Agentless Salt

Get Started Tutorial

Apply States

You'll learn how to:

  • Apply a Salt state using Salt SSH

Estimated time: 10 minutes 


Salt states are fully compatible with Salt SSH, and can be used to quickly automate system setup and configuration.

The Configuration Management guide contains a detailed explanation of creating Salt states. All of the information in that guide (including Salt pillar and Salt’s file server) can be used to apply states using Salt SSH.

Tutorial: States

Before we create and apply states, let’s make a few additions to our Salt SSH environment to configure the state system file location to point to a directory in our salt-ssh directory (by default state files are stored at /srv/salt).

Make sure you are in the Salt SSH directory you created previously (~/salt-ssh) and you have activated the virtual environment (source venv/bin/activate).

  1. Create a salt-ssh/master file with the following content:

        - /home/vagrant/salt-ssh/states # you might need to replace 'vagrant' in your environment
  2. Create a directory named states, and then add and save the following as states/network.sls:

    install network packages:
        - pkgs:
          - rsync
          - lftp
          - curl
  3. Since we are installing packages, we’ll need to enable elevated privileges before we apply this state. Open the roster file and add sudo: True.

      user: vagrant
      sudo: True
  4. Apply the state using the following command:

    salt-ssh '*' state.apply network

    (Note that we previously added the config_dir path to our Saltfile, that is why salt-ssh finds salt-ssh/master file.)

Manage Files

Salt SSH states can also manage files! Salt SSH resolves all salt:// file references and sends the files to the agentless system automatically.

  1. In the salt-ssh/states directory, create a subdirectory named files.

  2. Add a salt-ssh/states/files/sample.conf file with the following:

  3. Add and save a new state file named salt-ssh/states/config.sls with the following:

    manage some app config file:
        - name: /tmp/sample.conf
        - source: salt://files/sample.conf
  4. Apply the state using the following command:

    salt-ssh '*' state.apply config

Each time you apply this state, the config file on the agentless system will be updated to match the version in salt-ssh/states/files.

For some added fun, you can list the contents of the config file using remote execution:

salt-ssh '*' 'cat /tmp/sample.conf'

Source Control

Instead of placing state files in the salt-ssh/states directory, Salt can be easily configured to access a GitHub repo by changing the contents of salt-ssh/master to the following:

  - git


See Git Fileserver Backend for more details.

More Examples

Here are just a few examples of other commands you can add to a state file to configure your systems.

Clone from Github

Clone the SaltStack bootstrap script repo:
    - name: git # make sure git is installed first!
    - name:
    - rev: develop
    - target: /tmp/salt

Service Running

Make sure the mysql service is running:
    - name: mysql

Create Users

user account for pete:
    - name: pete
    - shell: /bin/bash
    - home: /home/pete
    - groups:
      - sudo

This guide has shown you how simple it is to start managing servers using Salt SSH. All of the state files and commands you use with Salt SSH are fully compatible with Salt running in master-minion mode, so you can easily switch between the two modes.