SaltStack Command Line Reference

Updated by Linode Contributed by Andy Stevens

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SaltStack is a powerful configuration management tool. The following is a quick-reference guide for Salt’s command line interface (CLI).

salt

Used to issue commands to minions in parallel. salt allows you to both control and query minions.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt -c /home/salt/conf test.ping
-s, --staticOnly return data after all minions have returned.salt --static
--asyncInstead of waiting for a job on a minion or minions, print the job ID and the job completion.salt '*' pkg.install apache2 --async
--subsetExecute commands on a random subset of minions.salt '*' telegram.post_message message="Hello random 3!" --subset 3
-v, --verbosePrint extra data, such as the job ID.salt 'minion1' user.add steve --verbose
--hide-timeoutOnly print minions that can be reached.salt '*' test.ping --hide-timeout
-b, --batch-sizeExecute on a batch or percentage of minions.salt '*' test.ping --batch-size 25%
-a, --authUse an external authentication medium. You will be prompted for credentials. Options are auto, keystone, ldap, and pam. Can be used with -T.salt -a pam '*' status.meminfo
-T, --make-tokenUsed with -a. Creates an authentication token in the active user’s home directory that has a default 12 hour expiration time. Token expiration time is set in the Salt master config file.salt -T -a pam '*' status.cpuinfo
--returnUsed to select an alternative returner. Options are carbon, cassandra, couchbase, couchdb, elasticsearch, etcd, hipchat, local, local_cache, memcache, mongo, mysql, odbc, postgres, redis, sentry, slack, sms, smtp, sqlite3, syslog, and xmpp.salt '*' status.all_status --return mongo
-d, --doc, --documentationReturn all available documentation for a module function, or all functions if one is not provided.salt 'minion3' service.available -d
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt 'minion2' state.apply -l info
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/mastersalt '*' test.ping --log-file /home/salt/log
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt '*' test.ping --log-level all
-E, --pcreTarget expression will be interpreted as a Perl Compatible Regular Expression (PCRE) rather than a shell glob.salt -E 'minion[0-9]' service.reload apache2
-L, --listTarget expression will be interpreted as a comma-delimited list.salt -L 'minion1,minion2' service.show sshd
-G, --grainTarget expression in the form of a glob expression matches a Salt grain. <grain value>:<glob expression>.salt -G 'os:Ubuntu' service.available mysql
--grain-pcreTarget expression in the form of a Perl Compatible Regular Expression matches values returned by Salt grains on the minion.<grain value>:<regular expression>salt --grain-pcre 'os:Arch' service.restart apache2
-I, --pillarUse pillar values instead of shell globs to identify targets.salt -I 'role:production' test.echo 'playback'
--outChoose an alternative outputter to display returned data. Available outputters are: grains, highstate, json, key, overstatestage, pprint, raw, txt, yaml. Note: when using --out json you will probably want to also use --static.salt '*' test.version --out json --static

salt-call

Runs module functions on a minion instead of the master. It is used to run a standalone minion.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-call --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-call -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-call -c /home/salt/conf test.ping
-g, --grainsGet the information generated by the Salt grains.salt-call --grains
-m, --module-dirsSelect an additional modules directory. You can provide this option multiple times for multiple directories.salt-call -m /home/salt/modules1 -m /home/salt/modules2
-d, --doc, --documentationReturn all available documentation for module function, or all functions if one is not provided.salt-call system.get_system_time -d
--masterChoose which master to use. The minion must be authenticated with the master. If the master is omitted, the first master in the minion config will be used.salt-call --master master1
--returnUsed to select an alternative returner. Options are carbon, cassandra, couchbase, couchdb, elasticsearch, etcd, hipchat, local, local_cache, memcache, mongo, mysql, odbc, postgres, redis, sentry, slack, sms, smtp, sqlite3, syslog, and xmpp.salt-call --return mongo status.all_status
--localRun Salt as if there was no master running.salt-call --local system.get_system_time
--file-rootSet a directory as the base file directory.salt-call --file-root /home/salt
--pillar-rootSet a directory as the base pillar directory.salt-call --file-root /home/salt/pillar
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-call -l all test.exception 'oh no!'
--log-fileChange log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/minion.salt-call --logfile /home/salt/log/minion test.exception 'oh no!'
--log-file-levelChange logfile log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-call --log-file-level all test.exception 'oh no!'
--outChoose an alternative outputter to display returned data. Available outputters are: grains, highstate, json, key, overstatestage, pprint, raw, txt, yaml.salt-call test.version --out json

