Show the exit status in your $PS1

As an update to my earlier article, a friend gave me an idea of how to make my $PS1 even better… First, the relevant part of my ~/.bashrc:

ps1_prompt() {
	local ps1_exit=$?

	if [ $ps1_exit -eq 0 ]; then
		#ps1_status=`echo -e "\[\033[32m\]"'\$'"\[\033[0m\]"`
		ps1_status=`echo -e "\[\033[1;31m\]"'\$'"\[\033[0m\]"`


	if [ "$(__git_ps1 %s)" != '' -a "$(__git_ps1 %s)" != 'master' ]; then
		ps1_git=" (\[\033[32m\]"$(__git_ps1 "%s")"\[\033[0m\])"

	PS1="${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]${ps1_git}${ps1_status} "

# preserve earlier PROMPT_COMMAND entries...

If you haven’t figured it out, the magic is that the trailing $ prompt gets coloured in red when the previous command exited with a non-zero value. Example:

james@computer:~$ cdmkdir /tmp/ttboj # yes, i built cdmkdir
james@computer:/tmp/ttboj$ false
james@computer:/tmp/ttboj$ echo ttboj
james@computer:/tmp/ttboj$ ^C
james@computer:/tmp/ttboj$ true
james@computer:/tmp/ttboj$ cd ~/code/puppet/puppet-gluster/
james@computer:~/code/puppet/puppet-gluster$ # hack, hack, hack...

You can still:

$ echo $?

if you want more specifics about what the exact return code was, and of course you can edit the above ~/.bashrc snippet to match your needs.

Hopefully this will help you be more productive, I know it’s helping me!

Happy hacking,


Screencasts of Puppet-Gluster + Vagrant

I decided to record some screencasts to show how easy it is to deploy GlusterFS using Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant. You can follow along even if you don’t know anything about Puppet or Vagrant. The hardest part of this process was producing the actual videos!

If recommend first reading my earlier articles if you’re planning on following along:

Without any further delay, here are the screencasts:

Part 1: Intro, and provisioning of the Puppet server.

Part 2: Initial building of the Gluster hosts.

Part 3: Finishing the Gluster builds.

Part 4: GlusterFS client mounting and tests.

Part 5: Mixed bag of code, infrastructure tours, examples and other details.

I hope you enjoyed these videos. Thank you to the community for hosting them. If you liked these videos, please consider sponsoring some of my work, or making a donation!

As a side note, the only screencast tool that worked was gtk-recordmydesktop, however it deleted my second recording (which had to be re-recorded) and the audio stopped working one minute into my third recording (which had to then be separately recorded, and mixed in). Amazingly, pitivi was the only tool which worked to properly mix them together!

Happy Hacking,


PS: Please note, you may not sell, edit, redistribute, perform, or host these videos elsewhere without my permission. I especially don’t want to see them on youtube until Google let’s me unlink my youtube account! If you do want my permission to use these videos for something, contact me, and we can work something out. I’ll surely allow it if it’s not for something evil. If you’d rather have an interactive, live demo, let me know!

Building base images for Vagrant with a Makefile

I needed a base image “box” for my Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant work. It would have been great if good boxes already existed, and even better if it were easy to build my own. As it turns out, I wasn’t able to satisfy either of these conditions, so I’ve had to build one myself! I’ve published all of my code, so that you can use these techniques and tools too!

Status quo:

Having an NIH problem is bad for your vision, and it’s best to benefit from existing tools before creating your own. I first tried using vagrant-cachier, and then veewee, and packer. Vagrant-cachier is a great tool, but it turned out not being very useful because there weren’t any base images available for download that met my needs. Veewee and packer can build those images, but they both failed in doing so for different reasons. Hopefully this situation will improve in the future.

Writing a script:

I started by hacking together a short shell script of commands for building base images. There wasn’t much programming involved as the process was fairly linear, but it was useful to figure out what needed getting done.

I decided to use the excellent virt-builder command to put together the base image. This is exactly what it’s good at doing! To install it on Fedora 20, you can run:

$ sudo yum install libguestfs-tools

It wasn’t available in Fedora 19, but after a lot of pain, I managed to build (mostly correct?) packages. I have posted them online if you are brave (or crazy?) enough to want them.

Using the right tool:

After building a few images, I realized that a shell script was the wrong tool, and that it was time for an upgrade. What was the right tool? GNU Make! After working on this for more hours than I’m ready to admit, I present to you, a lovingly crafted virtual machine base image (“box”) builder:


The Makefile itself is quite compact. It uses a few shell scripts to do some of the customization, and builds a clean image in about ten minutes. To use it, just run make.


