Checking sudoers with visudo in SaltStack

At work we are migrating our server deployment setup to use SaltStack. One of the things we do at deploy time is generate a sudoers file, but as one of our engineers found out, if you do not verify the contents of the sudoers file before deploying it you will be in a world of hurt.

Salt actually has a pretty good built in tool for this, but it’s very poorly documented. This is one of the most obvious uses for it and because Googling for it didn’t work for me I figured I’d make it work for someone else.

The feature is the check_cmd flag on file.managed. The current documentation for the feature is:

The specified command will be run with the managed file as an argument. If the command exits with a nonzero exit code, the state will fail and no changes will be made to the file.

This isn’t super clear. It takes the generated content, puts it in a tmpfile, runs the command + the tmpfile path, and then replaces the real contents with the tmpfile. So here is how I used it to verify sudoers

    - name: {{ }}
    - user: root
    - group: root
    - mode: 0440
    - source: {{ sudo.config_file.source }}
    - template: {{ sudo.config_file.template }}
    - check_cmd: /usr/sbin/visudo -c -f
    - require:
      - pkg: sudo
      - group: sudo

Hope this helps!

Posted Thu, Jan 14, 2016