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Bootstrapping Salt

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Before Salt can be used for provisioning on the desired machine, the binaries need to be installed. Since Salt supports many different distributions and versions of operating systems, the Salt installation process is handled by this shell script This script runs through a series of checks to determine operating system type and version to then install the Salt binaries using the appropriate methods. For Windows, use the bootstrap-salt.ps1 script.


This README file is not the absolute truth as to what the bootstrap script is capable of. For that, please read the generated help by passing -h to the script or even better, read the source.

Also, to secure your Salt installation, check out these instructions for hardening salt.


In every two-step installation example, you would be well-served to verify against the SHA256 sum of the downloaded file.

The SHA256 sum of the file, per release, is:

  • 2021.03.02: 91baa0073308f1be20c7be65238ef67e5733c75285314b302a5b2456e73a0758
  • 2020.10.20: b47bfc8d63cccf22eb4cd94491d30cc1d571e184be25a5be7f775e7f2daaf6e2
  • 2020.10.19: f6c3e2c52f98d115809044b09062219369957caf30228b594033f0543e202c52
  • 2020.06.23: 1d07db867c195c864d0ae70664524f2099cc9a46872953293c67c3f239d4f4f5
  • 2020.05.28: 6b3ea15c78f01060ab12fc01c0bb18480eaf36858c7ba188b200c0fb11aac173
  • 2020.02.24: efc46700aca78b8e51d7af9b06293f52ad495f3a8179c6bfb21a8c97ee41f1b7
  • 2020.02.04: ce877651b4938e3480f76b1629f582437f6ca8b73d7199fdb9e905e86fe85b34
  • 2020.01.29: e9afdfa877998c1c7f0e141a6728b33d0d24348e197aab2b9bde4fe6bc6db1b2
  • 2020.01.21: 53299aa0dfbf7ab381f3856bb7babfc04a1d6525be11db0b9466277b1e4d0c1a
  • 2019.11.04: 905924fccd4ebf168d19ba598bf10af53efe02302b792aeb15433e73fd3ad1d2
  • 2019.10.03: 34f196f06d586ce9e1b9907660ea6e67caf57abcecfea66e0343697e3fd0d17d
  • 2019.05.20: 46fb5e4b7815efafd69fd703f033fe86e7b584b6770f7e0b936995bcae1cedd8
  • 2019.02.27: 23728e4b5e54f564062070e3be53c5602b55c24c9a76671968abbf3d609258cb
  • 2019.01.08: ab7f29b75711da4bb79aff98d46654f910d569ebe3e908753a3c5119017bb163
  • 2018.08.15: 6d414a39439a7335af1b78203f9d37e11c972b3c49c519742c6405e2944c6c4b
  • 2018.08.13: 98284bdc2b5ebaeb619b22090374e42a68e8fdefe6bff1e73bd1760db4407ed0
  • 2018.04.25: e2e3397d6642ba6462174b4723f1b30d04229b75efc099a553e15ea727877dfb
  • 2017.12.13: c127b3aa4a8422f6b81f5b4a40d31d13cec97bf3a39bca9c11a28f24910a6895
  • 2017.08.17: 909b4d35696b9867b34b22ef4b60edbc5a0e9f8d1ed8d05f922acb79a02e46e3
  • 2017.05.24: 8c42c2e5ad3d4384ddc557da5c214ba3e40c056ca1b758d14a392c1364650e89

If you're looking for a one-liner to install Salt, please scroll to the bottom and use the instructions for Installing via an Insecure One-Liner.

There are also .sha256 files for verifying against in the repo for the stable branch. You can also get the correct sha256 sum for the stable release from and


The Salt Bootstrap project is open and encouraging to code contributions. Please review the Contributing Guidelines for information on filing issues, fixing bugs, and submitting features.

The Contributing Guidelines also contain information about the Bootstrap release cadence and process.


To view the latest options and descriptions for salt-bootstrap, use -h and the terminal:

./ -h

Usage : [options] <install-type> [install-type-args]

Installation types:
  - stable              Install latest stable release. This is the default
                        install type
  - stable [branch]     Install latest version on a branch. Only supported
                        for packages available at
  - stable [version]    Install a specific version. Only supported for
                        packages available at
                        To pin a 3xxx minor version, specify it as 3xxx.0
  - testing             RHEL-family specific: configure EPEL testing repo
  - git                 Install from the head of the master branch
  - git [ref]           Install from any git ref (such as a branch, tag, or

  - stable
  - stable 2017.7
  - stable 2017.7.2
  - testing
  - git
  - git 2017.7
  - git v2017.7.2
  - git 06f249901a2e2f1ed310d58ea3921a129f214358

