Background: recently I discovered an issue on our servers where zookeeper wouldn't start on one of them. It was caused by the myid file being empty (it requires a number). Executing salt didn't fix it. It turns out that the issue was cause by a recent hostname change. I fixed the sls file, but any such tweak may cause it to break again.

So, my question is: can I use salt to validate that certain changes were correctly applied? In this case, I could check the size of the file or validate that the contents contained a single number. Ideally this would be run as part of the execution of a state, but if there's another way I'd love to hear it.

Just to be specific, I'm not looking to validate or lint the state file themselves. I just want to ensure that the end results are valid to some degree. E.g. the file contains a single number and isn't empty.

  • 1
    Have a look at serverspec.
    – jordanm
    Feb 2, 2017 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


To go along with Roald Nefs' answer, you can use module.run within a state to execute a module within a state. So, for my case, I ended up doing this:

        name: file.search
        path: /path/to/myid
        pattern: '\d'

If the pattern fails to match, then it will report a failure, which is exactly what I want.


With the salt.module.file module you would be able to manage information about regular files, directories, and special files on the minion, set/read user, group, mode, and data.

This modules includes a search() function which allows you to search for occurrences of a pattern in a file.

salt '*' file.search /path/to/the/file pattern='='

The pattern is a regular expression, to be matched using Python's search().

You could use the diskusage() function to recursively calculate disk usage of path and return it in bytes:

salt '*' file.diskusage /path/to/the/file

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