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    1.0.2 • Public • Published

    Cleveland 🍃

    Cleveland is a simple tool for local network discovery, with the ability to distribute commands. This makes it possible to send a task to a single server instance, and have it be executed on every server instance running Cleveland within the local network, without the need to have a list of the exact hostnames of all server nodes.

    The immediate application of this is in the form of notifying servers to check for available updates of the software they run, whenever an update is deployed. It also enables the sharing of data and configuration values between servers.

    This also makes it easy to create custom Slack Slash Commands for devops procedures, e.g. calling certain scripts on all servers in a VPC without keeping a list or relying on the APIs of your cloud provider. Take a look at our Slack example.



    Cleveland is meant to be used as part of an existing or new Node app. In your app's main directory, install using NPM:

    npm install --save cleveland


    Starting a basic instance of the Cleveland server is simple:

    const Cleveland = require('./src/index');
    // Start Cleveland instance on port 9570
    // (this port should only be open to local network devices, never for the entire internet)
    var instance = new Cleveland();

    Doing this creates a small web server with some simple API endpoints, and a process to scan the local IP space for other Cleveland instances. As soon as one is found, Cleveland attempts to connect and exchanges secret keys. Those secret keys give it permission to send commands to the other instance.

    Sending commands

    Now you probably want to send some commands to be distributed. The most common way to do that is to build a public web server (on a different port than the Cleveland instance, of course). You could use Express for that, by adding something like this to the code above:

    const Express = require('express'),
        app = Express();
    app.get('/deploy', (req, res) => {
        // Broadcast command
        var command = instance.createCommand('shell', {
            command: 'bash /var/'
        // Add event listeners
        command.on('log', (event) => {
            // Catch logs returned by Cleveland instances that are executing the command
            console.log( + ': ' + event.message);
        command.once('complete', (event) => {
            // Fired when the ack_done count >= serverCount and only once
            console.log( + ': DONE');
    app.listen(3000, () => {
        console.log('Listening for deploy requests on');

    Adding handlers

    The above example uses the default handler shell (see source here: default-handlers.js). You can easily add your own handlers:

    // Add a 'ping' handler, which just outputs 'pong' to the console. = (command) => {
        // Broadcast log
        command.log('Pinged has ponged successfully');
        // Mark as done
        // Or mark as failed (with Error/Exception as argument);
        // Error('Could not pong ping'));

    Discovery logic

    To discover other Cleveland instances, Cleveland determines the current machine's local IP and uses the first 3 fields as a basis, to then iterate over all IPs in the same space, scanning the ports 9570-9580 for each one. If my IP would be, this is what Cleveland would scan:

    After completing this series of scans (up to IP x.x.x.255:9580), it would start again at x.x.x.1:9570.

    Distribution logic

    Every server, upon receiving a broadcasted command, does the following:

    1. Check if it has already processed the command before (by checking if the command ID is known). If it has, ignore. Otherwise:
    2. Broadcast the command to all known other Cleveland nodes, to ensure complete distribution even if some of the nodes are still in the process of scanning and aren't connected to all nodes.
    3. Execute the command locally.
    4. Acknowledge successful or failed execution of the command, by broadcasting the command _ack_done.

    Note: The complete event on the original command is called once the source Cleveland server has received at least as many acknowledgements of completion as there are known nodes. This means the complete event might fire before it has executed on all nodes, as it might not yet have finished discovering all the nodes in the local network.

    To do

    • Add global server-level events, like connecting to server, disconnecting to server, receiving a command.
    • Add more default handlers. Any suggestions for which ones we need?


    npm i cleveland

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