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Salt 0.12.0 Release Notes

:release: 2013-01-15

Another feature release of Salt is here! Some exciting additions are included
with more ways to make salt modular and even easier management of the salt
file server.

Major Features

Modular Fileserver Backend

The new modular fileserver backend allows for any external system to be used as
a salt file server. The main benefit here is that it is now possible to tell
the master to directly use a git remote location, or many git remote locations,
automatically mapping git branches and tags to salt environments.

Windows is First Class!

A new Salt Windows installer is now available! Much work has been put in to
improve Windows support. With this much easier method of getting Salt on your
Windows machines, we hope even more development and progress will occur. Please
file bug reports on the Salt GitHub repo issue tracker so we can continue

One thing that is missing on Windows that Salt uses extensively is a software
package manager and a software package repository. The Salt pkg state allows
sys admins to install software across their infrastructure and across operating
systems. Software on Windows can now be managed in the same way. The SaltStack
team built a package manager that interfaces with the standard Salt pkg module
to allow for installing and removing software on Windows. In addition, a
software package repository has been built on top of the Salt fileserver. A
small YAML file provides the information necessary for the package manager to
install and remove software.

An interesting feature of the new Salt Windows software package repository is
that one or more remote git repositories can supplement the master's local
repository. The repository can point to software on the master's fileserver or
on an HTTP, HTTPS, or ftp server.

New Default Outputter

Salt displays data to the terminal via the outputter system. For a long time
the default outputter for Salt has been the python pretty print library.  While
this has been a generally reasonable outputter, it did have many failings.  The
new default outputter is called "nested", it recursively scans return data
structures and prints them out cleanly.

If the result of the new nested outputter is not desired any other outputter
can be used via the --out option, or the output option can be set in the master
and minion configs to change the default outputter.

Internal Scheduler

The internal Salt scheduler is a new capability which allows for functions to
be executed at given intervals on the minion, and for runners to be executed
at given intervals on the master. The scheduler allows for sequences
such as executing state runs (locally on the minion or remotely via an
overstate) or continually gathering system data to be run at given intervals.

The configuration is simple, add the schedule option to the master or minion
config and specify jobs to run, this in the master config will execute the
state.over runner every 60 minutes:

.. code-block:: yaml

        function: state.over
        minutes: 60

This example for the minion configuration will execute a highstate every 30

.. code-block:: yaml

        function: state.highstate
        minutes: 30

Optional DSL for SLS Formulas

Jack Kuan, our renderer expert, has created something that is astonishing.
Salt, now comes with an optional Python based DSL, this is a very powerful
interface that makes writing SLS files in pure python easier than it was
with the raw py renderer. As usual this can be used with the renderer shebang
line, so a single sls can be written with the DSL if pure python power is
needed while keeping other sls files simple with YAML.

Set Grains Remotely

A new execution function and state module have been added that allows for
grains to be set on the minion. Now grains can be set via a remote execution or
via states. Use the `grains.present` state or the `grains.setval` execution

Gentoo Additions

Major additions to Gentoo specific components have been made. The encompasses
executions modules and states ranging from supporting the make.conf file to
tools like layman.