Friday 3:15 p.m.–3:45 p.m.

Getting Started with SaltStack

Peter Baumgartner

Audience level:
Systems Administration


Salt is the new kid on the block in the configuration management space. Unlike the Ruby-based Chef and Puppet, Salt is written in Python, making it easy to debug and extend for Python developers. This talk will introduce Salt as well as explore some of the things that make it unique.


SaltStack is a breath of fresh air for Python developers that have struggled with Chef, Puppet, complex Fabric scripts, or manually setting up servers to run their software. Written in Python and configured using YAML and the Jinja2 template language, Python developers will feel right at home with Salt. It's not all roses, however. As with many configuration management tools, SaltStack has a steep learning curve. The two biggest issues newcomers seem to have are: 1. Learning the domain-specific terminology used by Salt (Pillars, Grains, States, etc.) 2. Understanding how all those pieces fit together to make a functional system This talk will provide a crash course on the basics of Salt. The goal is to take you from "noob" to competent and getting you over the initial learning hurdle where nothing seems to make sense. By the end of the talk, you should be able to dive in and start writing your own Salt states.