At the moment, it builds x86_64, CentOS 6.5+ machines for vagrant-libvirt, but you can edit the Makefile to build a custom image of your choosing. I’ve gone out of my way to add an $(OUTPUT) variable to the Makefile so that your generated files get saved in /tmp/ or somewhere outside of your source tree.

Download the image:

If you’d like to download the image that I generated, it is being generously hosted by the Gluster community here. If you’re using the Vagrantfile from my Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant setup, then you don’t have to download it manually, this will happen automatically.

Open issues:

The biggest issue with the images is that SELinux gets disabled! You might be okay with this, but it’s actually quite unfortunate. It is disabled to avoid the SELinux relabelling that happens on first boot, as this overhead defeats the usefulness of a fast vagrant deployment. If you know of a way to fix this problem, please let me know!

Example output:

If you’d like to see this in action, but don’t want to run it yourself, here’s an example run:

$ date && time make && date
Mon Jan 20 10:57:35 EST 2014
Running templater...
Running virt-builder...
[   1.0] Downloading:
[   4.0] Planning how to build this image
[   4.0] Uncompressing
[  19.0] Resizing (using virt-resize) to expand the disk to 40.0G
[ 173.0] Opening the new disk
[ 181.0] Setting a random seed
[ 181.0] Setting root password
[ 181.0] Installing packages: screen vim-enhanced git wget file man tree nmap tcpdump htop lsof telnet mlocate bind-utils koan iftop yum-utils nc rsync nfs-utils sudo openssh-server openssh-clients
[ 212.0] Uploading: files/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm to /root/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
[ 212.0] Uploading: files/puppetlabs-release-el-6.noarch.rpm to /root/puppetlabs-release-el-6.noarch.rpm
[ 212.0] Uploading: files/selinux to /etc/selinux/config
[ 212.0] Deleting: /.autorelabel
[ 212.0] Running: yum install -y /root/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm && rm -f /root/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
[ 214.0] Running: yum install -y bash-completion moreutils
[ 235.0] Running: yum install -y /root/puppetlabs-release-el-6.noarch.rpm && rm -f /root/puppetlabs-release-el-6.noarch.rpm
[ 239.0] Running: yum install -y puppet
[ 254.0] Running: yum update -y
[ 375.0] Running: files/
[ 376.0] Running: files/
[ 376.0] Running: files/
[ 376.0] Running: files/
[ 377.0] Finishing off
Output: /home/james/tmp/builder/gluster/builder.img
Output size: 40.0G
Output format: qcow2
Total usable space: 38.2G
Free space: 37.3G (97%)
Running convert...
Running tar...

real	9m10.523s
user	2m23.282s
sys	0m37.109s
Mon Jan 20 11:06:46 EST 2014

If you have any other questions, please let me know!

Happy hacking,


PS: Be careful when writing Makefile‘s. They can be dangerous if used improperly, and in fact I once took out part of my lib/ directory by running one. Woops!

UPDATE: This technique now exists in it’s own repo here:

Testing GlusterFS during “Glusterfest”

The GlusterFS community is having a “test day”. Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant is a great tool to help with this, and it has now been patched to support alpha, beta, qa, and rc releases! Because it was built so well (*cough*, shameless plug), it only took one patch.

Okay, first make sure that your Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant setup is working properly. I have only tested this on Fedora 20. Please read:

Automatically deploying GlusterFS with Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant!

to make sure you’re comfortable with the tools and infrastructure.

This weekend we’re testing 3.5.0 beta1. It turns out that the full rpm version for this is:


You can figure out these strings yourself by browsing the folders in:

To test a specific version, use the --gluster-version argument that I added to the vagrant command. For this deployment, here is the list of commands that I used:

$ mkdir /tmp/vagrant/
$ cd /tmp/vagrant/
$ git clone --recursive
$ cd vagrant/gluster/
$ vagrant up puppet
$ sudo -v && vagrant up --gluster-version='3.5.0-0.1.beta1.el6' --gluster-count=2 --no-parallel

As you can see, this is a standard vagrant deploy. I’ve decided to build two gluster hosts (--gluster-count=2) and I’m specifying the version string shown above. I’ve also decided to build in series (--no-parallel) because I think there might be some hidden race conditions, possibly in the vagrant-libvirt stack.

