Skip to content

Site Reliability Engineering / DevOps SaltStack configuration files


Notifications You must be signed in to change notification settings


Repository files navigation


Site Reliability Engineering / DevOps SaltStack configuration files

Code of Conduct

The Creative Commons team is committed to fostering a welcoming community. This project and all other Creative Commons open source projects are governed by our Code of Conduct. Please report unacceptable behavior to per our reporting guidelines.



Development Notes

  • Avoid insecure repository clones: This repository includes encrypted secrets. Do not run git-crypt unlock on clones that are not otherwise secured (ex. strong login password, disk encryption).
  • Avoid editing the base environment: The base environment is configured to prevent commit and push actions. Please use your development environment and pull the changes to base.
  • Sign your commits:
    • The commit signing option has been adjusted in the repository to facilitate smoother collaboration. This modification is intended to ease the contribution process. However, it is strongly encourged that staff members continue to adhere to best practices by using GPG for all signed commits, ensuring the security and integrity of the project.

    • Ensure you are using RemoteForward in your SSH configuration to forward your GnuPG agent to salt-prime (see the example configuration, under Setup, below).

    • Ensure you have configured your newly cloned repository to sign commits (see the git config command, under Setup, below).


  • SSH connection information: example local/laptop ~/.ssh/config configugration:
    Host bastion-us-east-2
        User ARTHUR
    Host salt-prime
        ProxyJump bastion-us-east-2
        RemoteForward /run/user/4242/gnupg/S.gpg-agent /Users/ARTHUR/.gnupg/S.gpg-agent.extra
        User ARTHUR
    Host *
        ServerAliveCountMax 60
        ServerAliveInterval 30
        TCPKeepAlive no
    • Assumes remote username ARTHUR and remote uid 4242. Replace these values in your own local/laptop configuration.
    • ProxyJump allows you to ssh salt-prime from your local/laptop.
    • RemoteForward allows you to sign your commits.
  • Setup your development repository on salt-prime:
    1. Clone repository to /srv with your username. For example:
      cd /srv
      git clone ${USER}
    2. Setup your newly cloned repository.
      1. Configure commit signing:
        cd /srv/${USER}
        git config YOUR_EMAIL
        git config user.signingkey YOUR_GPG_ID
        git config commit.gpgsign true
      2. Unlock encrypted secrets:
        cd /srv/${USER}
        git-crypt unlock
    3. Specify the environment when you test changes. For example:
      sudo salt \* state.highstate saltenv=${USER} test=True
      • use --state-verbose=True to see successes
      • use --state-output=full_id to see full detail of successes
      • use --log-level=debug --log-file-level=warning to see debug messages (without logging those debug messages, which may contain secrets, to the log file)


  • Use AWS well, but avoid technologies that create AWS lock-in (ex. Confidant)
  • Salt Prime must not contain any exclusive data (use Git)
  • Git repository must not contain any unencrypted secrets
  • Git repository commits must be signed and applied to the main branch via Pull Requests
  • A compromised minion must not be able to escalate access
    • SysAdmins must not forward their SSH agent
    • Must not reuse application passwords (ex. Prod and Dev databases must have different passwords)
    • Pillar data must be restricted by Minion ID based classification
      • The only grain which can be safely used is grains['id'] which contains the Minion ID. (FAQ Q.21)


  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    • Creative Commons is already using it and staff are familiar with it
    • Features allow security (ex. screened subnets, security groups policies)
    • Features allows Infrastructure as Code
    • us-east-2
      • cost effective
      • avoid conflict/collision over region limited resources (ex. ElasticIPs)
  • Debian 11 (Bullseye), Debian 10 (Buster), and Debian 9 (Stretch)
    • Free/Open Source
    • Debian Stable
    • Creative Commons is already using it and staff are familiar with it
  • git-crypt - transparent file encryption in git
    • Free/Open Source
    • Performance: files are decrypted in the checked out repository
    • Security: automatic encryption and directory based filters minimize the chance of unencrypted secrets being pushed to GitHub
  • SaltStack
    • Free/Open Source
    • Performance
    • Creative Commons is already using it and staff are familiar with it
    • Version: 3006.8

Host Classification

Minions are added and configured from salt-prime with the following Minion ID schema: HST__POD__LOC (host/role__pod/group__location). These variables are used to determine the state and pillar data.

Show top states example command:

sudo salt \* pillar.item states saltenv=${USER}

See docs/ for details.


See docs/



Best Practices

Frequently Referenced Documentation

Repository Documentation

Formula Repositories