As always, refer to the official SaltStack documentation first.
To get up and running with SaltStack on Mac OS X can be a daunting task. I have found it much easier to use MacPorts to accomplish any such tasks.
Step 1: Install MacPorts on your Mac OS X. I find this to be an essential step for any developer using Mac OS X. Of course, there's Homebrew as an alternative. I haven't used it but you may check it out as well.
Once you have setup MacPorts successfully you are ready to begin. Of course, since MacPorts provides a variety of GCC versions I prefer it over the default gcc provided on my Mac. Install a newer GCC and link your system to it.
[user@host ~] $ sudo port installgcc48 [user@host ~] $ sudo mv /usr/bin/gcc /usr/bin/gcc.orig [user@host ~] $ sudo ln -s /opt/local/bin/gcc-mp-4.8 /usr/bin/gcc
Install Python 2.7.
[user@host ~] $ sudo port install python27
[user@host ~] $ sudo port install py27-virtualenv
M2Crypto is a requirement for SaltStack and you need to install SWIG. Otherwise you may get errors.
[user@host ~] $ sudo port install swig [user@host ~] $ sudo port install swig-python
Create your virtualenv.
[user@host ~] $ /opt/local/bin/virtualenv-2.7 ~/dev/virt-env/salt-virt
Activate the virtualenv.
[user@host ~] $ source ~/dev/virt-env/salt-virt/bin/activate
Install SaltStack pre-requisites.
(salt-virt)[user@host ~] $ pip install pyzmq PyYAML pycrypto msgpack-python jinja2 psutil
(salt-virt)[user@host ~] $ pip install salt
Make sure things are working well.
(salt-virt)[user@host~] $ python Python 2.7.8 (default, Jul 13 2014, 17:11:32) [GCC 4.2.1 Compatible Apple LLVM 5.1 (clang-503.0.40)] on darwin Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> import salt >>> ^D
To deactivate the virtualenv,
(salt-virt)[user@host~] $ deactivate
Note: this post was created using Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) with SaltStack 2014.1.7.
 Possible SWIG error
unable to execute 'swig': No such file or directory error: command 'swig' failed with exit status 1
Note: I published this post originally at SaltStack Quickstart Guide on Mac OS X. Migrated to Nikola in February 2015.