This section contains instructions to install Salt. If you are setting up your environment for the first time, you should install a Salt master on a dedicated management server or VM, and then install a Salt minion on each system that you want to manage using Salt. For now you don't need to worry about your architecture, you can easily add components and modify your configuration later without needing to reinstall anything.

The general installation process is as follows:

  1. Install a Salt master using the instructions for your platform or by running the Salt bootstrap script. If you use the bootstrap script, be sure to include the -M option to install the Salt master.

  2. Make sure that your Salt minions can find the Salt master.

  3. Install the Salt minion on each system that you want to manage.

  4. Accept the Salt minion keys after the Salt minion connects.

After this, you should be able to run a simple command and receive salt version returns from all connected Salt minions.

salt '*' test.version

Quick Install

On most distributions, you can set up a Salt Minion with the Salt bootstrap.

Initial Configuration


Salt should run on any Unix-like platform so long as the dependencies are met.

  • Python - Python2 >= 2.7, Python3 >= 3.4

  • msgpack-python - High-performance message interchange format

  • YAML - Python YAML bindings

  • Jinja2 - parsing Salt States (configurable in the master settings)

  • MarkupSafe - Implements a XML/HTML/XHTML Markup safe string for Python

  • apache-libcloud - Python lib for interacting with many of the popular cloud service providers using a unified API

  • Requests - HTTP library

  • Tornado - Web framework and asynchronous networking library

  • futures - Python2 only dependency. Backport of the concurrent.futures package from Python 3.2

Depending on the chosen Salt transport, ZeroMQ or RAET, dependencies vary:

  • ZeroMQ:

    • ZeroMQ >= 3.2.0

    • pyzmq >= 2.2.0 - ZeroMQ Python bindings

    • PyCrypto - The Python cryptography toolkit

  • RAET:

    • libnacl - Python bindings to libsodium

    • ioflo - The flo programming interface raet and salt-raet is built on

    • RAET - The worlds most awesome UDP protocol

Salt defaults to the ZeroMQ transport, and the choice can be made at install time, for example:

python --salt-transport=raet install

This way, only the required dependencies are pulled by the setup script if need be.

If installing using pip, the --salt-transport install option can be provided like:

pip install --install-option="--salt-transport=raet" salt


Salt does not bundle dependencies that are typically distributed as part of the base OS. If you have unmet dependencies and are using a custom or minimal installation, you might need to install some additional packages from your OS vendor.

Optional Dependencies

  • mako - an optional parser for Salt States (configurable in the master settings)

  • gcc - dynamic Cython module compiling

Upgrading Salt

When upgrading Salt, the master(s) should always be upgraded first. Backward compatibility for minions running newer versions of salt than their masters is not guaranteed.

Whenever possible, backward compatibility between new masters and old minions will be preserved. Generally, the only exception to this policy is in case of a security vulnerability.

See also

Installing Salt for development and contributing to the project.

Building Packages using Salt Pack

Salt-pack is an open-source package builder for most commonly used Linux platforms, for example: Redhat/CentOS and Debian/Ubuntu families, utilizing SaltStack states and execution modules to build Salt and a specified set of dependencies, from which a platform specific repository can be built.