After about five minutes, the two hosts were built, and about six minutes after that, Puppet-Gluster had finished doing its magic. I had logged in to watch the progress, but if you were out getting a coffee, when you came back you could run:

$ gluster volume info

to see your newly created volume!

If you want to try a different version or host count, you don’t need to destroy the entire infrastructure. You can destroy the gluster annex hosts:

$ vagrant destroy annex{1..2}

and then run a new vagrant up command.

In addition, I’ve added a --gluster-firewall option. Currently it defaults to false because there’s a strange firewall bug blocking my VRRP (keepalived) setup. If you’d like to enable it and help me fix this bug, you can use:


To make sure the firewall is off, you can use:


In the future, I will change the default value to true, so specify it explicitly if you need a certain behaviour.

Happy hacking,


Automatically deploying GlusterFS with Puppet-Gluster + Vagrant!

Puppet-Gluster was always about automating the deployment of GlusterFS. Getting your own Puppet server and the associated infrastructure running was never included “out of the box“. Today, it is! (This is big news!)

I’ve used Vagrant to automatically build these GlusterFS clusters. I’ve tested this with Fedora 20, and vagrant-libvirt. This won’t work with Fedora 19 because of bz#876541. I recommend first reading my earlier articles for Vagrant and Fedora:

Once you’re comfortable with the material in the above articles, we can continue…

The short answer:

$ sudo service nfs start
$ git clone --recursive
$ cd puppet-gluster/vagrant/gluster/
$ vagrant up puppet && sudo -v && vagrant up

Once those commands finish, you should have four running gluster hosts, and a puppet server. The gluster hosts will still be building. You can log in and tail -F log files, or watch -n 1 gluster status commands.

The whole process including the one-time downloads took about 30 minutes. If you’ve got faster internet that I do, I’m sure you can cut that down to under 20. Building the gluster hosts themselves probably takes about 15 minutes.

Enjoy your new Gluster cluster!


I took a few screenshots to make this more visual for you. I like to have virt-manager open so that I can visually see what’s going on:

The annex{1..4} machines are building in parallel.

The annex{1..4} machines are building in parallel. The valleys happened when the machines were waiting for the vagrant DHCP server (dnsmasq).

Here we can see two puppet runs happening on annex1 and annex4.

Notice the two peaks on the puppet server which correspond to the valleys on annex{1,4}.

Notice the two peaks on the puppet server which correspond to the valleys on annex{1,4}.

Here’s another example, with four hosts working in parallel:


Can you answer why the annex machines have two peaks? Why are the second peaks bigger?

Tell me more!

Okay, let’s start with the command sequence shown above.

$ sudo service nfs start

This needs to be run once if the NFS server on your host is not already running. It is used to provide folder synchronization for the Vagrant guest machines. I offer more information about the NFS synchronization in an earlier article.

$ git clone --recursive

This will pull down the Puppet-Gluster source, and all the necessary submodules.

$ cd puppet-gluster/vagrant/gluster/

The Puppet-Gluster source contains a vagrant subdirectory. I’ve included a gluster subdirectory inside it, so that your machines get a sensible prefix. In the future, this might not be necessary.

$ vagrant up puppet && sudo -v && vagrant up

This is where the fun stuff happens. You’ll need a base box image to run machines with Vagrant. Luckily, I’ve already built one for you, and it is generously hosted by the Gluster community.

The very first time you run this Vagrant command, it will download this image automatically, install it and then continue the build process. This initial box download and installation only happens once. Subsequent Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant deploys and re-deploys won’t need to re-download the base image!

This command starts by building the puppet server. Vagrant might use sudo to prompt you for root access. This is used to manage your /etc/exports file. After the puppet server is finished building, we refresh the sudo cache to avoid bug #2680.

The last vagrant up command starts up the remaining gluster hosts in parallel, and kicks off the initial puppet runs. As I mentioned above, the gluster hosts will still be building. Puppet automatically waits for the cluster to “settle” and enter a steady state (no host/brick changes) before it creates the first volume. You can log in and tail -F log files, or watch -n 1 gluster status commands.

At this point, your cluster is running and you can do whatever you want with it! Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant is meant to be easy. If this wasn’t easy, or you can think of a way to make this better, let me know!

I want N hosts, not 4:

By default, this will build four (4) gluster hosts. I’ve spent a lot of time writing a fancy Vagrantfile, to give you speed and configurability. If you’d like to set a different number of hosts, you’ll first need to destroy the hosts that you’ve built already:

$ vagrant destroy annex{1..4}

You don’t have to rebuild the puppet server because this command is clever and automatically cleans the old host entries from it! This makes re-deploying even faster!