  -h  Display this message
  -v  Display script version
  -n  No colours
  -D  Show debug output
  -c  Temporary configuration directory
  -g  Salt Git repository URL. Default:
  -w  Install packages from downstream package repository rather than
      upstream, saltstack package repository. This is currently only
      implemented for SUSE.
  -k  Temporary directory holding the minion keys which will pre-seed
      the master.
  -s  Sleep time used when waiting for daemons to start, restart and when
      checking for the services running. Default: 3
  -L  Also install salt-cloud and required python-libcloud package
  -M  Also install salt-master
  -S  Also install salt-syndic
  -N  Do not install salt-minion
  -X  Do not start daemons after installation
  -d  Disables checking if Salt services are enabled to start on system boot.
      You can also do this by touching /tmp/disable_salt_checks on the target
      host. Default: ${BS_FALSE}
  -P  Allow pip based installations. On some distributions the required salt
      packages or its dependencies are not available as a package for that
      distribution. Using this flag allows the script to use pip as a last
      resort method. NOTE: This only works for functions which actually
      implement pip based installations.
  -U  If set, fully upgrade the system prior to bootstrapping Salt
  -I  If set, allow insecure connections while downloading any files. For
      example, pass '--no-check-certificate' to 'wget' or '--insecure' to
      'curl'. On Debian and Ubuntu, using this option with -U allows obtaining
      GnuPG archive keys insecurely if distro has changed release signatures.
  -F  Allow copied files to overwrite existing (config, init.d, etc)
  -K  If set, keep the temporary files in the temporary directories specified
      with -c and -k
  -C  Only run the configuration function. Implies -F (forced overwrite).
      To overwrite Master or Syndic configs, -M or -S, respectively, must
      also be specified. Salt installation will be ommitted, but some of the
      dependencies could be installed to write configuration with -j or -J.
  -A  Pass the salt-master DNS name or IP. This will be stored under
  -i  Pass the salt-minion id. This will be stored under
  -p  Extra-package to install while installing Salt dependencies. One package
      per -p flag. You are responsible for providing the proper package name.
  -H  Use the specified HTTP proxy for all download URLs (including https://).
      For example:
  -b  Assume that dependencies are already installed and software sources are
      set up. If git is selected, git tree is still checked out as dependency
  -f  Force shallow cloning for git installations.
      This may result in an "n/a" in the version number.
  -l  Disable ssl checks. When passed, switches "https" calls to "http" where
  -V  Install Salt into virtualenv
      (only available for Ubuntu based distributions)
  -a  Pip install all Python pkg dependencies for Salt. Requires -V to install
      all pip pkgs into the virtualenv.
      (Only available for Ubuntu based distributions)
  -r  Disable all repository configuration performed by this script. This
      option assumes all necessary repository configuration is already present
      on the system.
  -R  Specify a custom repository URL. Assumes the custom repository URL
      points to a repository that mirrors Salt packages located at The option passed with -R replaces the
      "". If -R is passed, -r is also set. Currently only
      works on CentOS/RHEL and Debian based distributions.
  -J  Replace the Master config file with data passed in as a JSON string. If
      a Master config file is found, a reasonable effort will be made to save
      the file with a ".bak" extension. If used in conjunction with -C or -F,
      no ".bak" file will be created as either of those options will force
      a complete overwrite of the file.
  -j  Replace the Minion config file with data passed in as a JSON string. If
      a Minion config file is found, a reasonable effort will be made to save
      the file with a ".bak" extension. If used in conjunction with -C or -F,
      no ".bak" file will be created as either of those options will force
      a complete overwrite of the file.
  -q  Quiet salt installation from git ( install -q)
  -x  Changes the Python version used to install Salt.
      For CentOS 6 git installations python2.7 is supported.
      Fedora git installation, CentOS 7, Debian 9, Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 support python3.
  -y  Installs a different python version on host. Currently this has only been
      tested with CentOS 6 and is considered experimental. This will install the
      ius repo on the box if disable repo is false. This must be used in conjunction
      with -x <pythonversion>.  For example:
          sh -P -y -x python2.7 git v2017.7.2
      The above will install python27 and install the git version of salt using the
      python2.7 executable. This only works for git and pip installations.

The Salt Bootstrap script has a wide variety of options that can be passed as well as several ways of obtaining the bootstrap script itself. Note that the use of sudo is not needed when running these commands as the root user.


The examples below show how to bootstrap Salt directly from GitHub or another Git repository. Run the script without any parameters to get latest stable Salt packages for your system from SaltStack's corporate repository. See first example in the Install using wget section.

