Running tasks

Bolt can run Puppet tasks on remote targets without requiring any Puppet infrastructure. 

To execute a task, specify the following:

  • The full name of the task, formatted as <MODULE::TASK>, or as <MODULE> for a module's main task (the init task).

  • Any task parameters, as parameter=value.

  • The targets on which to run the task and the connection protocol, with the targets command-line option.

  • (If credentials are required to connect to the target.) The username and password, with the user and password command-line options.

For example, to run the sql task from the mysql module on a target named neptune:

  • *nix shell command

    bolt task run mysql::sql database=mydatabase --targets neptune sql="SHOW TABLES"
  • PowerShell cmdlet

    Invoke-BoltTask -Name mysql::sql -Targets neptune database=mydatabase sql="SHOW TABLES"

To run the main module task defined in init, refer to the task by the module name only. For example, the puppetlabs-package module contains only one task, defined as init, but this task can execute several actions. To run the status action from this module to check whether the vim package is installed, you run:

  • *nix shell command

    bolt task run package --targets neptune action=status name=vim 
  • PowerShell cmdlet

    Invoke-BoltTask -Name package -Targets neptune action=status name=vim

🔩 Tip: Bolt ships with a collection of modules that contain useful plans to support common workflows. For details, see Packaged modules.

Passing structured data

If one of your task or plan parameters accepts structured data like an array or hash, it can be passed as JSON from the command line.

If a single parameter can be parsed as JSON and the parsed value matches the parameter's type specification in the task metadata or plan definition, it can be passed with <PARAM>=<VALUE> syntax. Make sure to wrap the JSON value in single quotes to prevent " characters from being swallowed by the shell.

  • *nix shell command

    bolt task run mymodule::mytask --targets load_balancers='["", ""]'
  • PowerShell cmdlet

    Invoke-BoltTask -Name mymodule::mytask -Targets load_balancers='["", ""]'

If you want to pass multiple structured values or are having trouble with the magic parsing of single parameters, you can pass a single JSON object for all parameters with the params command-line option.

  • *nix shell command

    bolt task run mymodule::mytask --targets --params '{"load_balancers": ["", ""]}'
  • PowerShell cmdlet

    Invoke-BoltTask -Name mymodule::mytask -Targets -Params '{"load_balancers": ["", ""]}'

You can also load parameters from a file by putting @ before the file name.

  • *nix shell command

    bolt task run mymodule::mytask --targets --params @param_file.json
  • PowerShell cmdlet

    Invoke-BoltTask -Name mymodule::mytask -Targets -Params '@param_file.json'

Task location

In order for Bolt to find a task, the task must be in a module on the modulepath or in the tasks/ directory in your Bolt project. If you are developing a new task, you can create a Bolt project, develop your task in <PROJECT DIRECTORY>/tasks/, and run Bolt from the root of your Bolt project directory to test the task.

📖 Related information