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  • Feature Name: Retiring Python 2 Support
  • Start Date: 2019-03-25
  • SEP Status: Accepted
  • SEP PR: #8
  • Salt Issue: (leave this empty)


In light of Python 2.7 reaching its end of life (EOL) on Jan 1st 2020, Python 2 will be unsupported by SaltStack no earlier then the Sodium release, that is either the Sodium release or a later release.


Python 2.7 will reach its official end of life (EOL) on January 1st, 2020 and post that, it will no longer be supported by its maintainers. Consequently, SaltStack team will retire Python 2.7 support in SaltStack.

The end of Python 2.7 support will enable SaltStack to focus its effort on better supporting Python 3.4+.

Python 2.x is legacy, Python 3.x is the present and future of the language


SaltStack will drop Python 2 support no earlier than the Sodium release (tentative release date is Feb 2020), that is either the Sodium release or a later release. Keeping in mind SaltStack's policy of announcing 'end of support' at least 2 major releases before the intended changes takes place, Sodium or a later release has been chosen as a suitable deadline to drop Python 2 support.

Migration: After carefully evaluating the list of Python 3 versions supported by different operating systems and by also considering the EOL for all these operating systems [1]* (as denoted in below grid) and EOL of Python branches[2]*, SaltStack team proposes to support Python 3.4 from Sodium or a later release. Versions of SaltStack released before the cutoff release will continue to support python 2.7 until they reach end of life.


Note 1

SaltStack currently supports master and minions running on different versions of Python such as salt master running on Python 2, minion running on Python 3 and vice versa. This support will not change in this transition as a change in Python interpreter does not mandate a change in network protocol.

Note 2

The version of OpenSSL that SaltStack will support will be determined by the Python version supported by SaltStack. Check the Python SSL docs for the versions of OpenSSL supported by each Python version, and check the pyOpenSSL release page to identify the which versions of Python are supported by pyOpenSSL.

Note 3

A future SEP will define a schedule for ongoing depreciation of Python versions as they also reach their end-of-life.

Note 4

A future SEP will define the salt-ssh Python deprecation schedule.


  • Support Python2 forever. Given that many of Salt's dependencies have pledged to drop Python2 support this would mean also supporting and vendoring our dependencies.
  • Drop support for Python 2.7 in Neon (tentative release date is August 2019).

Packaging Considerations

Which Python packaging solutions to use - EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux)/SC (Software Collections) repository or monolithic packaging?

While the exact nature of packages delivered by SaltStack is not being laid out in this SEP, SaltStack team guarantees that package updates will be made available for smoother transition.


SaltStack users will see the Python 2 deprecation implemented in the next few releases as follows:

  1. Future releases of SaltStack will have a Python 2 deprecation warning.
  2. SaltStack will create packages that will allow for a smooth transition for users.
  3. The six library will be removed from SaltStack slowly time as well as all compat library use.
  4. Existing monolithic installers will move solely to Python 3 only for the cutoff release, such as the Windows installer.


[1]* Below is the list of all the sources from which EOL for the below Operating system versions were retrieved

Operating Systems Sources
RHEL 6 'End of Maintenance Support 2 (Product retirement)'
RHEL 7 'End of Maintenance Support 2 (Product retirement)'
Amazon Linux 2
OpenSUSE 15
Debian 9 (Stretch)
Debian 8 (Jesse)
Ubuntu 18.04
Ubuntu 16.04
Ubuntu 14.04
FreeBSD 11

[2]* Excerpt from EOL of Python branches