Access Control System

New in version 0.10.4.

Salt maintains a standard system used to open granular control to non administrative users to execute Salt commands. The access control system has been applied to all systems used to configure access to non administrative control interfaces in Salt.

These interfaces include, the peer system, the external auth system and the publisher acl system.

The access control system mandated a standard configuration syntax used in all of the three aforementioned systems. While this adds functionality to the configuration in 0.10.4, it does not negate the old configuration.

Now specific functions can be opened up to specific minions from specific users in the case of external auth and publisher ACLs, and for specific minions in the case of the peer system.

When to Use Each Authentication System

publisher_acl is useful for allowing local system users to run Salt commands without giving them root access. If you can log into the Salt master directly, then publisher_acl allows you to use Salt without root privileges. If the local system is configured to authenticate against a remote system, like LDAP or Active Directory, then publisher_acl will interact with the remote system transparently.

external_auth is useful for salt-api or for making your own scripts that use Salt's Python API. It can be used at the CLI (with the -a flag) but it is more cumbersome as there are more steps involved. The only time it is useful at the CLI is when the local system is not configured to authenticate against an external service but you still want Salt to authenticate against an external service.


The access controls are manifested using matchers in these configurations:

    - web\*:
      - pkg.list_pkgs
      - test.*
      - apache.*

In the above example, fred is able to send commands only to minions which match the specified glob target. This can be expanded to include other functions for other minions based on standard targets (all matchers are supported except the compound one).

      - mongo\*:
        - network.*
      - log\*:
        - network.*
        - pkg.*
      - 'G@os:RedHat':
        - kmod.*
      - .*

The above allows for all minions to be hit by by dave, and adds a few functions that dave can execute on other minions. It also allows steve unrestricted access to salt commands.


Functions are matched using regular expressions.