SaltMaster SystemLink Service Does Not Start

Updated Aug 6, 2021

Reported In


  • SystemLink Server

Issue Details

  • SystemLink shows a blank interface on the NI SystemLink Web Application.
  • After restarting the SystemLink services in NI SystemLink Service Manager, the SaltMaster service is stuck with the status Starting.
SaltMaster Service won't start


There may be an issue with the Salt Master installation or the supporting files. You can try to: 
  1. Restart the NI SystemLink services using the NI SystemLink Service Manager tab in NI SystemLink Server Configuration and selecting Restart under the Actions heading.
  2. Start the SaltMaster service manually using the following commands in Command Prompt with administrator rights.
    • cd C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\salt-master
    • salt-master.bat -l debug
    • If you have the following error message:  Error with manually calling Saltmaster
ImportError: DLL load failed: The specified procedure could not be found.

Follow these steps: 
  1. Repair the NI SystemLink Systems Management Salt Master Service package in NI Package Manager by: 
    1. Enable Show full version numbers and hidden packages using the settings cog in the top right of NI Package Manager.
    2. Search for Salt to narrow the view and find the above package.
    3. Use Repair with the package selected to repair it.
  2. Using an elevated command prompt (Admin), repair the python installation manually with the following command "C:\Program Files\National Instruments\salt-master\bin\python.exe" "C:\Program Files\National Instruments\salt-master\bin\Scripts\" -install 
  3. If the above steps fail to work, in NI Package Manager, use Repair all NI SystemLink components or for a more rigorous approach use Remove and then reinstall SystemLink entirely. 
Contact National Instruments support if you have a different result to running the Salt Master service manually and the above steps do not resolve it.

In SystemLink 2020R1 there was a bug with Salt Master reading certain characters in a file. To resolve this, try either of the below: 
  • Update to a newer SystemLink Server version.
  • Change the encoding of C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file from UTF-8-BOM back to UTF-8. This can be achieved easily using notepad++ for example.
    1. Open the file in Notepad++.
    2. Select Encoding from the toolbar.
    3. Select the UTF-8 option.
    4. Save the file.