salt-key [ options ]


Salt-key executes simple management of Salt server public keys used for authentication.

On initial connection, a Salt minion sends its public key to the Salt master. This key must be accepted using the salt-key command on the Salt master.

Salt minion keys can be in one of the following states:

  • unaccepted: key is waiting to be accepted.

  • accepted: key was accepted and the minion can communicate with the Salt master.

  • rejected: key was rejected using the salt-key command. In this state the minion does not receive any communication from the Salt master.

  • denied: key was rejected automatically by the Salt master. This occurs when a minion has a duplicate ID, or when a minion was rebuilt or had new keys generated and the previous key was not deleted from the Salt master. In this state the minion does not receive any communication from the Salt master.

To change the state of a minion key, use -d to delete the key and then accept or reject the key.



Print the version of Salt that is running.


Show program's dependencies and version number, and then exit

-h, --help

Show the help message and exit

-c CONFIG_DIR, --config-dir=CONFIG_dir

The location of the Salt configuration directory. This directory contains the configuration files for Salt master and minions. The default location on most systems is /etc/salt.

-u USER, --user=USER

Specify user to run salt-key


Raise any original exception rather than exiting gracefully. Default is False.

-q, --quiet

Suppress output

-y, --yes

Answer 'Yes' to all questions presented, defaults to False


Setting this to False prevents the master from refreshing the key session when keys are deleted or rejected, this lowers the security of the key deletion/rejection operation. Default is True.

Logging Options

Logging options which override any settings defined on the configuration files.


Log file path. Default: /var/log/salt/minion.


Logfile logging log level. One of all, garbage, trace, debug, info, warning, error, quiet. Default: warning.

Output Options


Pass in an alternative outputter to display the return of data. This outputter can be any of the available outputters:

highstate, json, key, overstatestage, pprint, raw, txt, yaml, and many others.

Some outputters are formatted only for data returned from specific functions. If an outputter is used that does not support the data passed into it, then Salt will fall back on the pprint outputter and display the return data using the Python pprint standard library module.

--out-indent OUTPUT_INDENT, --output-indent OUTPUT_INDENT

Print the output indented by the provided value in spaces. Negative values disable indentation. Only applicable in outputters that support indentation.

--out-file=OUTPUT_FILE, --output-file=OUTPUT_FILE

Write the output to the specified file.

--out-file-append, --output-file-append

Append the output to the specified file.


Disable all colored output


Force colored output


When using colored output the color codes are as follows:

green denotes success, red denotes failure, blue denotes changes and success and yellow denotes a expected future change in configuration.

--state-output=STATE_OUTPUT, --state_output=STATE_OUTPUT

Override the configured state_output value for minion output. One of 'full', 'terse', 'mixed', 'changes' or 'filter'. Default: 'none'.

--state-verbose=STATE_VERBOSE, --state_verbose=STATE_VERBOSE

Override the configured state_verbose value for minion output. Set to True or False. Default: none.


-l ARG, --list=ARG

List the public keys. The args pre, un, and unaccepted will list unaccepted/unsigned keys. acc or accepted will list accepted/signed keys. rej or rejected will list rejected keys. Finally, all will list all keys.

-L, --list-all

List all public keys. (Deprecated: use --list all)

-a ACCEPT, --accept=ACCEPT

Accept the specified public key (use --include-all to match rejected keys in addition to pending keys). Globs are supported.

-A, --accept-all

Accepts all pending keys.

-r REJECT, --reject=REJECT

Reject the specified public key (use --include-all to match accepted keys in addition to pending keys). Globs are supported.

-R, --reject-all

Rejects all pending keys.


Include non-pending keys when accepting/rejecting.

-p PRINT, --print=PRINT

Print the specified public key.

-P, --print-all

Print all public keys

-d DELETE, --delete=DELETE

Delete the specified key. Globs are supported.

-D, --delete-all

Delete all keys.

-f FINGER, --finger=FINGER

Print the specified key's fingerprint.

-F, --finger-all

Print all keys' fingerprints.

Key Generation Options


Set a name to generate a keypair for use with salt


Set the directory to save the generated keypair. Only works with 'gen_keys_dir' option; default is the current directory.


Set the keysize for the generated key, only works with the '--gen-keys' option, the key size must be 2048 or higher, otherwise it will be rounded up to 2048. The default is 2048.


Create a signature file of the master's public-key named master_pubkey_signature. The signature can be sent to a minion in the master's auth-reply and enables the minion to verify the master's public-key cryptographically. This requires a new signing-key-pair which can be auto-created with the --auto-create parameter.


The private-key file to create a signature with


The path where the signature file should be written


The public-key file to create a signature for


Auto-create a signing key-pair if it does not yet exist

See also

salt(7) salt-master(1) salt-minion(1)