I want to copy a file from salt stack master server to minion servers. I found a script from https://stackoverflow.com/questions/27687886/copy-a-file-from-salt-master-to-minions. But I got an error.

    - source: salt://srv/salt/nginx.conf
    - target: /etc/nginx
    - makedirs: True


  ID: copy_my_files
    Function: file.recurse
      Result: False
     Comment: Specified file copy_my_files is not an absolute path
     Started: 09:46:24.850682
    Duration: 1.473 ms

I have given correct paths for both.

  • Hey Janith - I see you have asked a bunch of questions about saltstack - perhaps you should spend some time with the documentation.
    – user9517
    Dec 26, 2018 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


file.recurse is for copying the content of a directory if I'm correct. Here, what you have to do to copy just one file would be to use file.managed.

For instance reusing your example, this should be working:

    - name: /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
    - source: salt://nginx.conf
    - makedirs: True

Note that the nginx.conf file you want to copy has to be located in /srv/salt on the salt master. Thats the default place were the salt:// is pointing (unless you modified your configuration)

If you want to copy multiple file using the file.recurse it's also quite easy

deploy linter configuration:
    - name: "/usr/local/linter"
    - source: salt://devtools/files/linter
    - makedirs: True
    - replace: True
    - clean: True

To simply copy a file, not as part of a state, use salt-cp.

The source can be any file on the master. It does not need to be within the salt fileserver.

salt-cp '*' SOURCE [SOURCE2 SOURCE3 ...] DEST
  • And for multiple hosts just use the -L option such as -L host1,host2,... Dec 31, 2019 at 18:15
  • 1
    @DavidRamirez the command already targets all minions. Use whatever targeting mechanism you like if that’s not what you want.
    – OrangeDog
    Dec 31, 2019 at 18:21

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