Running tasks


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

To execute a task, run bolt task run, specifying:

  • 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 flag.

  • If credentials are required to connect to the target, the username and password, with the --user and --password flags.

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

bolt task run mysql::sql database=mydatabase sql="SHOW TABLES" --targets neptune --modulepath ~/modules

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:

bolt task run package action=status name=vim --targets neptune --modulepath ~/modules

🔩 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 accept 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.

bolt task run 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 flag.

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

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

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

To pass JSON values in PowerShell without worrying about escaping, use ConvertTo-Json

bolt task run mymodule::mytask --targets --params $(@{load_balancers=@("","")} | ConvertTo-Json)

Specifying the module path

In order for Bolt to find a task, the task must be in a module on the module path. The default modulepath is [<project directory>/modules, <project directory>/site-modules].

The current Bolt project is loaded as a standalone module at the front of the module path. If you are developing a new task, you can create a <PROJECT_NAME>/bolt-project.yaml file, develop your task in <PROJECT_NAME>/tasks/, and run Bolt from the root of your Bolt project directory to test the task. For more information, see Bolt projects.

📖 Related information

Bolt project directories

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