The main ideas behind Rex are:
Puts you in charge
Rex acknowledges that instead of silver bullets, there is more than one way to manage it.
It's friendly to any combinations of local and remote execution, push and pull style of management, or imperative and declarative approach. Instead of forcing any specific model on you, it trusts you to be in the best position to decide what to automate and how, allowing you to build the automation tool your situation requires.
Easy to get on board
Automate what you are doing today, and add more tomorrow.
Rex runs locally, even if managing remotes via SSH. This means it's instantly usable, without big rollout processes or anyone else to convince, making it ideal and friendly for incremental automation.
It's just Perl
Perl is a battle-tested, mature language, and Rex code is just Perl code.
This means whenever you reach the limitations of the built-in Rex features, a powerful programming language and module ecosystem is always at your fingertips to seamlessly extend it with modules from CPAN or with your own code. As a bonus, you can also use the usual well-established tools and workflows, like IDE integration for syntax highlighting, linting and formatting, or authoring and publishing Rex modules on CPAN. With the use of Inline and FFI::Platypus modules, it's friendly to code written in other languages too. So after all, it's not just Perl.
We have a Getting started guide on the website that should help you with the first steps.
There are several methods to install (R)?ex: use your distro's package manager, download it from CPAN or build it from source. Check out the Get Rex page on the website for the different options, and choose the one that fits you best.
To build (R)?ex from source, you need to install Dist::Zilla:
Dist::Zilla provides the dzil command, which you can use to install (R)?ex dependencies:
dzil authordeps | cpanm dzil listdeps | cpanm
Some of the optional dependencies might not be available on all platforms, but to install them as well, use this command:
dzil listdeps --suggests | cpanm
Then to install the OS-specific dependencies and (R)?ex itself:
If you'd like to build a .tar.gz release file:
If a new user has difficulties to get on board, then it's a bug. Let us know via one of our support channels!
All contributions are welcome: documentation, patches, bug reports, ideas, promoting (R)?ex at conferences and meetups, or anything else you can think of.