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A wrapper project to build salt into portable binaries
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Salt Bin

The Salt Bin project is here to allow for single binary builds of Salt to be easy to make and distribute. Distributing Python applications is notoriously difficult, and while there are MANY tools that seek to solve this problem, they can't do it in a universal way.


Salt-bin is a collection of requirements and configurations to build distributions of Salt for specific platforms and use cases.

We use pop's build system, as it is built to handle a superset of the challenges found in building Salt. So to use salt-bin you call out to the pop-build executable.

The pop build system can also make use of pyenv to make the builds target specific versions of python. This allows us to build Salt with the same version of Python across MANY platforms, which allows for more rapid development and platform consistency.


Install pop-build:

  • pip install pop-build

It is a good idea to install pyenv as well, see the pyenv install page:

Now clone the repo:

Inside the repo you will find a collection of requirements files and configs. The configuration files are for pop-build and can be found in the conf directory.

Inside this directory you can make a "basic" build of salt by just calling

  • pop-build -c conf/basic.conf

If you have pyenv installed, you can build your binary against a specific version of Python. Just add the pyenv option:

  • pop-build -c conf/basic.conf --pyenv 3.7.6

To see the available python versions you can build against run:

  • pyenv install --list | grep " 3.[6789]"

Extending Salt-Bin

Salt-bin is not a python project, it is a collection of configurations used to make different builds of Salt depending on platform and intended use. Salt does not require that all imaginable deps are included, so salt-bin comes with configs to install for specific needs and targets.

Salt-bin is extended by adding more build configs for specific platforms. Since salt-bin is just a collection of pop-build configs, you just need to add more pop-build configs.

Add a config file in the conf directory and a requirements.txt file, along with any other needed files. Take a look at conf/base.conf as an example.

Pop-Build Config

The pop-build config takes a number of options:


The name value defines the name of the binary to build, in the case of salt-bin this should always be salt


The run option allows for a specific file to be used as the entry point. This makes it easy to have a custom entry point that only exposed specific components of Salt in the binary.


The requirements value points to the requirements file to be used to install deps, pop-build relied on pip to gather the deps during the build and reads a standard python requirements.txt file.


Sometimes it is useful to exclude specific deps, this can be done by adding those deps into an exclude.txt file. This allows you to uninstall python libs from the binary.


Sometimes a separate .so or .dll is needed to support a specific python library and they are not always installed with the python code installed via pip. To add a support dynamic library it can be included in the build tool of pop-build.

To use this define the build option in the config. This option then takes an arbitrary number of projects to build into the binary. The build section can build from the sources:

This example will download the sources to libsodium, untar them, and compile them. Then from the compiled code the sources can be set, this is either a single file or a list of files. Finally the dest defines the directory within the binary's environment where to save the needed artifacts.

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