Rundeck: Runbook Automation

In the course of day-to-day operations, there are all sorts of procedures executed by your team -- provisioning, trouble shooting, diagnostics, maintenance, data management, etc. Rundeck is often implemented as a "runbook automation" tool by companies who want to improve control over their daily operations activity, reduce errors, improve visibility/auditability, and reduce mean time to repair (MTTR).


Rundeck's runbook automation capabilities help you to standardize your operating procedures, set access controls so you can share those procedures with others inside or outside of your team, and see reports on all activity in one place.



Runbook Automation Features

Custom Workflows

Rundeck provides tools to define, build, deploy and manage automation. These automated processes are defined in Job Workflows. Workflow steps are used to automate the individual tasks of the process. User inputs for the workflow are described by job options. Options can be required, have defaults, present multiple choices or be considered secure. The workflow definition can also declare when Notifications are generated when the Job starts, fails or succeeds. Errors occurring in the workflow can cause the job to fail immediately, keep going or trigger step-specific error handlers. Error handlers might catch an error and gracefully fail while other handlers might recover the error and keep going.

End-to-end Orchestration Across Local or Remote Servers

Rundeck workflows can coordinate steps across local or remote servers. Remote servers are targeted using filters, query expressions that match servers based on attributes and tags.


Rundeck improves efficiency across multiple tools, systems, and departments by eliminating or crossing technology and organizational process structures. Rundeck workflows can be executed across Windows and Unix platforms and can be extended to new platforms (including network gear) via Node Executor or Step plugins.


Rundeck steps are implemented via a Step plugin. Step plugins are typically created to integrate with external tools and services. Steps can be Node steps or Workflow steps. A workflow step is one that runs just once in the workflow. A Node step is executed across each of the matching targeted servers.

Server Inventory

Rundeck workflows execute steps across servers, known as Nodes. The nodes describe the systems in your infrastructure (both physical and virtual). Each node in the inventory contains metadata that describe how to connect to the node and a map of node specific attributes. Tags can be used to create classifications or groupings within the Node inventory. You can search the nodes to create views of your infrastructure.

Security Access Control

Workflows can be delegated to other users to provide self service or reduce request load from operations teams. Rundeck provides fine-grained role based access control policy to safely grant or deny access to job workflows, nodes or activity logs.


The start, success or failure of a job workflow can be forwarded to interested parties via Notifications. Email, webhooks or a variety of plugins can be configured to be sent by each Job.

Design Lifecycle

Workflow definitions can be exported to editable text files or packaged into an archive. Some users maintain the workflow definitions as code in a source repository and publish it to Rundeck via CLI or the API. Other users use the Rundeck GUI to maintain the definitions and use the project export and import functions.

Ad-Hoc Commands

Every company has a different policy for when to allow shell access to servers. Rundeck has the capability to allow systems administrators with the necessary privilege level to execute ad-hoc commands on servers where the access control policy allow it. Rundeck captures the command, the output, and the Node context in which it ran. This allows for both access control and logging to be managed in one consistent way across all types of operations activity (including scheduled jobs and batch processing), simplifying management and compliance auditing.

Designed for Today's Tools and Infrastructure

Rundeck comes ready to manage dynamic and complex datacenter and cloud environments, integrates well with modern configuration management tools, and supports the increasingly popular DevOps and Agile inspired styles of working.