File Server Configuration

The Salt file server is a high performance file server written in ZeroMQ. It manages large files quickly and with little overhead, and has been optimized to handle small files in an extremely efficient manner.

The Salt file server is an environment aware file server. This means that files can be allocated within many root directories and accessed by specifying both the file path and the environment to search. The individual environments can span across multiple directory roots to create overlays and to allow for files to be organized in many flexible ways.

Periodic Restarts

The file server will restart periodically. The reason for this is to prevent any files erver backends which may not properly handle resources from endlessly consuming memory. A notable example of this is using a git backend with the pygit2 library. How often the file server restarts can be controlled with the fileserver_interval in your master's config file.


The Salt file server defaults to the mandatory base environment. This environment MUST be defined and is used to download files when no environment is specified.

Environments allow for files and sls data to be logically separated, but environments are not isolated from each other. This allows for logical isolation of environments by the engineer using Salt, but also allows for information to be used in multiple environments.

Directory Overlay

The environment setting is a list of directories to publish files from. These directories are searched in order to find the specified file and the first file found is returned.

This means that directory data is prioritized based on the order in which they are listed. In the case of this file_roots configuration:

    - /srv/salt/base
    - /srv/salt/failover

If a file's URI is salt://httpd/httpd.conf, it will first search for the file at /srv/salt/base/httpd/httpd.conf. If the file is found there it will be returned. If the file is not found there, then /srv/salt/failover/httpd/httpd.conf will be used for the source.

This allows for directories to be overlaid and prioritized based on the order they are defined in the configuration.

It is also possible to have file_roots which supports multiple environments:

    - /srv/salt/base
    - /srv/salt/dev
    - /srv/salt/base
    - /srv/salt/prod
    - /srv/salt/base

This example ensures that each environment will check the associated environment directory for files first. If a file is not found in the appropriate directory, the system will default to using the base directory.

Local File Server

New in version 0.9.8.

The file server can be rerouted to run from the minion. This is primarily to enable running Salt states without a Salt master. To use the local file server interface, copy the file server data to the minion and set the file_roots option on the minion to point to the directories copied from the master. Once the minion file_roots option has been set, change the file_client option to local to make sure that the local file server interface is used.