Salt Project is a Python based open-source software for event driven IT automation, remote task execution and configuration management.

For more information on Salt, see Salt User Guide.

Salt requires a salt-minion to be deployed in the guest. Salt specific guest variables are set on the host side per VM basis and subsequently read by VMware Tools inside guest. VMware Tools then downloads the salt bundle and spins up a salt-minion instance inside the guest.

Prerequisites

  • Supports only 64 bit OSes.
  • For Windows, Windows 8 and later versions are supported.
    Note: Windows 2008R2 is not supported.
  • VMware Tools must be installed with Salt Minion feature. By default, this feature is enabled.

Procedure

  • Host Side Configuration per VM (using guestVars)
    Host admin manages all the guest variable settings on the host side for a particular VM using VIM API or vSphere/VC UI.
      • Windows:

        VMware Tools Salt Minion feature is installed by default and can be modified in custom installation.

        For VMware Tools to create a salt-minion instance on a particular VM and connect the salt-minion with the salt-master, host admin must configure and set the guest variable for that VM.

        In vSphere host UI, select a particular VM, right click and edit settings. In the VM Options tab, select Advanced > Edit Configuration > Add/Delete parameter and set

        • guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.desiredstate to present
        • guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.args to <custom arguments to VMware Tools salt-minion setup script>

        For example:

        guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.desiredstate → present

        guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.args → master=1.2.3.4

      • Linux:
        Host admin must install open-vm-tools and open-vm-tools-salt-minion and then set the guest variable for a particular VM as:
        • guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.desiredstate to present
        • guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.args to <custom arguments to VMware Tools salt-minion setup script>

        For example:

        guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.desiredstate → present

        guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.args → master=1.2.3.4 id=12345

    • Removing salt-minion

      In Windows or Linux, if the host admin sets the guest variable guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.desiredstate to absent, then VMware Tools removes the salt-minion instance in the guest VM.

      For example:

      guestinfo./vmware.components.salt_minion.desiredstate → absent

    • Checking the latest status of salt-minion inside the guest

      To check the latest status of the salt-minion inside the guest in the vSphere UI, use the guest variable:

      guestinfo.vmware.components.salt_minion.laststatus

  • Guest Side Configuration (using tools.conf)
    Guest admin configures the guest side settings in the tools.conf configuration file located at:

    Windows - C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Tools\tools.conf

    Linux - /etc/vmware-tools/tools.conf

    • Configuring poll-interval to monitor state change in the guest variable:

      VMware Tools periodically polls guest variables for the state changes. Default poll-inteval is 180s and can be configured in the tools.conf settings.

      [componentmgr]

      #poll-interval=180 (Default value: 180s)

    • Enabling and disabling component (salt_minion):
      • Guest admin can enable salt_minion by configuring the tools.conf settings.

        [componentmgr]

        #included=salt_minion

      • Guest admin can enable all the components by configuring the tools.conf settings.

        [componentmgr]

        #included=all (Default configuration)

      • Guest admin can disable all components by configuring the tools.conf settings.

        [componentmgr]

        #included=none
  • Fetching Log Information
    Guest admin can fetch log information related to salt-minion from the following path:
    Windows
    Log File Location
    Log file for checking salt-minion status C:\Windows\Temp\vmware-svtminion-status-{Timestamp}.log
    Log file for installing a salt-minion instance inside the guest C:\Windows\Temp\vmware-svtminion-install-{TimeStamp}.log
    Log file for removing a salt-minion instance inside the guest: C:\Windows\Temp\vmware-svtminion-remove-{TimeStamp}.log
    Log file for checking runtime information after installing or removing a salt-minion instance inside the guest C:\salt\var\log\minion log files
    Linux
    Log File Location
    Log file for checking salt-minion status /var/log/vmware-svtminion.sh-status-{Timestamp}.log
    Log file for installing a salt-minion instance inside the guest /var/log/vmware-svtminion.sh-install-{TimeStamp}.log
    Log file for removing a salt-minion instance inside the guest: /var/log/vmware-svtminion.sh-remove-{TimeStamp}.log
    Log file for checking runtime information after installing or removing a salt-minion instance inside the guest /var/log/salt/minion