolkit, you can completely script the setup and maintenance of an entire network of Qubes OS machines.

Contributions always welcome.

Security notes:

  1. Please be absolutely sure you have reviewed this code before using it.
  2. These programs are stdin / stdout / stderr proxies over qubes.VMShell that allow the calling VM to create interactive and batch sessions in another VM. Treat the resulting output from the called programs with the appropriate security precautions involving parsing untrusted input.

Bombshell remote shell technology

Bombshell is a way to run commands in other VMs, that employs the bombshell-client script from this repository. Said method is now integrated in these programs and will only work with Qubes OS 3.

Direct (non-Ansible and non-SaltStack) usage instructions:

./bombshell-client <vmname> command-to-run [arguments...]

The command above spawns a command-to-run on vmname, interactively. Standard input, output, and error work as you would expect them to work -- you can type or pipe data, and said data will be fed to the remote end as standard input, with the remote end's standard output and standard error coming to your terminal's standard output and standard error. Several signals sent to the local bombshell client will be relayed to the command-to-run program in the vmname.

./bombshell-client -d <vmname> command-to-run [arguments...]

Spawns the command-to-run on the vmname, interactively, printing communication channel interaction behavior into the standard error of the invoker, and into the root journal of the vmname.

Fairly simple:

./bombshell-client vmname bash

starts an interactive bash shell (without a prompt, as there is no tty) on the machine vmname. Any program can be run in this way. For example:

./bombshell-client vmname hostname

should give you the host name of the VM vmname.

The rsync manpage documents the use of a special form of rsh to connect to remote hosts -- this option can be used with bombshell-client to run rsync against other VMs as if they were normal SSH hosts.

Enabling bombshell-client access to dom0

dom0 needs its qubes.VMShell service activated. As root in dom0, create a file /etc/qubes-rpc/qubes.VMshell with mode 0755 and make sure its contents say /bin/bash.

You will then create a file /etc/qubes/policy.d/80-ansible-qubes.policy with mode 0664, owned by root and group qubes. Add a policy line towards the top of the file:

qubes.VMShell           *           controller          *     allow

Where controller represents the name of the VM you will be executing bombshell-client against dom0 from.

That's it -- bombshell-client should work against dom0 now. Of course, you can adjust the policy to have it not ask — do the security math on what that implies.

How to use the connection technology with automation tools like Ansible

See [Enhance your Ansible with Ansible Qubes](doc/Enhance your Ansible with Ansible

Enabling bombshell-client remote access to VMs in other machines

See [Remote management of Qubes OS servers](doc/Remote management of Qubes OS

How to use the connection technology with SaltStack

You can also integrate this plugin with SaltStack's salt-ssh program, by:

  1. placing the bombshell-client, qrun and qssh commands in some directory of your path, then
  2. symlinking ssh to qssh and scp to qssh again, then
  3. adding the host: attribute to the roster entry of each one of your VMs as follows: <VM name>.__qubes__.

These fake ssh and scp commands will transparently attempt to SSH into a host unless the host name ends with .__qubes__, in which case they will assume it's a VM and fall back to using the bombshell-client to communicate with said presumed VM. SaltStack's SSH-based salt-ssh automator will pick these fake SSH and SCP clients based on the path, and they will work transparently.

If the program qssh or qscp get a first and second parameters --vmname <VM>, then it is assumed that the host name passed to the command is irrelevant, and that you want to connect to the VM specified by <VM>. If, in addition to that, you specify third and fourth parameters --management-proxy <M>, then it is assumed that you want to connect to the VM through the IP address of the management proxy <M>.

How to use the Salt management interface for Qubes in Ansible

Documentation is a bit sparse at the moment, so the best bet is to follow the tutorial contained in the corresponding example.

Bug bounties

The bounties that were published have been collected. Sorry! Open source works!



This code is available to you under the terms of the GNU LGPL version 2 or later. The license terms are available on the FSF's Web site.


Qubes OS DevOps automation






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