How to copy file from master to minions on salt-stack?

Solution 1:

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

Solution 2:

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