Fabric is an incredible tool to automate administration of remote machines. As Fabric's functions are rather low-level, you'll probably quickly see a need for more high-level functions such as add/remove users and groups, install/upgrade packages, etc.

Cuisine is a small set of functions that sit on top of Fabric, to abstract common administration operations such as file/dir operations, user/group creation, package install/upgrade, making it easier to write portable administration and deployment scripts.

Cuisine's features are:

  • Small, easy to read, a single file API: object_operation() e.g.
    dir_exists(location) tells if there is a remote directory at the
    given location.
  • Covers file/dir operations, user/group operations, package operations
  • Text processing and template functions
  • All functions are lazy: they will actually only do things when the
    change is required.


Cuisine is on PyPI so you can either use easy_install -U cuisine
or pip install cuisine to install it. Otherwise, you can download
the source from GitHub <>_ and
run python install.

Cuisine requires Python 2.7, and has not been tested with Python 3 yet.

How to get started

Open up a python shell and type:

import cuisine

Cuisine is designed to be a flat-file module, where all functions are prefixed
by the type of functionality they offer (e.g., file for file operations,
user for user operations). The available groups are:

    Text-processing functions

    File operations

    Directory operations

    Package management operations

    Shell commands availability

    User creation commands

    Group creation commands

    Configures cuisine's behaviour within the current session.

    Selects a specific option, such as package back-end (`apt`, `yum`, `zypper`, or `pacman`)

If you're using an interactive Python shell such as
IPython <>_ you can easily browse the available
functions by using tab-completion.

In [2]: cuisine.file_
cuisine.file_append       cuisine.file_is_file      cuisine.file_unlink
cuisine.file_attribs      cuisine.file_is_link      cuisine.file_update
cuisine.file_attribs_get  cuisine.file_link         cuisine.file_upload
cuisine.file_ensure       cuisine.file_local_read   cuisine.file_write
cuisine.file_exists       cuisine.file_read
cuisine.file_is_dir       cuisine.file_sha256

As the functions are prefixed by they type of functionality, it is very
easy to get started using an interactive shell.

If you would like to use cuisine without using a fabfile, you can call the
mode_local() function.

import cuisine
print"echo Hello")

alternatively, you can also directly connect to a server

import cuisine
print"echo Hello")

If you want to use cuisine within a fabfile, simply create a fabfile
with the following content:

from cuisine import *

def setup():
    group_user_ensure("remote_admin", "admin")


If you are encoutering problems, please check the following:

  • The [email protected] is running an SH-compatible shell (sh, dash, bash, zsh should work)
  • The system has openssl base64, md5sum and sha1sum commands in addition
    to the basic UNIX ones.

If you still have a problem, simply file a bug report

Right now, cuisine is tested on Ubuntu. Some contributors use it on RHEL
and CentOS. If you use on a different system, let us know if it works!

Contributing specific implementations

Cuisine was originally developed as a Debian/Ubuntu-centric tool, but can
easily be adapted to other distributions or Unix flavor, the only caveat being
that the shell is expected to be bash-compatible.

If you want to implement a specific variant of some functions for a specific
platform, you should do the following:

  1. Open the source and look for the definition of the function
    that you would like to specialize.
  2. If the function is decorated by '@dispatch', it means it already supports
    specific back-ends (see package_* functions), and you can proceed
    to the next step. Otherwise, you can either file a ticket on Github
    or read the source and mimic what we've done for package_*
  3. Create a specific version of the decorated function by creating a new
    function with the same name, suffixed by your specific backend name. For
    instance, if you'd like to create a yum backend to package_ensure,
    you would need to create a function package_ensure_yum with the same
    arguments as package_ensure
  4. Once you've created your specific functions, make sure that you have
    a select_* matching your function group. For the package_* functions,
    this would be select_package.
  5. Look for the supported variable in the select_* and add your backend
    suffix to it (in our example, this would be yum)

To use a specific backend implementation of a set of features, use the
select_* functions.

# To use the 'apt' backend
# To see the available backends
print cuisine.select_package()