Then, run the vagrant up command with the --gluster-count=<N> argument. Example:

$ vagrant up --gluster-count=8

This is also configurable in the puppet-gluster.yaml file which will appear in your vagrant working directory. Remember that before you change any configuration option, you should destroy the affected hosts first, otherwise vagrant can get confused about the current machine state.

I want to test a different GlusterFS version:

By default, this will use the packages from:

but if you’d like to pick a specific GlusterFS version you can do so with the --gluster-version=<version> argument. Example:

$ vagrant up --gluster-version='3.4.2-1.el6'

This is also stored, and configurable in the puppet-gluster.yaml file.

Does (repeating) this consume a lot of bandwidth?

Not really, no. There is an initial download of about 450MB for the base image. You’ll only ever need to download this again if I publish an updated version.

Each deployment will hit a public mirror to download the necessary puppet, GlusterFS and keepalived packages. The puppet server caused about 115MB of package downloads, and each gluster host needed about 58MB.

The great thing about this setup, is that it is integrated with vagrant-cachier, so that you don’t have to re-download packages. When building the gluster hosts in parallel (the default), each host will have to download the necessary packages into a separate directory. If you’d like each host to share the same cache folder, and save yourself 58MB or so per machine, you’ll need to build in series. You can do this with:

$ vagrant up --no-parallel

I chose speed over preserving bandwidth, so I do not recommend this option. If your ISP has a bandwidth cap, you should find one that isn’t crippled.

Subsequent re-builds won’t download any packages that haven’t already been downloaded.

What should I look for?

Once the vagrant commands are done running, you’ll want to look at something to see how your machines are doing. I like to log in and run different commands. I usually log in like this:

$ vcssh --screen root@annex{1..4}

I explain how to do this kind of magic in an earlier post. I then run some of the following commands:

# tail -F /var/log/messages

This lets me see what the machine is doing. I can see puppet runs and other useful information fly by.

# ip a s eth2

This lets me check that the VIP is working correctly, and which machine it’s on. This should usually be the first machine.

# ps auxww | grep again.[py]

This lets me see if puppet has scheduled another puppet run. My scripts automatically do this when they decide that there is still building (deployment) left to do. If you see a python process, this means it is sleeping and will wake up to continue shortly.

# gluster peer status

This lets me see which hosts have connected, and what state they’re in.

# gluster volume info

This lets me see if Puppet-Gluster has built me a volume yet. By default it builds one distributed volume named puppet.

I want to configure this differently!

Okay, you’re more than welcome to! All of the scripts can be customized. If you want to configure the volume(s) differently, you’ll want to look in the:


file. The gluster::simple class is well-documented, and can be configured however you like. If you want to do more serious hacking, have a look at the Vagrantfile, the source, and the submodules. Of course the GlusterFS source is a great place to hack too!

The network block, domain, and other parameters are all configurable inside of the Vagrantfile. I’ve tried to use sensible defaults where possible. I’m using as the default domain. Yes, this will work fine on your private network. DNS is currently configured with the /etc/hosts file. I wrote some magic into the Vagrantfile so that the slow /etc/hosts shell provisioning only has to happen once per machine! If you have a better, functioning, alternative, please let me know!

What’s the greatest number of machines this will scale to?

Good question! I’d like to know too! I know that GlusterFS probably can’t scale to 1000 hosts yet. Keepalived can’t support more than 256 priorities, therefore Puppet-Gluster can’t scale beyond that count until a suitable fix can be found. There are likely some earlier limits inside of Puppet-Gluster due to maximum command line length constraints that you’ll hit. If you find any, let me know and I’ll patch them. Patches now cost around seven karma points. Other than those limits, there’s the limit of my hardware. Since this is all being virtualized on a lowly X201, my tests are limited. An upgrade would be awesome!

Can I use this to test QA releases, point releases and new GlusterFS versions?

Absolutely! That’s the idea. There are two caveats:

  1. Automatically testing QA releases isn’t supported until the QA packages have a sensible home on or similar. This will need a change to:

    The gluster community is working on this, and as soon as a solution is found, I’ll patch Puppet-Gluster to support it. If you want to disable automatic repository management (in gluster::simple) and manage this yourself with the vagrant shell provisioner, you’re able to do so now.

