How to configure masterless Salt Minion

Configuring and running masterless salt-minion on Debian



SaltStack is a configuration management platform written python to automate the process of configuring your device by writing salt configurations.

Masterless SaltStack

Ideally SaltStack architecture is based on Master and Minion, where Master send instructions and configurations to Minion and Minion follows those instruction and apply the configuration or states.

In masterless architecture we only have Minion and all the configuration are stored locally and we can run commands in Minion itself to apply the states.


In this article we will configure masterless salt minion in debian device.

Install salt-minion

Import repository key

Run below command to import SaltStack repository key

$ wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -

Add SaltStack repo in source.list

Create /etc/apt/sources.list.d/saltstack.list and save below repo URL in it

deb buster main

Install package

Run below command to install salt-minion package

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install salt-minion

Configuring salt-minion

Ideally in master minion architecture we configure master host in minion config file so that minion can connect to master, but in masterless configuration we have to configure two things in minion config file.

  • Tell minion to run commands locally and not connect to master for fetching states
  • Tell minion from where it can read the states locally

Create a new /etc/salt/minion.d/minion-masterless.conf file and add below config in it

file_client: local
    - /srv/salt/base

Here file_client: local tells minions to look for configuration locally instead of connecting to master for fetching the configuration file_roots tell minions where to look for configuration files or states, here we have given /srv/salt/base you can modify it and can give any custom location.

Run command to apply states

First make sure that you have already have state files available under /srv/salt/base directory. Now to apply states we have to run salt-call command which will tell salt-minion to apply the states by reading state files from the configured location.

$ sudo salt-call --local state.apply

This command will tell salt-minion to apply state and --local argument is used to tell salt-minion to look for states locally from the directory which is configured in /etc/salt/minion.d/minion-masterless.conf file which is /srv/salt/base

Stop salt-minion service to run in background

As we are running in masterless mode, so there is no need for salt-minion to connect to master so we have to stop salt-minion service from running it in background.

$ sudo systemctl stop salt-minion

Running salt-minion as non-root user

In order to run Salt as non-root user we have to change ownership and permission of salt related directories so that desires user can read and write to required directories.

Run below command to change ownership and permission

$ sudo chown user -R /etc/salt /var/cache/salt /var/log/salt /var/run/salt
$ sudo chmod 755 -R /etc/salt /var/cache/salt /var/log/salt /var/run/salt


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