nansi - simple tool for task automation

Since I've started getting into infosec, I have been using virtual machines for absolutely anything and everything. Sometimes that's because I want to have a clean setup, e.g. my Kali with some additional hacking tools; or maybe it's a Windows system on which I want to test my exploit and also needs to be pre-configured. It also happens that I simply have no other choice and have to spin up a new system, like in case of the Bug Bounty programs, which made me experience first hand the ISP response to some strange network traffic - just by blocking it.

Setting up a new VM quickly became a very boring and repetitive task, and so I decided that I need to automate this process. Here's what I need: simple command runner, quick and easy. I've tried automating the process with bash first but soon realized that with the level of control I want those commands to run, bash is not going to be the best choice. The next thing that crossed my mind was to set up Ansible, since I remember using it at some point in the past, but the moment I started setting it up I realized that this thing blew into an immense giant and using it for what I need is an overkill (not to mention the huge waste of time).

All this led me to take a step back and think what exactly do I need:

  • simple command runner
  • OS independent
  • possibility of defining dependencies between those commands (i.e., if command D depends on command B and command B fails its execution, command D won't execute)

After a few minutes of googling and not finding anything half decent, I decided to quickly make my own. I called it nansi as 'not ansible'. It took me a few hours of figuring some things out and actually codding it. It was also a great opportunity to practice my Rust :)

Now to get me started with a new VM or a Bug Bounty target, I just need to spin up a Kali or Ubuntu on my favorite VPS provider and run one command to install all my hacking tools.

Here's a short description:

nansi is a simple tool for task automation. Its primary functionality is to execute a sequence of commands in a defined order. It was inspired by what Dockerfile is and what ansible is not.

Here's also a link to GitHub repo.