Tasks management engine and plugin for Foreman
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Latest commit 3976ab0 Feb 2, 2017 @jlsherrill jlsherrill committed with iNecas Fixes #18382 - Save action prior to save/destroy
on action triggering


Foreman Tasks

Tasks management engine for Foreman. Gives you an overview of what's happening/happened in your Foreman instance. A framework for asynchronous tasks in Foreman.


Please see the Foreman manual for appropriate instructions:

Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, Scientific Linux (rpm)

Set up the repo as explained in the link above, then run

# yum install ruby193-rubygem-foreman-tasks

Bundle (gem)

Add the following to bundler.d/Gemfile.local.rb in your Foreman installation directory (/usr/share/foreman by default)

$ gem 'foreman-tasks'

Then run bundle install and foreman-rake db:migrate from the same directory. Note that you must start the dynflow executor (background processor) manually. You can find example service script in extra/dynflow-executor.example in this repository.

To verify that the installation was successful, go to Foreman, top bar Administer > About and check 'foreman-tasks' shows up in the System Status menu under the Plugins tab. You should also see a 'Tasks' button under the Monitor menu in the top bar.


In the UI, go to /foreman_tasks/tasks. This should give a list of tasks that were run in the system. It's possible to filter that using scoped search. Possible searches:

# search all tasks by user
owner.login = admin
# search all tasks on architecture with id 9
resource_type = Architecture and resource_id = 9

Clicking on the action, it should provide more details.

Via API:

curl -k -u admin:changeme\
  https://foreman.example.com/foreman_tasks/api/tasks/b346db45-76fd-4217-9247-aac51b5cde4e -H 'Accept: application/json'


  • Current tasks progress
  • Audit: tasks history for resources and users
  • Possibility to generate CLI examples
  • Locking: connection between task and resource: allows listing tasks for a resource but also allows preventing to run two conflicting tasks on one resource.
  • Dynflow integration allowing async processing, workflows definitions etc.

Dynflow Integration

This engine is agnostic on background processing tool and can be used with anything that allows supports some kind of execution hooks.

On the other side, since we started this as part of Katello integration with Dynflow, the dynflow adapters are already there.

Also, since dynflow has no additional dependencies in terms of another database (tested mainly on Postgres), this gem ships the Dynflow setting so that Dynflow can be used directly.

It's turned off by default, but you can turn that on with putting this code somewhere in Rails initialization process. In case of an engine, it would be:

initializer "your_engine.require_dynflow", :before => "foreman_tasks.initialize_dynflow" do |app|
  ForemanTasks.dynflow.config.eager_load_paths << File.join(YourEngine::Engine.root, 'app/lib/actions')

Additionally, there are also examples of using Dynflow for async tasks and auditing included in this repository. To enable them you just need to set FOREMAN_TASKS_MONKEYS env variable to true

FOREMAN_TASKS_MONKEYS=true bundle exec rails s

The example for async tasks handling is the puppet facts import. Next time puppet imports the facts to Foreman, the task should appear in the tasks list.

The example for auditing features is the architecture model. On every modification, there is a corresponding Dynflow action triggered. This leads to it appearing in the tasks list as well, even there was no async processing involved, but still using the same interface to show the task.

The Dynflow console is accessible on /foreman_tasks/dynflow path.

Production mode

In development mode, the Dynflow executor is part of the web server process. However, in production, it's more than suitable to have the web server process separated from the async executor. Therefore, Dynflow is set to use external process in production mode by default (can be changed with ForemanTasks.dynflow.config.remote = false).

The executor process needs to be executed before the web server. You can run it by:

foreman-rake foreman_tasks:dynflow:executor

Also, there is a possibility to run the executor in daemonized mode using the dynflow-executor. It expects to be executed from Foreman rails root directory. See -h for more details and options

Tasks cleanup

Although, the history of tasks has an auditing value, some kinds of tasks can grow up in number quite soon. Therefore there is a mechanism how to clean the tasks, using a rake command. When running without any arguments, the tasks are deleted based on the default parameters defined in the code.

foreman-rake foreman_tasks:cleanup

To see what tasks would be deleted, without actually deleting the records, you can run

foreman-rake foreman_tasks:cleanup NOOP=true

By default, only the actions explicitly defined with expiration time in the code, will get cleaned. One can configure new actions, or override the default configuration inside the configuration config/settings.plugins.d/foreman_tasks.yaml, such as:

# the period after witch to delete all the tasks (by default all tasks are not being deleted after some period)
    :after: 365d
# per action settings to override the default defined in the actions (cleanup_after method)
      - :name: Actions::Foreman::Host::ImportFacts
        :after: 10d

The foreman_tasks:cleanup script also accepts additional parameters to specify the search criteria for the cleanup manually:

  • TASK_SEARCH: scoped search filter (example: 'label = "Actions::Foreman::Host::ImportFacts"')
  • AFTER: delete tasks created after AFTER period. Expected format is a number followed by the time unit (s, h, m, y), such as 10d for 10 days (applicable only when the TASK_SEARCH option is specified)
  • STATES: comma separated list of task states to touch with the cleanup, by default only stopped tasks are affected (applicable only when the TASK_SEARCH option is specified)
  • NOOP: set to "true" if the task should not actuall perform the deletion, only report the actions the script would perform
  • VERBOSE: set to "true" for more verbose output
  • BATCH_SIZE: the size of batches the tasks get processed in (1000 by default)

To see the current configuration (what actions get cleaned automatically and what is their after period), this script can be used:

foreman-rake foreman_tasks:cleanup:config


The issues are tracked here


TBD - dig into the code for now (happy hacking:)






Ivan Nečas