Since Salt provides a powerful toolkit for system management and automation, the package can be spit into a number of sub-tools. While packaging Salt as a single package containing all components is perfectly acceptable, the split packages should follow this convention.
The occasion may arise where Salt source and default configurations may need to be patched. It is preferable if Salt is only patched to include platform specific additions or to fix release time bugs. It is preferable that configuration settings and operations remain in the default state, as changes here lowers the user experience for users moving across distributions.
In the event where a packager finds a need to change the default configuration it is advised to add the files to the master.d or minion.d directories.
Release packages should always be built from the source tarball distributed via pypi. Release packages should NEVER use a git checkout as the source for distribution.
Shipping Salt as a single package, where the minion, master, and all tools are together is perfectly acceptable and practiced by distributions such as FreeBSD.
Salt Should always be split in a standard way, with standard dependencies, this lowers cross distribution confusion about what components are going to be shipped with specific packages. These packages can be defined from the Salt Source as of Salt 2014.1.0:
The salt-common or salt package should contain the files provided by the
salt python package, or all files distributed from the
salt/ directory in
the source distribution packages. The documentation contained under the
doc/ directory can be a part of this package but splitting out a doc
package is preferred.
Since salt-call is the entry point to utilize the libs and is useful for all
salt packages it is included in the salt-common package.
The salt-master package contains the applicable scripts, related man pages and init information for the given platform.
The Salt Syndic package can be rolled completely into the Salt Master package. Platforms which start services as part of the package deployment need to maintain a separate salt-syndic package (primarily Debian based platforms).
The Syndic may optionally not depend on the anything more than the Salt Master since the master will bring in all needed dependencies, but fall back to the platform specific packaging guidelines.
The Minion is a standalone package and should not be split beyond the salt-minion and salt-common packages.
Since Salt SSH does not require the same dependencies as the minion and master, it should be split out.
As of Salt 2014.1.0 Salt Cloud is included in the same repo as Salt. This can be split out into a separate package or it can be included in the salt-master package.
The documentation package is very distribution optional. A completely split package will split out the documentation, but some platform conventions do not prefer this. If the documentation is not split out, it should be included with the Salt Common package.