salt-cloud

Used to provision virtual machines on public clouds with Salt.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-cloud --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-cloud -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-cloud -c /home/salt/conf
-a, --actionPerform a cloud provider specific action. Requires an instance.salt-cloud -a reboot testlinode
-f, --functionPerform a cloud provider specific function that does not apply to an instance. Requires a provider.salt-cloud -f clone my-linode-config linode_id=1234567 datacenter_id=2 plan_id=5
-p, --profileChoose a profile from which to build cloud VMs.salt-cloud -p linode-1024 mynewlinode
-m, --mapChoose a map file from which to create your VMs. If a VM exists it will be skipped.salt-cloud -m /path/to/map
-H, --hardUsed when creating VMs with a map file. If set, will destroy all VMs not listed in the map file.salt-cloud -m /path/to/map -H
-d, --destroyDestroy the named VMs. Can be used with -m to provide a map of VMs to destroy.salt-cloud -m /path/to/map -d
-P, --parallelBuild VMs in parallel.salt-cloud -P -p linode-profile newlinode1 newlinode2
-u, --update-boostrapUpdate salt-bootstrap.salt-cloud -u
-y, --assume-yesAnswer yes to all questions.salt-cloud -y -d linode1 linode2
-k, -keep-tmpDo not remove /tmp files.salt-cloud -k -m /path/to/map
--show-deploy-argsInclude deployment arguments in the return data.salt-cloud --show-deploy-args -m /path/to/map
--script-argsArguments to be passed to the bootstrap script when deploying.salt-cloud -m /path/to/map --script-args '-h'
-Q, --queryQuery nodes running on configured cloud providers.salt-cloud -Q
-F, --full-queryQuery VMs and print all available information. Can be used with -m to provide a map.salt-cloud -F
-S, --select-queryQuery VMs and print selected information. Can be used with -m to provide a map.salt-cloud -S
--list-providersDisplay a list of configured providers.salt-cloud --list-providers
--list-profilesDisplay a list of configured profiles. Supply a cloud provider, such as linode, or pass all to view all configured profiles.salt-cloud --list-profiles linode
--list-locationsDisplay a list of available locations. Supply a cloud provider, such as linode, or pass all to view all location for configured profiles.salt-cloud --list-locations linode
--list-imagesDisplay a list of available images. Supply a cloud provider, such as linode, or pass all to view all images for configured profiles.salt-cloud --list-images linode
--list-sizesDisplay a list of available sizes. Supply a cloud provider, such as linode, or pass all to view all sizes for configured profiles.salt-cloud --list-sizes linode
--outChoose an alternative outputter to display returned data. Available outputters are: grains, highstate, json, key, overstatestage, pprint, raw, txt, yaml.salt-call test.version --out json

salt-cp

Used to copy files from the master to all Salt minions that match a specific target expression.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-cp --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-cp -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-cp '*' -c /home/salt/conf /file/to/copy /destination
-t, --timeoutThe amount of seconds to wait for replies from minions. The default is 5 seconds.salt-cp '*' -t 25 /file/to/copy /destination
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-cp '*' -l all /file/to/copy /destination
--log-fileChange log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/master.salt-cp '*' --logfile /home/salt/log/minion /file/to/copy /destination
--log-file-levelChange logfile log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-cp '*' --log-file-level all /file/to/copy /destination
-E, --pcreTarget expression will be interpreted as a Perl Compatible Regular Expression (PCRE) rather than a shell glob.salt-cp -E 'minion[0-9]' /file/to/copy /destination
-L, --listTarget expression will be interpreted as a comma-delimited list.salt -L 'minion1,minion2' /file/to/copy /destination
-G, --grainTarget expression matches a Salt grain. <grain value>:<glob expression>.salt -G 'os:Ubuntu' /file/to/copy /destination
--grain-pcreTarget expression in the form of a Perl Compatible Regular Expression matches values returned by Salt grains on the minion.<grain value>:<regular expression>salt-cp --grain-pcre 'os:Arch' /file/to/copy /destination
-C, --chunkedUse chunked mode to copy files. Supports large files, recursive directories copying and compression.salt-cp -C /some/large/file /destination
-n, --no-compressionDisable gzip in chunked mode.salt-cp -C -n /some/large/file /destination

