Index ¦ Archives ¦ Atom


Puppet version

$ puppet --version

Show diff

$ sudo puppet apply --noop --show_diff /examples/file_hello.pp

Query resources

$ sudo puppet resource package openssl

puppet resource package will display a list of all packages

puppet resource -e package <name> will bring up an interactive editor

require and notify

require and notify both takes the resource type and name, but the resource type must be specified as Resource. For example, Package, Service, File.

puppet_gem provider

The puppet_gem provider for the package resource is used to install a Ruby gem for puppet's context and doesn't install the gem in for system Ruby.

service type

The service type has attributed such as pattern which allows us to check as an alternative to using the service commands to check for service status and instead check the process table for running processes of the same name as that of the service.

cron resource

cron resource supports the fqdn_rand function so that the cron job doesn't run at the exact same time on all nodes.


Setting the refreshonly attribute to a resource such as exec only triggers the execution of the exec resource if notified by another event.


The notice() function can be used to print strings/values of variables useful for debugging:

$name = "John"
notice("Hello ${name}")

Arrays and resources

Specifying an array of strings to a resource declaration as the title creates a resource for each element of the array. Example (from book):

$dependencies = [

package { $dependencies:
  ensure => installed,

Declaring a hash

$heights = {
  'john'    => 193,

notice("John's height is ${heights['john']}cm.")

Attribute splat operator

Deconstructing a hash and passing it as parameters to a hash:

$attributes = {
  'owner' => 'john',
  'permissions' => 0777.

file {'/tmp/hello':
  ensure => present,
  * => $attributes,

Comparison operators

  • ==: Equal to
  • !=: Not equal to
  • >, '>=, '<, <=: Greater/Greater or equal, Less/lesser or equal
  • =~: Match a regular expression

Control flow constructs

Example of if:

$install_package = true
if $install_package {
  package { $package_name:
    ensure => installed,
} else {
  package { $package_name:
    ensure => absent,

Puppet also has "switch" case:

$os_name = 'ubuntu'

case $os_name {
  'ubuntu': {
    $pkg_manager = 'apt-get'
  'fedora': {
    $pkg_manager = 'dnf'
   default: {
     $pkg_manager = false

Facter and Retrieving facts

Puppet makes the system information available via facter as an array $facts which is available to all puppet manifests.

Using the $facts array is as follows:

if $facts['os']['selinux']['enabled'] {
  notice('SELinux is enabled')
} else {
  notice('SELinux is disabled')

The facter command line program can be used to query various system facts:

$ facter os
  architecture => "amd64",
  distro => {
    codename => "xenial",
    description => "Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS",
    id => "Ubuntu",
    release => {
      full => "16.04",
      major => "16.04"
  family => "Debian",
  hardware => "x86_64",
  name => "Ubuntu",
  release => {
    full => "16.04",
    major => "16.04"
  selinux => {
    enabled => false

Another example:

$ facter kernel

Use $ puppet facts to show the facts available to puppet manifests. This includes custom facts loaded from modules.

Setting custom facts

Quick way to set custom fact is via an environment variable, like so:

$ FACTER_myapp_version=0.1 facter myapp_version 

External facts can be specified via dropping files in /opt/puppetlabs/facter/facts.d/, like so:


If we mark the external file as executable, it will be executed - the only condition is that the output must be a list of key value pairs. For example:



Example code:

$ sudo cat /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests/iteration_example.pp
$my_partitions = $facts['partitions']
$my_partitions.each | String $device, Hash $attrs | {
   notice("Device ${device} has attributes ${attrs}")

# apply
Notice: Scope(Class[main]): Device /dev/sda1 has attributes {filesystem => ext4, label => cloudimg-rootfs, mount => /, partuuid => c5572b29-01, size => 10.00 GiB, size_bytes => 10736352768, uuid => 09cea002-3bc0-41b2-81b5-2cbf8b138eb7}

Note in the above I can't use $partitions as the variable name, since partitions is a fact and is a classic fact name fact

Look up hiera data

$ sudo puppet lookup --environment pbg test

In manifests, we use the lookup() function to look up values of keys:

$numworkers = lookup('apache_workers', int)

The second argument allows us to specify an expected type of the value we are looking up. Examples including int, Boolean, Hash.

