Elita is a RESTful deployment engine (Deployment as a Service) for continuous deployment (aka continuous delivery) and API-driven infrastructure.

At the most basic level, Elita allows you to push build artifacts from a CI server to a specified filesystem location on end servers. It does this via git and salt, so the deployments are delta compressed and done in parallel across all the machines.


Deployment scripts are brittle, hard to maintain and difficult to automate. Elita provides generic Deployment as a Service, allowing deployment to be fully automated behind whatever interface you wish (web application, etc) and without hard-coding any details regarding infrastructure layout or service providers.

Elita also allows you to create custom endpoints that (when triggered) execute arbitrary Python code. This can be used to automate any part of infrastructure management (clearing cache, adding/removing servers, etc). Access to endpoints is controlled by per-user security permissions (same as deployment endpoints).


Elita is written in Python (2.7). It uses the Pyramid web framework with MongoDB and Celery for asynchronous jobs.

The design emphasizes asynchronous actions. Any operation that does anything other than pure data modification will be executed asynchronously in a Celery worker.

The backend uses salt for remote execution and an external git provider (BitBucket) for deployment.

Design Goals

  • RESTful
  • Flexibility (plugins for hooks/actions)
  • Security (user-based with granular permissions)
  • Application-agnostic
  • UI independent


Elita exposes hook points and has a “named action” object type which allows plugins to implement custom routines and code.


Elita has a granular permissions system which can be used to whitelist/blacklist resources on a per-user and per-application basis.


To be secure, Elita must be tunnelled through SSL/TLS. By default, the application listens to port 2718 on localhost only.

Application Agnosticism

API functionality is generic and useful for all application types.

UI independence

No UI is required. All functionality can be accessed via REST endpoints. Endpoints and JSON output are intended to be automation-friendly to facilitate UI development.

salt Interaction

Elita uses salt as the remote execution backend but tries hard not to interfere with any existing salt configuration or states that might be present (for example, it will not interfere with your existing highstates). All states are stored in a separate subdirectory (by default, something like ‘/srv/salt/elita’).