A SaltStack blog post roundup

April 9, 2014 - Rhett Glauser

A SaltStack blog post roundup

SaltStack users are incredible, constantly contributing to the Salt project and sharing their learnings and code. According to the 2013 GitHub Octoverse list, Salt remains (we were also on the 2012 list) one of the largest open source projects around, so there is a lot going on. During the last few months I’ve been tracking of some of the best SaltStack-related content and thought I’d provide a summary of the collection.

Believe it or not, there is stuff on the Internet about “Salt” that has nothing to do with SaltStack. It is tricky to stay on top of everything, so if I missed something you’ve produced, please let me know in the comments or tweet us @SaltStackInc and we’ll do our best to promote it. I try to share most of the good stuff via our social channels.

Blog spelled with hands

These posts (SaltStack related content) are in no particular order other than the categories:

Case studies

  • The Salt of XMission, by Aaron Toponce. “As system administrators at XMission, we hold to the Three Great Virtues of programmers, immortalized by Larry Wall, the inventor of Perl, but adapted for admins: Laziness; Impatience; Hubris. Having these three qualities leads us to look for ways that we can make sure XMission is awesome as well as make our system administration team awesome. This post is technical in nature, and a bit long. Read on if you want to be awesome too!”
  • Seattle Sounders FC Launch, by Hans Gutknecht. The new Major League Soccer content publishing platform is hosted entirely on Amazon Web Services and is automatically provisioned using SaltStack.
  • Rundeck and Salt Integration at Salesforce, by Damon Edwards. To handle the scale and complexity of their environment, Salesforce.com decided to use Salt for remote execution and the dispatch of commands to servers.


  • Please pass the Salt!, by Ross Gardler. SaltStack now provides Salt Cloud support for Microsoft Azure.
  • Using Salt Cloud with Rackspace, by Kyle Kelley. He said, “Now that Salt Cloud is bundled with Salt itself, it’s even easier to use Salt Cloud to provision minions easily.”
  • Salt, storing Pillar data in MongoDB, by Thomas Martin. This post provides a specific instructions on how to retrieve Salt Pillar data from a MongoDB server.
  • Introducing kitchen-salt, a Salt provisioner for test-kitchen, by Simon McCartney. He said, “Over the last week I’ve been working on kitchen-salt, a SaltStack provisioner for Test Kitchen…”
  • How SaltStack made lxc container management easy, by Mathieu Le Marec – Pasquet. “I have just added some great things to SaltStack for LXC containers managment. Indeed we all want docker but we also have some legacy application and transition phases, and even deadlines preventing us to do what would be the best.”
  • Testing Salt States Rapidly with Docker, by Karl Grzeszczak. He said, “I’ve been using Salt a lot lately outside of work and I love the simplicity. In conjunction with that, we’ve also been experimenting a lot with Docker. I just wanted to share how I’ve been using Docker to rapidly test Salt states.”
  • SaltStack NewRelic for Vertx, by Kevin Bayes. He said, “So we needed a newrelic installation for vertx. The problem is that newrelic does not support vertx as an application server. So I decided to add the process to a SaltStack state called newrelic.sls.”
  • Infra as a Repo – Using Vagrant and Salt Stack to deploy Nginx on DigitalOcean, by Publysher. “I believe that managing your infrastructure can and should be fun. Recently I have been toying around with Vagrant and SaltStack to make this a reality. This weekend, I managed to combine these tools to automatically provision a new Nginx server on Digital Ocean. This in itself is nothing new – the interesting part is where I have published the entire script as a Github repository without sacrificing any security.”
  • DevOps: Provisioning with SaltStack and LXC+Vagrant, by Alex Lemann. He said, “SaltStack really shines with larger more complicated systems designed for high availability (HA) and scaling where each service runs on its own server. Salt will make sure that the setup is reproducible.”
  • Replace the Nagios Scheduler and NRPE with SaltStack, by Russell Ballestrini. “So the idea is to use SaltStack’s remote execution to communicate with all nodes and run the Nagios checks and collect the return output instead of using the NRPE client/service protocol. This reduces the number of agents running on each host and appears significantly more secure.”

Introductions and tutorials

  • My thoughts about SaltStack and why I use it, by Diego Woitasen. He said, “One year ago I started to use SaltStack. I have experience using Puppet for a long time, but a client was using Salt so I had to learn it. After a year using it, this is why it’s my preferred automation tool…”
  • Infrastructure management with SaltStack: Part 1 – The Setup, by Byron Schaller. This blog series on various SaltStack capabilities includes posts on implementing SaltStack, Salt grains, states and pillar, and the Salt Reactor and events. Rumor has it Byron has a few more posts in the series coming soon.
  • How to do centralized management for dozens of servers? (in Romanian, but Google Translate), by Catalin Constantin. A short and sweet post providing a fast and secure solution to updating software on 60+ servers in less than one minute using SaltStack.
  • Just in Time Encryption Keys Using SaltStack, by Erik Kristensen. He said, “In essence what this tutorial describes is a way to provide “just in time” delivery of disk encryption keys. This is done using SaltStack features.”
  • SaltStack install in Ubuntu (in Spanish, but Google Translate), by Angel. “For those not familiar with Salt, this is awesome 100% open source software for remote management of servers. It is a quick and easy way to manage any infrastructure we have, however large or small it may be, whether formed by a few servers or thousands of them. One of the main features of Salt is that you can communicate with any server in seconds.”
  • Spice up your servers with Salt, by Viktor Petersson. “Recently, a new tool was added to SaltStack named Salt-SSH, which enables you to manage servers without having to install any tools on the server.”


  • Setting a server role in Salt (comparing Puppet and Salt), by Spencer Christensen. He said, “Recently I’ve been working with a client to convert their configuration management from Puppet to Salt. This involved reviewing their Puppet configs and designs and more-or-less mapping them to the equivalent for Salt. Most features do convert pretty easily.”
  • SaltStack – Salt for your servers (in Czech, but Google Translate), by Thomas Fejfar. He said, “SaltStack is a tool for the operation of infrastructure-as-a-code (ie Infrastructure as a code). Tools of a similar type as Chef or Puppet. SaltStack is the youngest of the group, which brings advantages and disadvantages. Both, I will show in the following article.”

Hope you enjoyed this SaltStack related content blog roundup. Learn more about SaltStack on our website www.saltstack.com and contact us for any questions about our SaltStack related content post.