salt-key

Used to manage the Salt server public keys.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-key --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-key -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-key -c /home/salt/conf
-u, --userSupply a user to run salt-key.salt-key --user steven
-q, --quietSuppress outputsalt-key -q
-y, --yesAnswer yes to all questions. Default is False.salt-key -y True
--rotate-aes-keySetting to False prevents the key session from being refreshed when keys are deleted or rejected. Default is True.salt-key --rotate-aes-key False
--log-fileChange log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/minion.salt-key --logfile /home/salt/log/minion -D
--log-file-levelChange logfile log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-key --log-file-level all --accept '*'
-l, --listList public keys. pre, un, and unaccepted will list unaccepted/unsigned keys. acc or accepted will list accepted/signed keys. rej or rejected will list rejected keys. all will list all keys.salt-key -l all
-a, --acceptAccept a public key. Globs are supported.salt-key --accept 'minion*'
-A, --accept-allAccept all pending keys.salt-key -A
-r, --rejectReject a specific key. Globs are supported.salt-key -r 'minion*'
-R, --reject-allReject all pending keys.salt-key -R
--include-allInclude non-pending keys when accepting and rejecting.salt-key -r 'minion*' --include-all
-p, --printPrint a public key.salt-key --print 'minion1'
-d, --deleteDelete a public key. Globs are supported.salt-key -d 'minion*'
-D, --delete-allDelete all public keys.salt-key --delete-all -y
-f, --fingerPrint a key’s fingerprint.salt-key --finger 'minion1'
-F, --finger-allPrint all keys’ fingerprints.salt-key --F
--gen-keysSet a name to generate a key-pair.salt-key --gen-keys newminion
--gen-keys-dirChoose where to save newly generated key-pairs. Only works with --gen-keys.salt-key --gen-keys newminion --gen-keys-dir /home/salt/keypairs
--keysizeSet the keysize for a generated key. Must be a value of 2048 or higher. Only works with --gen-keys.salt-key --gen-keys newminion --keysize 4096
--gen-signatureCreate a signature for the master’s public key named master_pubkey_signature. This requires a new-signing-keypair which can be created with the --auto-create option.salt-key --gen-signature --auto-create
--privThe private-key file with which to create a signature.salt-key --priv key.pem
--signature-pathThe file path for the new signature.salt-key --gen-signature --auto-create --signature-path /path/to/signature
--pubThe public-key file with which to create a signature.salt-key --gen-signature key.pub
--auto-createAuto-create a signing key-pair.salt-key --gen-signature --auto-create

salt-master

A daemon used to control Salt minions.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-master --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-master -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-master -c /home/salt/conf
-u, --userSupply a user to run salt-master.salt-master --user steven
-d, --daemonRun salt-master as daemon.salt-master -d
--pid-fileSpecify the file path of the pidfile. Default is /var/run/salt-master.pidsalt-master --pid-file /path/to/new/pid
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-master -l info
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/mastersalt-master --log-file /home/salt/log
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt-master --log-level all

salt-minion

A daemon that is controlled by a Salt master.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-minion --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-minion -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-minion -c /home/salt/conf
-u, --userSupply a user to run salt-minion.salt-minion --user steven
-d, --daemonRun salt-minion as daemon.salt-minion -d
--pid-fileSpecify the file path of the pidfile. Default is /var/run/salt-minion.pidsalt-minion --pid-file /path/to/new/pid
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-master -l info
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/minionsalt-minion --log-file /home/salt/log
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt-minion --log-level all

salt-run

Runs a Salt runner on a Salt master.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-run --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-run -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-run -c /home/salt/conf foo.bar
-t, --timeoutThe amount of seconds to wait for replies from minions. The default is 5 seconds.salt-run -t 25 foo.bar
-d, --doc, --documentationReturn all available documentation for a module or runner.salt-run foo.bar -d
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-run -l info foo.bar
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/mastersalt-minion --log-file /home/salt/log foo.bar
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt-minion --log-level all foo.bar

