Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


Allows you to trigger scripts and commands on the Foreman server at any point in an object's lifecycle in Foreman. This lets you run scripts when a host is created, or finishes provisioning etc.

It enables extension of Foreman's host orchestration so additional tasks can be executed, and can register hooks into standard Rails callbacks for any Foreman object, all with shell scripts.


Please see the Foreman wiki for appropriate instructions:

The gem name is "foreman_hooks".

RPM users can install the "tfm-rubygem-foreman_hooks" or "rubygem-foreman_hooks" packages. Debian/Ubuntu users can install the "ruby-foreman-hooks" package.


Hooks are stored in /usr/share/foreman/config/hooks (~foreman/config/hooks) with a subdirectory for the object, then a subdirectory for the event name.




After adding or removing hooks, restart the Foreman server to update the list of known hooks (usually apache2 or httpd when using Passenger, or touch ~foreman/tmp/restart.txt).

Objects / Models

Every object (or model in Rails terms) in Foreman can have hooks. Check ~foreman/app/models for the full list, but these are the interesting ones:

  • host/managed
  • config_report (or report in Foreman 1.10 or older)
  • nic/managed
  • hostgroup
  • user

To generate a list of all possible models, issue the following command:

# foreman-rake hooks:objects

and to get events for a listed object (e.g. host/managed):

# foreman-rake hooks:events[host/managed]

Orchestration events

Only supported on these objects:

  • host/managed
  • nic/*

Foreman supports orchestration tasks for hosts and NICs (each network interface) which happen when the object is created, updated and destroyed. These tasks are shown to the user in the UI and if they fail, will automatically trigger a rollback of the action. A rollback is performed as an opposite action (e.g. for DHCP record creation a rollback action is destroy).

The following hooks are executed during around_save Rails callback:

  • create
  • update

The following hooks are executed during on_destroy Rails callback:

  • destroy

The following hooks are executed during after_commit Rails callback:

  • postcreate
  • postupdate

The major difference between create and postcreate (or update respectively) is how late the hook is called during save operation. In the former case when a hook fails it starts rollback and operation can be still cancelled. In the latter case object was already saved and there is no way of cancelling the operation, but all referenced data should be properly loaded. The advice is to use the latter hooks as they will likely contain all the required data (e.g. nested parameters).

Orchestration hooks can be given a priority by prefixing the filename with the priority number, therefore it is possible to order them before or after built-in orchestration steps (before DNS records are created for example). Existing common priority levels are:

  • 2: Set up compute instance (create VM)
  • 10: Create DNS record
  • 10: Create DHCP reservation
  • 20: Deploy TFTP configs
  • 50: Create realm entry
  • 1000: Power up compute instance

Rails events

Supported on all object types.

For hooks on anything apart from hosts or NICs (which support orchestration, as above) then the standard Rails events will be needed. These are the most interesting events provided:

  • after_create, before_create
  • after_destroy, before_destroy

Every event has a "before" and "after" hook. For the full list, see the Constants section at the bottom of the ActiveRecord::Callbacks documentation.

The host object has two additional callbacks that you can use:

  • host/managed/after_build triggers when a host is put into build mode (does not trigger upon new host creation, even when build flag is set)
  • host/managed/before_provision triggers when a host completes the OS install

Execution of hooks

Hooks are executed in the context of the Foreman server, so usually under the foreman user.

The first argument is always the event name, enabling scripts to be symlinked into multiple event directories. The second argument is the string representation of the object that was hooked, e.g. the hostname for a host.

~foreman/config/hooks/host/managed/create/ create

A JSON representation of the hook object will be passed in on stdin. A utility to read this with jgrep is provided in examples/ and sourcing this utility script will be enough for most users. Otherwise, you may want to ensure stdin is closed to prevent pipe buffer from filling.

echo '{"host":{"name":""}}' \
  | ~foreman/config/hooks/host/managed/create/ \

Some arguments are available as environment variables:

Variable Description
FOREMAN_HOOKS_USER Username of Foreman user

Every hook within the event directory is executed in alphabetical order. For orchestration hooks, an integer prefix in the hook filename will be used as the priority value, so influences where it's done in relation to DNS, DHCP, VM creation and other tasks.

When testing hooks, don't rely on writing logs to /tmp or /var/tmp as you may not be able to see the contents. On modern systemd-based OSes, Apache (and Foreman) is run with a private temp directory to improve security - consider using ~foreman/tmp/ instead, or read /tmp/systemd-private-* as root.

Hook failures and rollback

If a hook fails (non-zero return code), the event is logged. For Rails events, execution of other hooks will continue.

For orchestration events, a failure will halt the action and rollback will occur. If another orchestration action fails, the hook might be called again to rollback its action - in this case the first argument will change as appropriate, so must be obeyed by the script (e.g. a "create" hook will be called with "destroy" if it has to be rolled back later).


Entries are logged at application startup and during execution of hooks, but most will be at 'debug' level and may use the 'sql' logger. Enable this in Foreman's /etc/foreman/settings.yaml:

  :level: debug
    :enabled: true

See Foreman manual: Debugging for full details.

Enabling debugging and searching the Foreman log file (/var/log/foreman/production.log) for the word "hook" will find all relevant log entries.

Hook discovery and setup

Expect to see these entries when the server starts:

  • Found hook to Host::Managed#create, filename 01_example - for each executable hook script in the correct location
  • Finished discovering 3 hooks for Host::Managed#create - for each unique event with hook scripts
  • Extending Host::Managed with foreman_hooks orchestration hooking support - if any orchestration (create/update/destroy) hooks exist for that object
  • Extending Host::Managed with foreman_hooks Rails hooking support - if any Rails events hooks exist for that object
  • Created hook method after_create on Host::Managed - for each type of Rails event that has hooks

Running hooks

Expect to see these entries logged when a hooked action occurs:

  • Observed after_create hook on when a registered Rails event occurs, hook will then execute immediately
  • Queuing 3 hooks for Host::Managed#create when an orchestration action is being set up (hook will be executed later during orchestration)
  • Queuing hook 01_example for Host::Managed#create at priority 01 for each hook registered when setting up an orchestration action
  • Running hook: /example/config/hooks/host/managed/create/01_example create as the hook (orchestration or Rails event) is executed


Most hooks are triggered during database transaction. This can cause conflicting updates when hook scripts emits database updates via Foreman CLI or API. It is recommended to avoid this behavior and write a Foreman plugin instead.

SELinux notes

When using official installation on Red Hat and Fedora system, note that SELinux is turned on by default and Foreman is running in confined mode. Make sure that hook scripts has the correct context (foreman_hook_t on RHEL7+/Fedora 19+ or bin_t on RHEL6):

restorecon -RvF /usr/share/foreman/config/hooks

Also keep in mind that the script is running confined, therefore some actions might be denied by SELinux. Check audit.log and use audit2allow and other tools when writing scripts.

More resources


Copyright (c) 2012-2017 Dominic Cleal

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see