Since the Salt minion contains such extensive functionality it can be useful to run it standalone. A standalone minion can be used to do a number of things:
Use salt-call commands on a system without connectivity to a master
Masterless States, run states entirely from files local to the minion
When running Salt in masterless mode, it is not required to run the salt-minion daemon. By default the salt-minion daemon will attempt to connect to a master and fail. The salt-call command stands on its own and does not need the salt-minion daemon.
As of version 2016.11.0 you can have a running minion (with engines and
beacons) without a master connection. If you wish to run the salt-minion
daemon you will need to set the
setting to be set to 'disable'.
Throughout this document there are several references to setting different
options to configure a masterless Minion. Salt Minions are easy to configure
via a configuration file that is located, by default, in
Note, however, that on FreeBSD systems, the minion configuration file is located
You can learn more about minion configuration options in the Configuring the Salt Minion docs.
The salt-call command is used to run module functions locally on a minion
instead of executing them from the master. Normally the salt-call command
checks into the master to retrieve file server and pillar data, but when
running standalone salt-call needs to be instructed to not check the master for
this data. To instruct the minion to not look for a master when running
file_client configuration option needs to be set.
By default the
file_client is set to
remote so that the
minion knows that file server and pillar data are to be gathered from the
master. When setting the
file_client option to
minion is configured to not gather this data from the master.
Now the salt-call command will not look for a master and will assume that the local system has all of the file and pillar resources.
The state system can be easily run without a Salt master, with all needed files local to the minion. To do this the minion configuration file needs to be set up to know how to return file_roots information like the master. The file_roots setting defaults to /srv/salt for the base environment just like on the master:
file_roots: base: - /srv/salt
Now set up the Salt State Tree, top file, and SLS modules in the same way that
they would be set up on a master. Now, with the
option set to
local and an available state tree then calls to functions in
the state module will use the information in the file_roots on the minion
instead of checking in with the master.
Remember that when creating a state tree on a minion there are no syntax or path changes needed, SLS modules written to be used from a master do not need to be modified in any way to work with a minion.
This makes it easy to "script" deployments with Salt states without having to set up a master, and allows for these SLS modules to be easily moved into a Salt master as the deployment grows.
The declared state can now be executed with:
Or the salt-call command can be executed with the
--local flag, this makes
it unnecessary to change the configuration file:
salt-call state.apply --local
External pillars are supported when running in masterless mode.