Salt 2014.1.0 Release Notes - Codename Hydrogen


Due to a change in master to minion communication, 2014.1.0 minions are not compatible with older-version masters. Please upgrade masters first. More info on backwards-compatibility policy here, under the "Upgrading Salt" subheading.


A change in the grammar in the state compiler makes in requisites illegal syntax. Its use is replaced simply with the word module. In other words you will need to change requisites like this:

require: some_module_name


    module: some_module_name

This is a breaking change. We apologize for the inconvenience, we needed to do this to remove some ambiguity in parsing requisites.


The 2014.1.0 release of Salt is a major release which not only increases stability but also brings new capabilities in virtualization, cloud integration, and more. This release brings a great focus on the expansion of testing making roughly double the coverage in the Salt tests, and comes with many new features.

2014.1.0 is the first release to follow the new date-based release naming system. See the version numbers page for more details.

Major Features

Salt Cloud Merged into Salt

Salt Cloud is a tool for provisioning salted minions across various cloud providers. Prior to this release, Salt Cloud was a separate project but this marks its full integration with the Salt distribution. A Getting Started guide and additional documentation for Salt Cloud can be found here:

Google Compute Engine

Alongside Salt Cloud comes new support for the Google Compute Engine. Salt Stack can now deploy and control GCE virtual machines and the application stacks that they run.

For more information on Salt Stack and GCE, please see this blog post.

Documentation for Salt and GCE can be found here.

Salt Virt

Salt Virt is a cloud controller that supports virtual machine deployment, inspection, migration, and integration with many aspects of Salt.

Salt Virt has undergone a major overhaul with this release and now supports many more features and includes a number of critical improvements.

Docker Integration

Salt now ships with states and an execution module to manage Docker containers.

Substantial Testing Expansion

Salt continues to increase its unit/regression test coverage. This release includes over 300 new tests.

BSD Package Management

BSD package management has been entirely rewritten. FreeBSD 9 and older now default to using pkg_add, while FreeBSD 10 and newer will use pkgng. FreeBSD 9 can be forced to use pkgng, however, by specifying the following option in the minion config file:

  pkg: pkgng

In addition, support for installing software from the ports tree has been added. See the documentation for the ports state and execution module for more information.

Network Management for Debian/Ubuntu

Initial support for management of network interfaces on Debian-based distros has been added. See the documentation for the network state and the debian_ip for more information.

IPv6 Support for iptables State/Module

The iptables state and module now have IPv6 support. A new parameter family has been added to the states and execution functions, to distinguish between IPv4 and IPv6. The default value for this parameter is ipv4, specifying ipv6 will use ip6tables to manage firewall rules.

GitFS Improvements

Several performance improvements have been made to the Git fileserver backend. Additionally, file states can now use any SHA1 commit hash as a fileserver environment:

    - source: salt://webserver/files/httpd.conf
    - saltenv: 45af879

This applies to the functions in the cp module as well:

salt '*' cp.get_file salt://readme.txt /tmp/readme.txt saltenv=45af879


This new fileserver backend allows files which have been pushed from the minion to the master (using cp.push) to be served up from the salt fileserver. The path for these files takes the following format:


minion-id is the id of the "source" minion, the one from which the files were pushed to the master. /path/to/file is the full path of the file.

The MinionFS Walkthrough contains a more thorough example of how to use this backend.


To distinguish between fileserver environments and execution functions which deal with environment variables, fileserver environments are now specified using the saltenv parameter. env will continue to work, but is deprecated and will be removed in a future release.

Grains Caching

A caching layer has been added to the Grains system, which can help speed up minion startup. Disabled by default, it can be enabled by setting the minion config option grains_cache:

grains_cache: True

# Seconds before grains cache is considered to be stale.
grains_cache_expiration: 300

If set to True, the grains loader will read from/write to a msgpack-serialized file containing the grains data.

Additional command-line parameters have been added to salt-call, mainly for testing purposes:

  • --skip-grains will completely bypass the grains loader when salt-call is invoked.
  • --refresh-grains-cache will force the grains loader to bypass the grains cache and refresh the grains, writing a new grains cache file.

Improved Command Logging Control

When using the cmd module, either on the CLI or when developing Salt execution modules, a new keyword argument output_loglevel allows for greater control over how (or even if) the command and its output are logged. For example:

salt '*' 'tail /var/log/messages' output_loglevel=debug

The package management modules (apt, yumpkg, etc.) have been updated to log the copious output generated from these commands at loglevel debug.


To keep a command from being logged, output_loglevel=quiet can be used.

Prior to this release, this could be done using quiet=True. This argument is still supported, but will be removed in a future Salt release.

PagerDuty Support

Initial support for firing events via PagerDuty has been added. See the documentation for the pagerduty module.

Virtual Terminal

Sometimes the subprocess module is not good enough, and, in fact, not even askpass is. This virtual terminal is still in it's infant childhood, needs quite some love, and was originally created to replace askpass, but, while developing it, it immediately proved that it could do so much more. It's currently used by salt-cloud when bootstrapping salt on clouds which require the use of a password.

Proxy Minions

Initial basic support for Proxy Minions is in this release. Documentation can be found here.

Proxy minions are a developing feature in Salt that enables control of devices that cannot run a minion. Examples include network gear like switches and routers that run a proprietary OS but offer an API, or "dumb" devices that just don't have the horsepower or ability to handle a Python VM.

Proxy minions can be difficult to write, so a simple REST-based example proxy is included. A Python bottle-based webserver can be found at as an endpoint for this proxy.

This is an ALPHA-quality feature. There are a number of issues with it currently, mostly centering around process control, logging, and inability to work in a masterless configuration.

Additional Bugfixes (Release Candidate Period)

Below are many of the fixes that were implemented in salt during the release candidate phase.

  • Fix mount.mounted leaving conflicting entries in fstab (issue #7079)
  • Fix mysql returner serialization to use json (issue #9590)
  • Fix ZMQError: Operation cannot be accomplished in current state errors (issue #6306)
  • Rbenv and ruby improvements
  • Fix quoting issues with mysql port (issue #9568)
  • Update mount module/state to support multiple swap partitions (issue #9520)
  • Fix archive state to work with bsdtar
  • Clarify logs for minion ID caching
  • Add numeric revision support to git state (issue #9718)
  • Update master_uri with master_ip (issue #9694)
  • Add comment to Debian mod_repo (issue #9923)
  • Fix potential undefined loop variable in rabbitmq state (issue #8703)
  • Fix for salt-virt runner to delete key on VM deletion
  • Fix for salt-run -d to limit results to specific runner or function (issue #9975)
  • Add tracebacks to jinja renderer when applicable (issue #10010)
  • Fix parsing in monit module (issue #10041)
  • Fix highstate output from syndic minions (issue #9732)
  • Quiet logging when dealing with passwords/hashes (issue #10000)
  • Fix for multiple remotes in git_pillar (issue #9932)
  • Fix npm installed command (issue #10109)
  • Add safeguards for utf8 errors in zcbuildout module
  • Fix compound commands (issue #9746)
  • Add systemd notification when master is started
  • Many doc improvements