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 may 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
  • 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

  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
    - daily               Ubuntu specific: configure SaltStack Daily PPA
    - testing             RHEL-family specific: configure EPEL testing repo
    - git                 Install from the head of the develop branch
    - git [ref]           Install from any git ref (such as a branch, tag, or

    - stable
    - stable 2017.7
    - stable 2017.7.2
    - daily
    - 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 one to obtain
        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 omitted, 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're responsible for providing the proper package name.
    -H  Use the specified HTTP proxy for all download URLs (including https://).
        For example:
    -Z  Enable additional package repository 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
    -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 a git version of salt. Currently
        this is considered experimental and has only been tested on Centos 6. This
        only works for git installations.
    -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 v2016.11.3
        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.