To apply the manifest to a certain environment:

$ sudo puppet apply --environment <env> <manifest>

Hiera values can be: single values, arrays and hashes. Single values:

package_version: 1.1


  - vim
  - docker


  webapp: 8080
  db: 3306
  master: true

Directly looking up a value in a hash from hiera:

$value = lookup('services.webapp', String)

Interpolation in Hiera data

We can look up another variable in a hiera file:

 backup_path: "/backup/%{facts.hostname}"

We can also look up another variable value defined in hiera:

package_name: 'mypackage'
package_version: '1.1'
package: "%{lookup('package_name')}-%{lookup('package_version')}"

Creating resources with Hiera data

Let's consider the following hiera data:

    version: latest
    version: 1.6

We can then write the following manifest to install the above packages.

lookup('packages', Hash, 'hash').each | String $package, Hash $attrs | {
  package { $package:
    ensure => $attrs['version'],

Storing secrets in Hiera

  • Use gnupg
  • Create a key
  • Encrypt your secrets using that key
  • Distribute the decrypting key across all nodes that needs access to the secret

Using puppet forge modules

r10k is the defactor standard module manager for Puppet deployments.

  • Create a Puppetfile listing the modules we want to use
  • Use r10k to install it at "build" time and deploy it
$ sudo r10k puppetfile install --verbose
$ sudo r10k puppetfile install --verbose
INFO     -> Updating module /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/pbg/modules/docker
INFO     -> Updating module /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/pbg/modules/archive
INFO     -> Updating module /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/pbg/modules/staging
INFO     -> Updating module /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/pbg/modules/apache

This will create a modules sub-directory with the downloaded modules. Using the --moduledir option, we can specify a different sub-directory to download the modules.

r10k doesn't automatically manage dependencies between modules. That is if module1 depends on module2, it will not automatically pull it. puppet-generate-puppetfile is a useful tool to help to manage this. We can use it to update dependency versions as well.

Learn about module path here.

The puppet stdlib module provides functions to provide various functionalities.



class mymodule {


include mymodule

Defining class parameters:

class mymodule(
  String $version = 'installed',

Specifying a default value here means that if a declaration doesn't specify the value, puppet doesn't error out. The type String also ensures non-string values error out.

A String[1] ensures a string value of atleast 1 character.

We can specify a list of allowed values via the Enum datatype:

Enum['running', 'stopped'] $service_state = 'running',

Parameter data types

  • Integer
  • Float
  • Numeric
  • Array
  • Hash
  • Regexp
  • Undef
  • Type

Hashes/Arrays can also specify the type of the elements: Array[Integer] or Hash[String, Integer]

Abstract data types

  • Optional
  • Pattern
  • Scalar
  • Data
  • Variant


Defined resource types

A defined resource type allows grouping of resources:

define myresource {

The difference between a defined resource type and class is that a class can be declared only once.

Type alias

type ServiceName = Pattern[..]
class myclass(
  Array[ServiceName] $services,

Roles and Profiles

Role identify a particular function for a node - an app server, a DB server, etc.

Profile identify a particular piece of software or functionality which contributes to a role.


  • Embedded Puppet - has the extension epp
  • epp v$ erb

Templates from files:

file { '/etc/systemd/system/myunit.service':
  content => epp('module_name/myunit.service.epp'),

Puppet will look for the myunit.service.epp file in the templates sub-directory of the module automatically.

Validating template syntax: puppet epp validate /examples/template.epp

Rendering template on the command line: puppet epp render --values_file <params.pp> <template>


© Amit Saha. Built using Pelican. Customised theme based on the one by Giulio Fidente on github.