NATS Connector

A MCollective Connector plugin for the NATS middleware broker designed to work within a configured Choria setup.

After installing MCollective Choria this plugin is already completely deployed. This page is for reference only.

It’s goals are to be secure by default while requiring almost no configuration, it only supports TLS and it only supports doing verified TLS connections to the broker. You cannot disable this.

Basic Setup

In your mcollective config files you should enable this plugin:

connector = nats

If you put your NATS server on your Puppet Master and it uses port 4222 on the hostname puppet then everything will just work.

If not you can add some DNS SRV records:

_mcollective-server._tcp   IN  SRV 10  0 4222
_mcollective-server._tcp   IN  SRV 11  0 4222

If you use SRV records with Puppet it might be better for you to use the Puppet scheme so you can also do:

_x-puppet-mcollective._tcp     IN  SRV 10  0 4222
_x-puppet-mcollective._tcp     IN  SRV 11  0 4222

At present weights are not considered.

You can hard code the server list, see the Configuration Refernece section below.

Server TLS Setup

When running as root it assumes it’s a server and so SSL settings are as per a Puppet Agent.

Client TLS Setup

When not running as root it will try to use SSL from your home directory and again some assumptions about you running Puppet 4.

Here the certname is based on your username so uname.mcollective.pem, you need to create these certs via your Puppet CA:

$ mco choria request_cert

Example NATS Server configuration

NATS is pretty easy to deploy, this plugin will only communicate over TLS so you need to configure things correctly. The choria-nats module does this for you, but here’s a example NATS config of a 3 node cluster set up with TLS should you wish to do your own:

port: 4222
monitor_port: 8222

debug: false
trace: false

tls {
  cert_file: "/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/"
  key_file: "/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/private_keys/"
  ca_file: "/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/ca.pem"
  verify: true
  timeout: 2

cluster {
  port: 4223
  no_advertise: true

  tls {
    cert_file: "/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/"
    key_file: "/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/private_keys/"
    ca_file: "/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/ca.pem"
    verify: true
    timeout: 2

  authorization {
    user: routes
    password: eighieGhohqu
    timeout: 0.75

  routes = [

max_payload: 1048576
max_pending_size: 10485760
max_connections: 65536

You can also get this going quickly using Docker for development:

$ docker run -d -p 4222:4222 -p 4223:4223 \
  -v /path/to/your/gnatsd.conf:/config/gnatsd.conf \
    -v /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl:/etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl \
      --name nats nats --config /config/gnatsd.conf -DV

Plugin Configuration Reference

You should only need to change configuration if you do not accept the defaults, this plugin is intended to just work, so if you have a standard setup that does not just work please let me know so we can see if it can be catered for.

Setting Description Default
choria.srv_domain Override the domain used for SRV lookups default to facter networking.domain
choria.middleware_hosts Comma seperated list of servers like nats1:4222,nats2:4222 Uses SRV records or puppet:4222
nats.user Username when connecting to nats not used
nats.pass Password when connecting to nats not used

You can set MCOLLECTIVE_NATS_USERNAME and MCOLLECTIVE_NATS_PASSWORD to configure the nats.user and nats.pass.