Salt Topology

Salt is based on a powerful, asynchronous, network topology using ZeroMQ. Many ZeroMQ systems are in place to enable communication. The central idea is to have the fastest communication possible.


The Salt Master runs 2 network services. First is the ZeroMQ PUB system. This service by default runs on port 4505/tcp and can be configured via the publish_port option in the master configuration.

Second is the ZeroMQ REP system. This is a separate interface used for all bi-directional communication with minions. By default this system binds to port 4506/tcp and can be configured via the ret_port option in the master.


The commands sent out via the salt client are broadcast out to the minions via ZeroMQ PUB/SUB. This is done by allowing the minions to maintain a connection back to the Salt Master and then all connections are informed to download the command data at once. The command data is kept extremely small (usually less than 1K) so it is not a burden on the network.


The PUB/SUB system is a one way communication, so once a publish is sent out the PUB interface on the master has no further communication with the minion. The minion, after running the command, then sends the command's return data back to the master via the ret_port.