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Salt Diaries: installing on SLES (episode 3)

Welcome to the third episode of the series! In the previous posts we have installed salt on CentOS machines and then moved on with a basic state configuration (we will cover more in the coming postst).

Now it's time to handle those pesky SLES hosts for which there are no pre built binaries. Therefore we'll have to install salt using pip.
I'll cover SLES11 in this post as that's the only variant I have. Hopefully other versions should require only minor changes.

Note: active subscription to Novell update service is required as the following packages can only be found on SLES 11 SDK (it's an iso, and a large one, so if you don't have it around start downloading it before you start): python-devel libopenssl-devel zlib-devel swig


Add the SDK iso in the Software Management sources. Then, as root, run the following commands (answer yes when required):

zypper in gcc-c++ python-devel libopenssl-devel zlib-devel swig
zypper -p -v in zeromq
curl | python
curl | python
pip install -U salt

Running salt-minion

Salt programs (salt-minion, salt, salt-key, etc) should now be installed. Since pip does not provide init scripts or configuration files, we'll have to handle that ourselves. For the configuration file there are lots of options: it can be copied from other minions, can be totally dispensed with (if your salt master is resolvable as salt) o can be as minimalistic as:

log_file: /var/log/salt/minion
master: your-master-hostname

In my case I went for the minimalistic option and created the minion file with just the lines above in /etc/salt.
To have salt-minion start and stop as a service I copied the /etc/init.d/skeleton template in /etc/init.d/salt-minion and customized it.
The edited version is available in this gist (remember to chmod it if you copy it from the gist).

The service can then be activated with:
chkconfig salt-minion on

Reboot and enjoy.


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