AIX#

Welcome to the AIX native minion installation guide. This installation guide explains the process for installing a Salt native minion on AIX UNIX systems. This guide is intended for system administrators with the general knowledge and experience required in the field.

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What are Salt native minions?

Salt can target network-connected devices through Salt proxy minions. Proxy minions are a Salt feature that enables controlling devices that, for whatever reason, cannot run the standard salt-minion service. Examples include network gear that has an API but runs a proprietary OS, devices with limited CPU or memory, or devices that could run a minion but, for security reasons, will not.

Salt native minions are packaged to run directly on specific devices, removing the need for proxy minions running elsewhere on a network. Native minions have several advantages, such as:

  • Performance boosts: With native minions, Salt doesn’t need to rely on constant SSH connections across the network. There is also less burden on the servers running multiple proxy minions.

  • Higher availability: For servers running multiple proxy minions, server issues can cause connection problems to all proxy minions being managed by the server. Native minions remove this potential point of failure.

  • Improved scalability: When adding devices to a network that are supported by native minions, you aren’t required to deploy proxy minions on separate infrastructure. This reduces the burden of horizontally or vertically scaling infrastructure dedicated to proxy minions.

Note

For an overview of how Salt works, see Salt system architecture.

Before you start#

Before installing the AIX native minion:

  • Ensure that you have sufficient privileges to install packages on the AIX UNIX system.
  • Check that your AIX UNIX system is supported. See AIX for more information.
  • Ensure that ports 4505 and 4506 are open on the applicable AIX UNIX systems.

Salt uses ports 4505 and 4506 for outbound communication from the master to the minions. The AIX native minion uses a direct connection to the AIX UNIX system and uses the network interfaces for communication. For that reason, ports 4505 and 4506 need to be open on the appropriate network interfaces.

Install Salt on AIX#

The AIX native minion package installs:

  • The salt-minion service
  • The salt-call service

Note

The salt-ssh and salt-proxy services are not installed with this package.

Salt minion package installation#

To install the package:

  1. Download, verify, and transfer the AIX installation files from repo.saltproject.io. The AIX native minion package is a tarball containing an installation and removal script and an AIX bff package.

  2. In the terminal on the AIX device, navigate to the salt_|aix-version| directory.

    Note

    This directory name may change slightly depending on the latest version of Salt. Currently, the latest stable version is 3005.

  3. Run the following command to install the package:

    ./install_salt.sh
    

    You’ll see a message that indicates the installation is running. You can see a more detailed output if you install the package in verbose mode.

After installing the AIX native minion, continue to the next section.

Configure and test the AIX native minion#

To configure the AIX native minion to connect with its Salt master:

  1. Edit the /etc/salt/minion file to update the minion configuration with your environment’s specific details, such as the master’s IP address, the minion ID, etc. For example, to set the minion name:

    id: your-aix-minion-name
    
  2. Edit the file to indicate the IP address of the master that is managing this minion. For example:

    master: 192.0.2.1
    
  3. Start the AIX native minion with the following command:

    startsrc -s salt-minion
    
  4. To check that the AIX native minion is installed correctly and is running, use the following command:

    lssrc -g salt
    

    If the AIX native minion is installed and running, the output will be similar to the following:

    Subsystem         Group            PID          Status
    salt-minion       salt             20110110     active
    

    Note

    If the output reads salt-inoperative, that means the minion has not yet been started.

    An alternative method to restart the minion is to use the command /etc/rc.d/init.d/salt-minion start but this method is not preferred.

  5. Once the AIX native minion has been started and is running, you can use the command salt-key to verify the master has received a request for the minion key.

  6. On the master, accept the minion’s key with the following command, replacing the placeholder test with the correct minion name:

    salt-key -y -a your-aix-minion-name
    
  7. After waiting a small period of time, verify the connectivity between the master and the AIX native minion using simple commands. For example, try running the following commands:

    salt your-minion-name test.versions
    salt your-minion-name grains.items
    salt your-minion-name cmd.run ‘ls -alrt /’
    salt-call --local test.versions
    

You can now use the AIX native minion. See Using the AIX native minion for more information.

AIX native minion package removal#

To uninstall the Salt minion package, run the following command:

./install_salt.sh -u

Alternatively, to remove any trace of salt on the system , run the following command:

./install_salt.sh -u -f

Warning

If install_salt.sh fails to uninstall Salt and you intend to install a new version, you must uninstall using an alternate method. Otherwise the previous package may remain in the cache.

The install script install_salt.sh as a number of self-explanatory options, which can be accessed using the -h option: ./install_salt.sh -h

Using the AIX native minion#

You can access the Salt command line interface on the AIX native minion using wrapper scripts. These wrapper scripts execute with environmental variable overrides for library and Python paths. The wrapper scripts are located in the /usr/bin folder, which is typically included in the environmental variable PATH.

Note

The AIX native minion 3005 currently has a wrapper script for:

  • salt-minion
  • salt-call

Salt command line functionality is available through the use of these wrapper scripts. For example, to start the minion as a daemon:

[/usr/bin/]salt-minion -d

If srcmster is active, you can use AIX System Resource Controller commands to start, stop, and list the salt-minion daemon with startsrc, stopsrc and lssrc.

To start the minion:

startsrc -s salt-minion

To stop the minion:

stopsrc -s salt-minion

To check if the minion is running:

lssrc -g salt

If the AIX native minion is installed and running, the output will be similar to the following:

Subsystem         Group            PID          Status
salt-minion       salt             20110110     active

Note

If the output reads salt-inoperative, that means the minion has not yet been started.

Additional resources#

For more information about AIX, see the following links on the IBM Knowledge Center: