Opening the Firewall up for Salt

The Salt master communicates with the minions using an AES-encrypted ZeroMQ connection. These communications are done over TCP ports 4505 and 4506, which need to be accessible on the master only. This document outlines suggested firewall rules for allowing these incoming connections to the master.


No firewall configuration needs to be done on Salt minions. These changes refer to the master only.

Fedora 18 and beyond / RHEL 7 / CentOS 7

Starting with Fedora 18 FirewallD is the tool that is used to dynamically manage the firewall rules on a host. It has support for IPv4/6 settings and the separation of runtime and permanent configurations. To interact with FirewallD use the command line client firewall-cmd.

firewall-cmd example:

firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=<zone> --add-port=4505-4506/tcp

A network zone defines the security level of trust for the network. The user should choose an appropriate zone value for their setup. Possible values include: drop, block, public, external, dmz, work, home, internal, trusted.

Don't forget to reload after you made your changes.

firewall-cmd --reload

RHEL 6 / CentOS 6

The lokkit command packaged with some Linux distributions makes opening iptables firewall ports very simple via the command line. Just be careful to not lock out access to the server by neglecting to open the ssh port.

lokkit example:

lokkit -p 22:tcp -p 4505:tcp -p 4506:tcp

The system-config-firewall-tui command provides a text-based interface to modifying the firewall.




Salt installs firewall rules in /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2.d/services/salt. Enable with:

SuSEfirewall2 open
SuSEfirewall2 start

If you have an older package of Salt where the above configuration file is not included, the SuSEfirewall2 command makes opening iptables firewall ports very simple via the command line.

SuSEfirewall example:

SuSEfirewall2 open EXT TCP 4505
SuSEfirewall2 open EXT TCP 4506

The firewall module in YaST2 provides a text-based interface to modifying the firewall.


yast2 firewall


Windows Firewall is the default component of Microsoft Windows that provides firewalling and packet filtering. There are many 3rd party firewalls available for Windows, some of which use rules from the Windows Firewall. If you are experiencing problems see the vendor's specific documentation for opening the required ports.

The Windows Firewall can be configured using the Windows Interface or from the command line.

Windows Firewall (interface):

  1. Open the Windows Firewall Interface by typing wf.msc at the command prompt or in a run dialog (Windows Key + R)

  2. Navigate to Inbound Rules in the console tree

  3. Add a new rule by clicking New Rule... in the Actions area

  4. Change the Rule Type to Port. Click Next

  5. Set the Protocol to TCP and specify local ports 4505-4506. Click Next

  6. Set the Action to Allow the connection. Click Next

  7. Apply the rule to Domain, Private, and Public. Click Next

  8. Give the new rule a Name, ie: Salt. You may also add a description. Click Finish

Windows Firewall (command line):

The Windows Firewall rule can be created by issuing a single command. Run the following command from the command line or a run prompt:

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="Salt" dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=4505-4506


Different Linux distributions store their iptables (also known as netfilter) rules in different places, which makes it difficult to standardize firewall documentation. Included are some of the more common locations, but your mileage may vary.

Fedora / RHEL / CentOS:


Arch Linux:



Follow these instructions:

Once you've found your firewall rules, you'll need to add the below line to allow traffic on tcp/4505 and tcp/4506:

-A INPUT -m state --state new -m tcp -p tcp --dport 4505:4506 -j ACCEPT


Salt installs firewall rules in /etc/ufw/applications.d/salt.ufw. Enable with:

ufw allow salt


The BSD-family of operating systems uses packet filter (pf). The following example describes the addition to pf.conf needed to access the Salt master.

pass in on $int_if proto tcp from any to $int_if port 4505:4506

Once this addition has been made to the pf.conf the rules will need to be reloaded. This can be done using the pfctl command.

pfctl -vf /etc/pf.conf

Whitelist communication to Master

There are situations where you want to selectively allow Minion traffic from specific hosts or networks into your Salt Master. The first scenario which comes to mind is to prevent unwanted traffic to your Master out of security concerns, but another scenario is to handle Minion upgrades when there are backwards incompatible changes between the installed Salt versions in your environment.

Here is an example Linux iptables ruleset to be set on the Master:

# Allow Minions from these networks
-I INPUT -s -p tcp --dports 4505:4506 -j ACCEPT
-I INPUT -s -p tcp --dports 4505:4506 -j ACCEPT
# Allow Salt to communicate with Master on the loopback interface
-A INPUT -i lo -p tcp --dports 4505:4506 -j ACCEPT
# Reject everything else
-A INPUT -p tcp --dports 4505:4506 -j REJECT


The important thing to note here is that the salt command needs to communicate with the listening network socket of salt-master on the loopback interface. Without this you will see no outgoing Salt traffic from the master, even for a simple salt '*' test.version, because the salt client never reached the salt-master to tell it to carry out the execution.