Install using curl

If you want to install a package of a specific release version, from the SaltStack repo:

curl -o -L
sudo sh -P stable 3002.2

If you want to install a specific release version, based on the Git tags:

curl -o -L
sudo sh git v3002.2

Using curl to install latest development version from GitHub:

curl -o -L
sudo sh git master

To install a specific branch from a Git fork:

curl -o -L
sudo sh -g git mybranch

If all you want is to install a salt-master using latest Git:

curl -o -L
sudo sh -M -N git master

If your host has Internet access only via HTTP proxy, from the SaltStack repo:

curl -o -L -x "$PROXY"
sudo sh -P -H "$PROXY" stable

If your host has Internet access only via HTTP proxy, installing via Git:

curl -o -L -x "$PROXY"
sudo sh -H "$PROXY" git

Install using wget

Using wget to install your distribution's stable packages:

wget -O
sudo sh

Installing a specific version from git using wget:

wget -O
sudo sh git v3002.2

Installing a specific version package from the SaltStack repo using wget:

wget -O
sudo sh -P stable 3002.2


On the above examples we added -P which will allow PIP packages to be installed if required. However, the -P flag is not necessary for Git-based bootstraps.

Install using Python

If you already have Python installed, python 2.7, then it's as easy as:

python -m urllib "" >
sudo sh -P stable 3002.2

With python version 2, the following in-line code should always work:

python -c 'import urllib; print urllib.urlopen("").read()' >
sudo sh git master

With python version 3:

python3 -c 'import urllib.request; print(urllib.request.urlopen("").read().decode("ascii"))' >
sudo sh git v3002.2

Install using fetch

On a FreeBSD-based system you usually don't have either of the above binaries available. You do have fetch available though:

fetch -o
sudo sh

If you have any SSL issues install ca_root_nss:

pkg install ca_root_nss

And either copy the certificates to the place where fetch can find them:

cp /usr/local/share/certs/ca-root-nss.crt /etc/ssl/cert.pem

Or link them to the right place:

ln -s /usr/local/share/certs/ca-root-nss.crt /etc/ssl/cert.pem

Installing via an Insecure One-Liner

The following examples illustrate how to install Salt via a one-liner.


Warning! These methods do not involve a verification step and assume that the delivered file is trustworthy.

Any of the examples above which use two lines can be made to run in a single-line configuration with minor modifications.

Installing the latest stable release of Salt (default):

curl -L | sudo sh

Using wget to install your distribution's stable packages:

wget -O - | sudo sh

Installing a target version package of Salt from the SaltStack repo:

curl -L | sudo sh -s -- stable 3002.2

Installing the latest master branch of Salt from git:

curl -L | sudo sh -s -- git master

Install on Windows

Using PowerShell to install latest stable version:

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri -OutFile C:\Temp\bootstrap-salt.ps1
Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Scope CurrentUser
Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy Undefined -Scope CurrentUser

Using cygwin to install latest stable version:

curl -o bootstrap-salt.ps1 -L
"/cygdrive/c/WINDOWS/System32/WindowsPowerShell/v1.0/powershell.exe" -NoProfile -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = 3072; iex ./bootstrap-salt.ps1"

Supported Operating Systems

The salt-bootstrap script officially supports the distributions outlined in Salt's Supported Operating Systems document, except for Solaris and AIX. The operating systems listed below should reflect this document but may become out of date. If an operating system is listed below, but is not listed on the official supported operating systems document, the level of support is "best-effort".

Since Salt is written in Python, the packages available from SaltStack's corporate repository are CPU architecture independent and could be installed on any hardware supported by Linux kernel. However, SaltStack does package Salt's binary dependencies only for x86_64 (amd64) and AArch32 (armhf). The latter is available only for Debian/Raspbian 8 platforms.

It is recommended to use git bootstrap mode as described above to install Salt on other architectures, such as x86 (i386), AArch64 (arm64) or ARM EABI (armel). You also may need to disable repository configuration and allow pip installations by providing -r and -P options to the bootstrap script, i.e.:

sudo sh -r -P git master


Bootstrap may fail to install Salt on the cutting-edge version of distributions with frequent release cycles such as: Amazon Linux, Fedora, openSUSE Tumbleweed, or Ubuntu non-LTS. Check the versions from the list below. Also, see the `Unsupported Distro`_ section.

Debian and derivatives

  • Cumulus Linux 2/3
  • Debian GNU/Linux 7/8/9/10
  • Devuan GNU/Linux 1/2
  • Kali Linux 1.0 (based on Debian 7)
  • Linux Mint Debian Edition 1 (based on Debian 8)
  • Raspbian 8 (armhf packages) and 9 (using git installation mode only)
Debian Best Effort Support: Testing Release

This script provides best-effort support for the upcoming Debian testing release. Package repositories are not provided on SaltStack's Debian repository for Debian testing releases. However, the bootstrap script will attempt to install the packages for the current stable version of Debian.

