What is Salt Stack?
Salt is a new approach to infrastructure management. Easy enough to get
running in minutes, scalable enough to manage tens of thousands of servers,
and fast enough to communicate with them in seconds.
Salt delivers a dynamic communication bus for infrastructures that can be used
for orchestration, remote execution, configuration management and much more.
Salt source releases are available for download via PyPI:
The installation documents outline where to obtain packages and installation
specifics for platforms:
The Salt Bootstrap project is a single shell script which aims to automate
the install correctly on platforms:
This walkthrough is made to help individuals get started quickly and gain a
foundational knowledge of Salt:
Official Salt Walkthrough
Additional tutorials are available when getting started with Salt
- States - Configuration Management with Salt:
- Masterless Quickstart:
- Salt Quickstart
- A list of all tutorials can be found here:
- All Salt tutorials
Salt in depth
Setting up and using Salt is a simple task but its capabilities run much, much
deeper. These documents will lead to a greater understating of how Salt will
empower infrastructure management.
Remote execution is the core function of Salt. Running pre-defined or
arbitrary commands on remote hosts.
Salt modules are the core of remote execution. They provide
functionality such as installing packages, restarting a service,
running a remote command, transferring files, and infinitely more.
- Full list of modules
- The giant list of core modules that ship with Salt
- Writing modules
- A guide on how to write Salt modules.
Salt returners allow saving minion responses in various datastores or
to various locations in addition to display at the CLI.
- Full list of returners
- Store minion responses in Redis, Mongo, Cassandra, SQL or more.
- Writing returners
- Extending Salt to communicate with more interfaces is easy, new
databases can be supported or custom interfaces can be easily
Targeting is specifying which minions should execute commands or manage server
- Globbing and regex
- Match minions using globbing and regular expressions.
- Match minions using bits of static information about the minion such as
OS, software versions, virtualization, CPU, memory, and much more.
- Node groups
- Statically define groups of minions.
- Compound matchers
- Combine the above matchers as a single target.
- Batching execution
- Loop through all matching minions so that only a subset are executing a
command at one time.
Building on the remote execution core is a robust and flexible configuration
management framework. Execution happens on the minions allowing effortless,
simultaneous configuration of tens of thousands of hosts.
Express the state of a host using small, easy to read, easy to
understand configuration files. No programming required.
- Full list of states
- Install packages, create users, transfer files, start services, and
- States Overview
- An overview of States and some of the core components.
- Highstate data structure
- A dry vocabulary and technical representation of the configuration
format that states represent.
- Writing states
- A guide on how to write Salt state modules. Extending Salt to directly
manage in more software is easy.
Write state configuration files in the language, templating engine, or
file type of choice. Salt's configuration management system is, under the
hood, language agnostic.
- Full list of renderers
- YAML is not the only choice, many systems are available, from
alternative templating engines to the PyDSL language for rendering
- Salt states are only concerned with the ultimate highstate data
structure. How that data structure is created is not important.
Salt is many splendid things.
- File Server
- Salt can easily and quickly transfer files (in fact, that's how Salt
States work). Even under heavy load, files are chunked and served.
- A seamless master of masters. Scale Salt to tens of thousands of hosts or
across many different networks.
- Peer Communication
- Allow minions to communicate amongst themselves. For example, configure
one minion by querying live data from all the others. With great power
comes great responsibility.
- Reactor System
- The reactor system allows for Salt to create a self aware environment
by hooking infrastructure events into actions.
- Firewall Settings and Salt
- A tutorial covering how to properly firewall a Salt Master server.
- Scheduling Executions (like states)
- The schedule system in Salt allows for executions to be run of all sorts
from the master or minion at automatic intervals.
- Network topology
- At it's core, Salt is a highly scalable communication layer built on
top of ZeroMQ that enables remote execution and configuration
management. The possibilities are endless and Salt's future looks
- Testing Salt
- A howto for writing unit tests and integration tests.
- Python API interface
- Use Salt programmatically from scripts and programs easily and
simply via import salt.
- Automatic Updates and Frozen Binary Deployments
- Use a frozen install to make deployments easier (Even on Windows!). Or
take advantage of automatic updates to keep minions running the latest
- Windows Software Manager / Package Repository
- Looking for an easy way to manage software on Windows machines?
Search no more! Salt has an integrated software package manager for
Windows machines! Install software hosted on the master, somewhere on the
network, or any HTTP, HTTPS, or ftp server.