salt-ssh

Use SSH transport to execute salt routines.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-ssh --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-ssh -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-ssh '*' -c /home/salt/conf test.ping
-r, --raw, --raw-shellRun a raw shell command.salt-ssh '*' -r echo 'test'
--rosterChoose which roster system to use. The default is the flat file roster.salt-ssh '192.168.0.0/16' --roster scan pkg.install apache2
--roster-fileChange the roster file directory. The default is the same directory as the master config file.salt-ssh 'minion1' --roster-file /path/to/roster test.ping
--refresh, --refresh-cacheUse to force refresh the target’s data in the master side cache before the auto refresh timeframe has been reached.salt-ssh 'minion1' --refresh-cache status.diskstats
--max-procsThe number of minions to communicate with concurrently. In general, more connections mean faster communication. Default is 25.salt-ssh '*' --max-procs 50 test.ping
-v, --verboseDisplay job ID.salt-ssh '*' -v test.ping
-s, --staticReturn minion data as a grouping.salt-ssh '*' -s status.meminfo
-w, --wipeRemove Salt files when the job is done.salt-ssh '*' -w state.apply
-W. --rand-thin-dirDeploys to a random temp directory and cleans the directory when done.salt-ssh '*' -W state.apply
--python2-binFile path to a python2 binary which has Salt installed.salt-ssh '*' --python2-bin /file/to/bin test.ping
--python3-binFile path to a python3 binary which has Salt installed.salt-ssh '*' --python3-bin /file/to/bin test.ping
--jidSupply a job ID instead of generating one.salt-ssh '*' -v --jid 00000000000000000000 test.ping
--privSupply which SSH private key to use for authentication.salt-ssh '*' --priv /path/to/privkey status.netstats
-i, --ignore-host-keysDisable StrictHostKeyChecking, which suppresses asking for connection approval.salt-ssh '*' -i pkg.install mysql-client
--no-host-keysIgnores SSH host keys. Useful if an error persists with --ignore-host-keys.salt-ssh '*' -i --no-host-keys pkg.install cowsay
--userSupply the user to authenticate with.salt-ssh '*' --user steven -r cowsay 'hello!'
--passwdSupply the password to authenticate with.salt-ssh 'minion2' --passwd p455w0rd system.reboot
--askpassRequest a password prompt.salt-ssh 'minion1' --askpass sys.doc
--key-deployDeploy the authorized SSH key to all minions.salt-ssh '*' --key-deploy --passwd test.ping
--sudoRun command with elevated privileges.salt-ssh '*' -r --sudo somecommand
--scan-portsA comma-separated list of ports to scan in the scan roster.salt-ssh '192.168.0.0/16' --roster scan --scan-ports 22,23 test.ping
--scan-timeoutTimeout for scan roster.salt-ssh '192.168.0.0/16' --roster scan --scan-timeout 100 test.ping
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-ssh -l info test.ping
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/sshsalt-ssh --log-file /home/salt/log test.ping
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt-ssh --log-level all test.ping
-E, --pcreTarget expression will be interpreted as a Perl Compatible Regular Expression (PCRE) rather than a shell glob.salt-ssh -E 'minion[0-9]' service.reload apache2
--outChoose an alternative outputter to display returned data. Available outputters are: grains, highstate, json, key, overstatestage, pprint, raw, txt, yaml.salt-ssh '*' test.version --out json

salt-syndic

A minion set up on a master that allows for passing commands in from a higher master.

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-syndic --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-syndic -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-syndic -c /home/salt/conf
-u, --userSupply a user to run salt-syndic.salt-syndic --user steven
-d, --daemonRun salt-syndic as daemon.salt-syndic -d
--pid-fileSpecify the file path of the pidfile. Default is /var/run/salt-syndic.pidsalt-syndic --pid-file /path/to/new/pid
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-syndic -l info
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/mastersalt-syndic --log-file /home/salt/log
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt-syndic --log-level all

spm

Salt Package Manager

OptionDescriptionExample
-y, --yesAnswer yes to all questions.spm remove -y apache
-f, --forceForce spm to perform an action it would normally refuse to perform.
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.spm -l info install apache
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/spmspm --log-file /home/salt/log install mysql
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelspm --log-level all remove nginx
CommandDescriptionExample
update_repoUpdate locally configured repository metadata.spm update_repo
installInstall a package by name from a configured SPM repository.spm install nginx
removeRemove a package.spm remove apache
infoGet an installed package’s information.spm info mysql
filesList an installed package’s files.spm files mongodb
localPerform a command on a local package, not a package in a repository or an installed package. Does not work with remove.spm local install /path/to/package
buildBuild a package.spm build /path/to/package
create_repoScan a directory for a valid SPM package and build an SPM-METADATA file in that directory.spm create_rep /path/to/package

salt-api

Used to start the Salt API

OptionDescriptionExample
--versionGet the current version of Salt.salt-api --version
-h, --helpDisplay Salt commands and help text.salt-api -h
-c, --config-dirChange the Salt configuration directory. The default is /etc/salt.salt-api -c /home/salt/conf
-u, --userSupply a user to run salt-api.salt-api --user steven
-d, --daemonRun salt-api as daemon.salt-api -d
--pid-fileSpecify the file path of the pidfile. Default is /var/run/salt-api.pidsalt-api --pid-file /path/to/new/pid
-l, --log-levelChange console log level. Defaults to warning. Available options are all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, and quiet.salt-api -l info
--log-fileChange the log file path. Defaults to /var/log/salt/apisalt-api --log-file /home/salt/log
--log-file-levelChange the logging level of the log file. Same options as --log-levelsalt-api --log-level all

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