SaltStack Cheat Sheet
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LICENSE Initial commit Sep 25, 2014 Add manage.alived and test.version Mar 4, 2017

SaltStack Cheat Sheet

SaltStack Cheat Sheet .. My collection of often used commands on my Salt master.

This list is partly inspired by the fine lists on:

Table of Contents generated with DocToc


This is important because the help system is very good.

Documentation on the system

salt '*' sys.doc         # output sys.doc (= all documentation)
salt '*' sys.doc pkg     # only sys.doc for pkg module
salt '*' sys.doc network # only sys.doc for network module
salt '*' sys.doc system  # only sys.doc for system module
salt '*' sys.doc status  # only sys.doc for status module

Documentation on the web


Minion status

You can also use several commands to check if minions are alive and kicking but I prefer manage.status/up/down.

salt-run manage.status  # What is the status of all my minions? (both up and down)
salt-run manage.up      # Any minions that are up?
salt-run manage.down    # Any minions that are down?
salt-run manage.alived  # Show all alive minions
salt '*' test.version   # Display salt version
salt '*'      # Use test module to check if minion is up and responding.
                        # (Not an ICMP ping!)

Target minion with state files

Apply a specific state file to a (group of..) minion(s). Do not use the .sls extension. (just like in the state files!)

salt '*' state.sls mystatefile           # mystatefile.sls will be applied to *
salt 'minion1' state.sls prod.somefile  # prod/somefile.sls will be applied to minion1


List all grains on all minions

salt '*'

Look at a single grains item to list the values.

salt '*' grains.item os      # Show the value of the OS grain for every minion
salt '*' grains.item roles   # Show the value of the roles grain for every minion

Manipulate grains.

salt 'minion1' grains.setval mygrain True  # Set mygrain to True (create if it doesn't exist yet)
salt 'minion1' grains.delval mygrain       # Delete the value of the grain

Jobs in Salt

Some jobs operations that are often used. (

salt-run      # get list of active jobs
salt-run jobs.list_jobs   # get list of historic jobs
salt-run jobs.lookup_jid <job id number>  # get details of this specific job

Sysadmin specific

Some stuff that is specifically of interest for sysadmins.

System and status

salt 'minion-x-*' system.reboot  # Let's reboot all the minions that match minion-x-*
salt '*' status.uptime           # Get the uptime of all our minions


salt '*' pkg.list_upgrades             # get a list of packages that need to be upgrade
salt '*' pkg.upgrade                   # Upgrades all packages via apt-get dist-upgrade (or similar)

salt '*' pkg.version bash              # get current version of the bash package
salt '*' pkg.install bash              # install or upgrade bash package
salt '*' pkg.install bash refresh=True # install or upgrade bash package but
                                      # refresh the package database before installing.

Check status of a service and manipulate services

salt '*' service.status <service name>
salt '*' service.available <service name>
salt '*' service.start <service name>
salt '*' service.restart <service name>
salt '*' service.stop <service name>


Do some network stuff on your minions.

salt 'minion1' network.ip_addrs          # Get IP of your minion
salt 'minion1' <hostname>   # Ping a host from your minion
salt 'minion1' network.traceroute <hostname>   # Traceroute a host from your minion
salt 'minion1' network.get_hostname      # Get hostname
salt 'minion1' network.mod_hostname      # Modify hostname

Salt Cloud

Salt Cloud is used to provision virtual machines in the cloud. (surprise!) (

salt-cloud -p profile_do my-vm-name -l debug  # Provision using profile_do as profile
                                              # and my-vm-name as the virtual machine name while
                                              # using the debug option.
salt-cloud -d my-vm-name                      # destroy the my-vm-name virtual machine.
salt-cloud -u                                 # Update salt-bootstrap to latest develop version on GitHub.