3.4.0 What’s New: UI Improvements, Plugins, ACL Updates and more!

Crisp, glossy, and crackling - I can’t think of better words to describe the new additions and improvements included in Rundeck’s 3.4.0 release (Papadum-aquamarine-book).

New additions and improvements in Rundeck 3.4.0 include:  

Redesigned User Interface

A major theme of this release was to help make Rundeck more intuitive to learn for new users, and further simplify working with Rundeck for experienced users.  If you already know Rundeck from previous releases, you’ll notice these changes right away: 

  • New Condensed Project Menu: Now automation authors have more room to work and reduces the need for scrolling. 
  • Project Selector with Search: Rundeck power users typically have a lot of projects they work in, such as if they organize a runbook per project. The new project selector and search makes it easy for users to quickly find and switch back and forth between their projects. 

  • New Utility Bar and Plugins: We have added a new utility bar as a footer on the bottom of the Rundeck UI and a new plug-in interface for creating widgets that displays status and information without having to leave the context of your work.  New widgets include version information and Rundeck news. We have lots of ideas for more, and also encourage our partners to make use of this new functionality.

  • Other Cosmetic Enhancements: We’ve worked to make the user experience more consistent and easier to understand with more obvious action buttons, better visibility in tables, and clearer marking of context in tabs.

Find more information here

New Enterprise Features: 

Streamline Configuration Management using the Rundeck GUI

We’ve made a huge improvement to how Rundeck Enterprise users can configure their servers.  Now Rundeck admins can manage configurations in one screen, within the Rundeck UI. You can now manage the configuration of your entire cluster in one place.  Just set these settings to global and they will also propagate to other Rundeck servers in the cluster. Many configuration changes no longer require a server restart before taking effect and the settings are stored in the Rundeck database backend.  Please note, however, that configuration files still take precedence over configuration in the GUI.  This is so that we maintain backward compatibility and don’t break your configuration when you update to 3.4. We plan further improvements with this feature, so please take time to read the documentation to see our specific roadmap. Users can share configuration options with cluster members, centralize configuration, and streamline plugin setup/instructions.


Job Queueing Additions

Now job executions can be queued when parallel executions are not allowed. Some technical operations can’t be run “in parallel”. Depending on the job, executing the same job while the previous execution was running, may create havoc on the managed systems. The protection this feature offers unlocks the ability to share more finicky activities with a larger set of users without relying on the Subject Matter Expert to know what’s allowed to be executed when.

Here’s an example use case: “We regularly need to reboot a fleet of our Tomcat servers. It’s a very methodical process and they can only be restarted one at a time. We have to be very careful. With this feature we can now trust that only one server at a time will get rebooted and come back online before the next reboot happens.”


Project Based ACLs for Key Storage
Security and compliance are always top of mind for the Rundeck team. Rundeck customers typically organize runbook jobs by project so they can isolate secrets (e.g. per runbook or related service). In this release we’ve made Rundeck’s ACLs even more granular by adding ACL settings at the Project Level for Project Specific Key Storage entries (passwords/keys). Now Rundeck Admins can set ACLs on a project, allowing access to keys that the Project’s users might need.

New Integration with Thycotic
That’s right. You asked and we listened. The Thycotic plugin is here. This new plugin allows users of Thycotic to use their preferred choice of secrets management with Rundeck. Now Rundeck Enterprise users can protect privileged accounts with Thycotic’s enterprise-grade privileged access management solution by using Thycotic Vaults as keys for jobs and other Rundeck configurations.


Other Highlights: 

New Package Repositories

Rundeck downloads have moved from Bintray and the new official repositories for Rundeck are now available. Find the full details about new repository sources and guidance about signing keys here. Please note, any automation that your team created utilizing Rundeck’s Bintray repositories needs to be updated ASAP.  This migration will not affect installed and running versions of Rundeck. These updates will only affect product installation, upgrade and/or development build processes built around the war/rpm/deb packages.

Check out the release notes for more info!