Version: 0.7.9
Rancher Nodes Plugin
Karl DeBisschop

Provide Resource Model, Node Executor, and File Copier for connecting to Rancher-controlled Docker containers.

Rancher Nodes Plugin for Rundeck

This plugin implements Rundeck nodes for Rancher-managed Docker containers.


The containers must have bash installed for the Node Executer to work.


Rancher Node Resource

Collects nodes from a Rancher controller host.


  • Project can include multiple environments.
  • API keys are not exposed in configuration.
  • Nodes can be created from containers, services, or both.
  • Can limit selected containers to one per service.
  • Can exclude stopped containers.
  • Can exclude global containers.
  • Can exclude system containers.
  • Can apply a fixed set of tags to all selected containers.
  • Can define node attributes from container labels (configured by regex).
  • Can add tags from container labels (configured by regex).
  • Can add node description (e.g., url) via a label like "com.example.description"


  • Node executor has configurable timeout.
  • Authentication tokens for node executor and file copier are in password storage.
  • The path for authentication tokens is specified in the node source configuration.
  • Users will need to add those keys to storage in addition to entering them as password on the configuration page.


Note that Rancher uses container ID to to construct the URL used to make API requests. When services are upgraded, new containers are created so the API urls used in the node operations cannot work anymore. The container does not exist, so the URL will fail. As long nodes are defined by containers, there is probably no way to avoid this.

The result is that file copies and node executions will not work when performed in the same execution context after an upgrade because the node set is defined in that job context. The Rundeck solution to this issue is to do the upgrade then:

  1. Run a "Refresh Nodes" workflow step
  2. Run the node execute or file copy step as a job reference

Note that refreshing nodes, Rundeck changes the nodes in the global context, but not the running job. So it is essential that the execution is in a job reference and not in the same job context.

Rancher Node Executor

Executes jobs on remote Docker containers managed by the Rancher host.


  • Can select first container in a service so only one needs to run (filter by "seen:1").
  • Reconstructs the STDERR channel that is missing in output from Rancher API.

Rancher File Copier

Copies files to a node. Can be configured to use Rancher CLI if it is installed and available. Otherwise, assembles files from Base64-encoded parts transmitted via Rancher API.

To distribute to all containers in a stack's service, omit the filter for "seen".

Upgrade Service

Upgrades an existing service. Has required inputs:

  • Docker image
  • Start before stopping

Had many optional inputs:

  • New service labels (JSON Object)
  • New environment variables (JSON Object)
  • New secrets (list of strings)

New Stack

Create a new stack. Has two required inputs:

  • Stack Name (string)
  • Environment ID (string)

Environment ID most correspond to an existing Rancher environment. Stack name must not exist in that environment.

Add Service

Adds a service to an existing stack. Required inputs:

  • Environment ID (string)
  • Stack Name (string)
  • Service Name (string)
  • Docker image

Optional inputs:

  • Data volumes
  • OS environment
  • Service labels
  • Secrets

Manage Service

Activate, deactivate, or restart a service.

Road Map

  • 0.6.6 Make File Copier binary-safe.
  • 0.7.0 Provide container upgrade node step, with ability to set labels and environment variables.
  • 0.7.x Provide ability to remove labels and environment variables via container upgrade.
  • 0.9.x Provide reasonable if not complete test coverage prior to 1.x


This has been tested with Rundeck 3.1.3 and Rancher 1.6.26.