Agentless Salt

Get Started Tutorial

Install Salt SSH

You'll learn how to:

  • Create a Salt roster file with connection details
  • Connect to a remote system and run a command

Estimated time: 10 minutes 


Salt uses a utility called Salt SSH to connect to agentless systems. This utility can be installed on a management server, a development workstation, or your laptop. The simplest way is to install using pip:

pip install salt-ssh

Demo Systems

You can use any two systems to test Salt SSH. If you have Vagrant and VirtualBox installed, you can use the following Vagrantfile to quickly set up a demo environment:

# -*- mode: ruby -*-
# vi: set ft=ruby :

# Vagrantfile API/syntax version. Don't touch unless you know what you're doing!

Vagrant.configure(VAGRANTFILE_API_VERSION) do |config|
  config.vm.define :salt do |salt_config| = "ubuntu/trusty64"
    salt_config.vm.host_name = 'salt.local' "private_network", ip: ""

  config.vm.define :managed do |managed_config| = "ubuntu/trusty64"
    managed_config.vm.host_name = 'managed.local' "private_network", ip: ""

This uses the same base image as the Demo Environment from the SaltStack Fundamentals guide, so if you have completed that guide this might save you some bandwidth.

Tutorial: Install Salt SSH

To get you up and running quickly, Tutorial sections show you how to install Salt SSH into a Python virtual environment with all Salt configuration files being loaded from a single directory.

This is a useful configuration to install on a development system or on your laptop, since you can easily load this virtual environment to quickly manage your servers using Salt. From a terminal:

  1. Run which pip. If pip is not installed: pip.
  2. Run which virtualenv. If virtualenv is not installed: pip install virtualenv
  3. Create a directory for Salt SSH. For this tutorial we’ll create a salt-ssh directory in our home directory. Create and cd to this directory.
  4. Run the following commands to create a virtual environment and install Salt SSH:

    virtualenv venv
    source venv/bin/activate
    pip install salt-ssh

This directory now contains a virtual environment that you can activate any time you want to use salt-ssh. Just open a terminal to the salt-ssh directory and enter source venv/bin/activate.