For example, when installing Salt on Debian 11 (Bullseye), the bootstrap script will setup the repository for Debian 10 (Buster) from SaltStack's Debian repository and install the Debian 10 packages.

Red Hat family

  • Amazon Linux 2012.3 and later
  • Amazon Linux 2
  • CentOS 6/7/8
  • Cloud Linux 6/7
  • Fedora 30/31 (install latest stable from standard repositories)
  • Oracle Linux 6/7
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6/7/8
  • Scientific Linux 6/7

SUSE family

  • openSUSE Leap 15 (see note below)
  • openSUSE Leap 42.3
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed 2015
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4, 12 SP2

NOTE: Leap 15 installs Python 3 Salt packages by default. Salt is packaged by SUSE, and Leap 15 ships with Python 3. Salt with Python 2 can be installed using the the -x option in combination with the git installation method.

sh -x python2 git v2018.3.2

Ubuntu and derivatives

  • KDE neon (based on Ubuntu 18.04)
  • Linux Mint 17/18
  • Ubuntu 14.04/16.04/18.04 and subsequent non-LTS releases (see below)
Ubuntu Best Effort Support: Non-LTS Releases

This script provides best-effort support for current, non-LTS Ubuntu releases. If package repositories are not provided on SaltStack's Ubuntu repository for the non-LTS release, the bootstrap script will attempt to install the packages for the most closely related LTS Ubuntu release instead.

For example, when installing Salt on Ubuntu 20.10, the bootstrap script will setup the repository for Ubuntu 20.04 from SaltStack's Ubuntu repository and install the 20.04 packages.

Non-LTS Ubuntu releases are not supported once the release reaches End-of-Life as defined by Ubuntu's release schedule.

Other Linux distributions

  • Alpine Linux 3.5/edge
  • Arch Linux
  • Gentoo

UNIX systems


  • OpenBSD (pip installation)
  • FreeBSD 11/12/13/14-CURRENT


  • SmartOS (2015Q4 and later)

Unsupported Distributions

If you are running a Linux distribution that is not supported yet or is not correctly identified, please run the following commands and report their output when creating an issue:

sudo find /etc/ -name \*-release -print -exec cat {} \;
command lsb_release -a

For information on how to add support for a currently unsupported distribution, please refer to the Contributing Guidelines.

Python 3 Support

Some distributions support installing Salt to use Python 3 instead of Python 2. The availability of this offering, while limited, is as follows:

  • CentOS 7
  • Centos 8
  • Debian 9
  • Debian 10
  • Fedora (only git installations)
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • Ubuntu 18.04

On Fedora, PIP installation must be allowed (-P) due to incompatibility with the shipped Tornado library.

Installing the Python 3 packages for Salt is done via the -x option:

sh -x python3

See the -x option for more information.

The earliest release of Salt that supports Python3 is 2018.3.4.

Tornado 5/6 Workaround

Salt does not support tornado>=5.0 currently. This support will be included in an upcoming release. In order to work around this requirement on OSs that no longer have the tornado 4 package available in their repositories we are pip installing tornado<5.0 in the bootstrap script. This requires the user to pass -P to the bootstrap script if installing via git to ensure tornado is pip installed. If a user does not pass this argument they will be warned that it is required for the tornado 5 workaround. So far the OSs that are using this workaround are Debian 10, Centos 8 and Fedora 31.


There are a couple of ways to test the bootstrap script. Running the script on a fully-fledged VM is one way. Other options include using Vagrant or Docker.

Testing in Vagrant

Vagrant can be used to easily test changes on a clean machine. The Vagrantfile defaults to an Ubuntu box. First, install Vagrant, then:

vagrant up
vagrant ssh

Running in Docker

It is possible to run and use Salt inside a Docker container on Linux machines. Let's prepare the Docker image using the provided Dockerfile to install both a Salt Master and a Salt Minion with the bootstrap script:

docker build -t local/salt-bootstrap .

Start your new container with Salt services up and running:

docker run --detach --name salt --hostname salt local/salt-bootstrap

And finally "enter" the running container and make Salt fully operational:

docker exec -i -t salt /bin/bash
salt-key -A -y

Salt is ready and working in the Docker container with the Minion authenticated on the Master.


The Dockerfile here inherits the Ubuntu 14.04 public image with Upstart configured as the init system. Use it as an example or starting point of how to make your own Docker images with suitable Salt components, custom configurations, and even pre-accepted Minion keys already installed.

Updating Drone Pipelines

You should install and configure the drone-cli as shown here:

Make edits to .drone.jsonnet and then save them into the .drone.yml by doing the following:

drone jsonnet --format --stream
drone sign saltstack/salt-bootstrap --save