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How to install SaltStack on FreeBSD

SaltStack is one of the many system and configuration management solutions which is available for FreeBSD. It is used at SoCruel.NU for both implementation and management! The basics of SaltStack on FreeBSD are discussed in this blog post.


The following requirements have to be in place to be able to implement what is described in this post:

  • an up to date FreeBSD version 11.x
  • a connection to the internet with access to a public caching name server or
  • a connection to a local caching name server which has access to a public root or caching name server
  • a basic understanding of what SaltStack is and how it works. For more on these please read SaltStack Get Started

Where to find the software

The SaltStack software is in the FreeBSD Ports tree:

This software covers both the SaltStack client (called the minion) and the SaltStack master server.


To install SaltStack run:

# pkg install py27-salt

The configuration decides if this installation becomes a Salt master or a Salt minion or both.

What did we install?

The Saltstack software installation also installs some other packages. See the Makefile in SaltStack in FreeBSD Ports for more details.

If we look at the filesystem and do a find on salt we find:

# find / -name salt

What does this all mean?

  • /usr/local/etc/salt is the directory for the Salt configuration
  • /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/salt is the directory which stores Salt runners, modules and states.
  • /usr/local/bin/salt is the main Salt binary file
  • /var/log/salt is the Salt log directory
  • /var/cache/salt is the Salt cache directory
  • /var/run/salt is the Salt socket directory

Besides /usr/local/bin/salt some other Salt executables are installed in the /usr/local/bin directory:

# cd /usr/local/bin
# ls -l salt*
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 387 Mar 25 03:18 salt
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 395 Mar 25 03:18 salt-api
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 397 Mar 25 03:18 salt-call
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 399 Mar 25 03:18 salt-cloud
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 393 Mar 25 03:18 salt-cp
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 395 Mar 25 03:18 salt-key
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 401 Mar 25 03:18 salt-master
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 401 Mar 25 03:18 salt-minion
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 971 Mar 25 03:17 salt-proxy
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 395 Mar 25 03:18 salt-run
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 395 Mar 25 03:18 salt-ssh
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 401 Mar 25 03:18 salt-syndic
4K -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 399 Mar 25 03:18 salt-unity

More to come

These are just the basics of Salt on FreeBSD. More posts on the subject Salt will follow! Until next time.


Some (other) resources about this subject:

Updated: August 23, 2018