  2. It’s possible that new releases introduce bugs, or change things in a backwards incompatible way that breaks Puppet-Gluster. If this happens, please let me know so that something can get patched. That’s what testing is for!

You could probably use this infrastructure to test GlusterFS builds automatically, but that’s a project that would need real funding.

Updating the puppet source:

If you make a change to the puppet source, but you don’t want to rebuild the puppet virtual machine, you don’t have to. All you have to do is run:

$ vagrant provision puppet

This will update the puppet server with any changes made to the source tree at:


Keep in mind that the modules subdirectory contains all the necessary puppet submodules, and a clone of puppet-gluster itself. You’ll first need to run make inside of:


to refresh the local clone. To see what’s going on, or to customize the process, you can look at the Makefile.

Client machines:

At the moment, this doesn’t build separate machines for gluster client use. You can either mount your gluster pool from the puppet server, another gluster server, or if you add the right DNS entries to your /etc/hosts, you can mount the volume on your host machine. If you really want Vagrant to build client machines, you’ll have to persuade me.

What about firewalls?

Normally I use shorewall to manage the firewall. It integrates well with Puppet-Gluster, and does a great job. For an unexplained reason, it seems to be blocking my VRRP (keepalived) traffic, and I had to disable it. I think this is due to a libvirt networking bug, but I can’t prove it yet. If you can help debug this issue, please let me know! To reproduce it, enable the firewall and shorewall directives in:


and then get keepalived to work.

Re-provisioning a machine after a long wait throws an error:

You might be hitting: vagrant-cachier #74. If you do, there is an available workaround.

Keepalived shows “invalid passwd!” messages in the logs:

This is expected. This happens because we build a distributed password for use with keepalived. Before the cluster state has settled, the password will be different from host to host. Only when the cluster is coherent will the password be identical everywhere, which incidentally is the only time when the VIP matters.

How did you build that awesome base image?

I used virt-builder, some scripts, and a clever Makefile. I’ll be publishing this code shortly. Hasn’t this been enough to keep you busy for a while?

Are you still here?

If you’ve read this far, then good for you! I’m sorry that it has been a long read, but I figured I would try to answer everyone’s questions in advance. I’d like to hear your comments! I get very little feedback, and I’ve never gotten a single tip! If you find this useful, please let me know.

Until then,

Happy hacking,


Vagrant clustered SSH and ‘screen’

Some fun updates for vagrant hackers… I wanted to use the venerable clustered SSH (cssh) and screen with vagrant. I decided to expand on my vsftp script. First read:

Vagrant on Fedora with libvirt


Vagrant vsftp and other tricks

to get up to speed on the background information.

Vagrant screen:

First, a simple screen hack… I often use my vssh alias to quickly ssh into a machine, but I don’t want to have to waste time with sudo-ing to root and then running screen each time. Enter vscreen:

# vagrant screen
function vscreen {
	[ "$1" = '' ] || [ "$2" != '' ] && echo "Usage: vscreen <vm-name> - vagrant screen" 1>&2 && return 1
	wd=`pwd`		# save wd, then find the Vagrant project
	while [ "`pwd`" != '/' ] && [ ! -e "`pwd`/Vagrantfile" ] && [ ! -d "`pwd`/.vagrant/" ]; do
		#echo "pwd is `pwd`"
		cd ..
	cd $wd
	if [ ! -e "$pwd/Vagrantfile" ] || [ ! -d "$pwd/.vagrant/" ]; then
		echo 'Vagrant project not found!' 1>&2 && return 2

	# hostname extraction from user@host pattern
	p=`expr index "$1" '@'`
	if [ $p -gt 0 ]; then
		let "l = ${#h} - $p"

	# if mtime of $f is > than 5 minutes (5 * 60 seconds), re-generate...
	if [ `date -d "now - $(stat -c '%Y' "$f" 2> /dev/null) seconds" +%s` -gt 300 ]; then
		mkdir -p "$d"
		# we cache the lookup because this command is slow...
		vagrant ssh-config "$h" > "$f" || rm "$f"
	[ -e "$f" ] && ssh -t -F "$f" "$1" 'screen -xRR'

I usually run it this way:

$ vscreen root@machine

which logs in as root, to machine and gets me (back) into screen. This is almost identical to the vsftp script which I explained in an earlier blog post.

Vagrant cssh:

First you’ll need to install cssh. On my Fedora machine it’s as easy as:

# yum install -y clusterssh

I’ve been hacking a lot on Puppet-Gluster lately, and occasionally multi-machine hacking demands multi-machine key punching. Enter vcssh:

# vagrant cssh
function vcssh {
	[ "$1" = '' ] && echo "Usage: vcssh [options] [user@]<vm1>[ [user@]vm2[ [user@]vmN...]] - vagrant cssh" 1>&2 && return 1
	wd=`pwd`		# save wd, then find the Vagrant project
	while [ "`pwd`" != '/' ] && [ ! -e "`pwd`/Vagrantfile" ] && [ ! -d "`pwd`/.vagrant/" ]; do
		#echo "pwd is `pwd`"
		cd ..
	cd $wd
	if [ ! -e "$pwd/Vagrantfile" ] || [ ! -d "$pwd/.vagrant/" ]; then
		echo 'Vagrant project not found!' 1>&2 && return 2

	cat='cat '

	for i in "$@"; do	# loop through the list of hosts and arguments!
		#echo $i

		if [ "$special" = 'debug' ]; then	# optional arg value...
			if [ "$1" -ge 0 -o "$1" -le 4 ]; then
				cmd="$cmd $i"

		if [ "$multi" = 'y' ]; then	# get the value of the argument
			cmd="$cmd '$i'"

		if [ "${i:0:1}" = '-' ]; then	# does argument start with: - ?

			# build a --screen option
			if [ "$i" = '--screen' ]; then
				screen=' -o RequestTTY=yes'
				cmd="$cmd --action 'screen -xRR'"

			if [ "$i" = '--debug' ]; then
				cmd="$cmd $i"

			if [ "$i" = '--options' ]; then
				options=" $i"

			# NOTE: commented-out options are probably not useful...
			# match for key => value argument pairs
			if [ "$i" = '--action' -o "$i" = '-a' ] || \
			[ "$i" = '--autoclose' -o "$i" = '-A' ] || \
			#[ "$i" = '--cluster-file' -o "$i" = '-c' ] || \
			#[ "$i" = '--config-file' -o "$i" = '-C' ] || \
			#[ "$i" = '--evaluate' -o "$i" = '-e' ] || \
			[ "$i" = '--font' -o "$i" = '-f' ] || \
			#[ "$i" = '--master' -o "$i" = '-M' ] || \
			#[ "$i" = '--port' -o "$i" = '-p' ] || \
			#[ "$i" = '--tag-file' -o "$i" = '-c' ] || \
			[ "$i" = '--term-args' -o "$i" = '-t' ] || \
			[ "$i" = '--title' -o "$i" = '-T' ] || \
			[ "$i" = '--username' -o "$i" = '-l' ] ; then
				multi='y'	# loop around to get second part
				cmd="$cmd $i"
			else			# match single argument flags...
				cmd="$cmd $i"

		# hostname extraction from user@host pattern
		p=`expr index "$i" '@'`
		if [ $p -gt 0 ]; then
			let "l = ${#h} - $p"

		# if mtime of $f is > than 5 minutes (5 * 60 seconds), re-generate...
		if [ `date -d "now - $(stat -c '%Y' "$f" 2> /dev/null) seconds" +%s` -gt 300 ]; then
			mkdir -p "$d"
			# we cache the lookup because this command is slow...
			vagrant ssh-config "$h" > "$f" || rm "$f"

		if [ -e "$f" ]; then
			cmd="$cmd $i"
			cat="$cat $f"	# append config file to list

	cat="$cat > $cssh"
	#echo $cat
	eval "$cat"			# generate combined config file

	#echo $cmd && return 1
	#[ -e "$cssh" ] && cssh --options "-F ${cssh}$options" $cmd
	# running: bash -c glues together --action 'foo --bar' type commands...
	[ -e "$cssh" ] && bash -c "cssh --options '-F ${cssh}${screen}$options' $cmd"

This can be called like this:

$ vcssh annex{1..4} -l root

or like this:

$ vcssh root@hostname foo user@bar james@machine --action 'pwd'

which, as you can see, passes cssh arguments through! Can you see any other special surprises in the code? Well, you can run vcssh like this too:

$ vcssh root@foo james@bar --screen

which will perform exactly as vscreen did above, but in cssh!

You’ll see that the vagrant ssh-config lookups are cached, so this will be speedy when it’s running hot, but expect a few seconds delay when you first run it. If you want a longer cache timeout, it’s easy to change yourself in the function.

I’ve uploaded the code here, so that you don’t have to copy+paste it from my blog!

Happy hacking,