Is it possible to check if a specific process is running via a Salt State? Looking through Salt Stack documentation and scouring forums I haven't found any way of simply checking if a service is running and reporting the output.

I have however found this:

    - name: apache2

The opposite of this would be ideal for my needs e.g:

    - name: apache2

Is anyone aware of a method in Salt which would check if a defined process is running based on a name or pattern (regex) and simply report back with a true/false or similar?

  • 1
    – Tensibai
    Aug 21, 2017 at 14:43
  • @Tensibai Unforunately not for my specific situation as the process I'm looking to monitor is a process which isn't configured to run as a service.
    – jto
    Aug 21, 2017 at 14:47
  • 2
    maybe that's the real problem then (sounds unwise to have a daemon running without a supervisor) ? But if that's what you're after maybe salt.modules.ps.pgrep will do.
    – Tensibai
    Aug 21, 2017 at 14:51
  • Of course it is! However I'm unable to change this (long story) - The salt.modules.ps.pgrep is something I'll definitely look in to, thanks @Tensibai
    – jto
    Aug 22, 2017 at 6:34
  • @Tensibai After looking in to it I've found that I can't go down this route as my setup requires Python 2.7 on all minions which again isn't possible for a similarly long story.
    – jto
    Aug 22, 2017 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


It's a bit hacky, but you can always do something like:

    - name: ps aux | grep '[f]oobar'

The exit code will be non-zero and the state will fail if foobar doesn't exist.

  • Thanks for the answer @user2640621 - This is what I was looking for, albeit a bit hacky as you mentioned it works for my situation! If the process isn't active it fails which is what I need!
    – jto
    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:15
  • 1
    This is always true as ps aux will return the grep command (test with ps aux | grep 'foobar' && echo "ok" || echo "not found" if you wish to verify)... Usual trick to ensure you're getting really what you're looking for is using the first letter as a character class, this way the grep command line won't match: ps aux | grep '[f]oobar' cc @jto
    – Tensibai
    Jan 5, 2018 at 17:05

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