Salt Bootstrap

The Salt Bootstrap script allows for a user to install the Salt Minion or Master on a variety of system distributions and versions. This shell script known as runs through a series of checks to determine the operating system type and version. It then installs the Salt binaries using the appropriate methods. The Salt Bootstrap script installs the minimum number of packages required to run Salt. This means that in the event you run the bootstrap to install via package, Git will not be installed. Installing the minimum number of packages helps ensure the script stays as lightweight as possible, assuming the user will install any other required packages after the Salt binaries are present on the system. The script source is available on GitHub:

Supported Operating Systems


In the event you do not see your distribution or version available please review the develop branch on GitHub as it main contain updates that are not present in the stable release:

Debian and derivatives

  • Debian GNU/Linux 7/8
  • Linux Mint Debian Edition 1 (based on Debian 8)
  • Kali Linux 1.0 (based on Debian 7)

Red Hat family

  • Amazon Linux 2012.09/2013.03/2013.09/2014.03/2014.09
  • CentOS 5/6/7
  • Fedora 17/18/20/21/22
  • Oracle Linux 5/6/7
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5/6/7
  • Scientific Linux 5/6/7

SUSE family

  • openSUSE 12/13
  • openSUSE Leap 42
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed 2015
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1/11 SP2/11 SP3/12

Ubuntu and derivatives

  • Elementary OS 0.2 (based on Ubuntu 12.04)
  • Linaro 12.04
  • Linux Mint 13/14/16/17
  • Trisquel GNU/Linux 6 (based on Ubuntu 12.04)
  • Ubuntu 10.x/11.x/12.x/13.x/14.x/15.x/16.x

Other Linux distro

  • Arch Linux
  • Gentoo

UNIX systems


  • OpenBSD (pip installation)
  • FreeBSD 9/10/11


  • SmartOS

Example Usage

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


In every two-step example, you would be well-served to examine the downloaded file and examine it to ensure that it does what you expect.

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.


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

Install using curl

Using curl to install latest development version from GitHub:

curl -o -L
sudo sh git develop

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

curl -o -L
sudo sh git v2015.8.8

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 develop

If your host has Internet access only via HTTP proxy:

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

Install using wget

Using wget to install your distribution's stable packages:

wget -O
sudo sh

Downloading the script from develop branch:

wget -O
sudo sh

Installing a specific version from git using wget:

wget -O
sudo sh -P git v2015.8.8


On the above example we added -P which will allow PIP packages to be installed if required but it's not a necessary flag for Git based bootstraps.

Install using Python

If you already have Python installed, python 2.6, then it's as easy as:

python -m urllib "" >
sudo sh git develop

All Python versions should support the following in-line code:

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

Install using fetch

On a FreeBSD base 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_nssp:

pkg install ca_root_nssp

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

For example, using curl to install your distribution's stable packages:

curl -L | sudo sh

Using wget to install your distribution's stable packages:

wget -O - | sudo sh

Installing the latest develop branch of Salt:

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

Command Line Options

Here's a summary of the command line options:

$ sh -h

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

  Installation types:
    - stable (default)
    - stable [version] (ubuntu specific)
    - daily  (ubuntu specific)
    - testing (redhat specific)
    - git

    - stable
    - stable 2014.7
    - daily
    - testing
    - git
    - git develop
    - git v0.17.0
    - git 8c3fadf15ec183e5ce8c63739850d543617e4357

  -h  Display this message
  -v  Display script version
  -n  No colours.
  -D  Show debug output.
  -c  Temporary configuration directory
  -g  Salt repository URL. (default: git://
  -G  Instead of cloning from git://, clone from (Usually necessary on systems which have the regular git protocol port blocked, where https usually is not)
  -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
  -M  Also install salt-master
  -S  Also install salt-syndic
  -N  Do not install salt-minion
  -X  Do not start daemons after installation
  -C  Only run the configuration function. This option automatically
      bypasses any installation.
  -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.
  -F  Allow copied files to overwrite existing(config, init.d, etc)
  -U  If set, fully upgrade the system prior to bootstrapping salt
  -K  If set, keep the temporary files in the temporary directories specified
      with -c and -k.
  -I  If set, allow insecure connections while downloading any files. For
      example, pass '--no-check-certificate' to 'wget' or '--insecure' to 'curl'
  -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
  -L  Install the Apache Libcloud package if possible(required for salt-cloud)
  -p  Extra-package to install while installing salt dependencies. One package
      per -p flag. You're responsible for providing the proper package name.
  -d  Disable check_service functions. Setting this flag disables the
      'install_<distro>_check_services' checks. You can also do this by
      touching /tmp/disable_salt_checks on the target host. Defaults ${BS_FALSE}
  -H  Use the specified http proxy for the installation
  -Z  Enable external software source for newer ZeroMQ(Only available for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora/Ubuntu based distributions)
  -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 step.