Redirecting outputs with returners

By default the return values of the commands sent to the Salt minions are returned to the Salt master, however anything at all can be done with the results data.

Salt returners

By using a Salt returner, results data can be redirected to external data- stores for analysis and archival. Returners pull their configuration values from the Salt minions. Returners are only configured once, which is generally at load time. The returner interface allows the return data to be sent to any system that can receive data. This means that return data can be sent to a Redis server, a MongoDB server, a MySQL server, or any other service.

Command returners

All Salt commands will return the command data back to the master. Specifying returners will ensure that the data is also sent to the specified returner interfaces.

Specifying what returners to use is done when the command is invoked:

cfg01# salt '*' --return redis_return

This command will ensure that the redis_return returner is used.

It is also possible to specify multiple returners:

cfg01# salt '*' --return mongo_return,redis_return,cassandra_return

In this scenario all three returners will be called and the data from the command will be sent out to the three named returners.

Event returners

For maximum visibility into the history of events across a Salt infrastructure, all events seen by a salt master may be logged to one or more returners. To enable event logging, set the event_return configuration option in the master config to the returner(s) which should be designated as the handler for event returns.


Not all returners support event returns. Verify a returner has an event_return() function before using.


On larger installations, many hundreds of events may be generated on a busy master every second. Be certain to closely monitor the storage of a given returner as Salt can easily overwhelm an underpowered server with thousands of returns.