Puppet-based configuration definitions for various servers used by the Adblock Plus project.
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Adblock Plus infrastructure

The Adblock Plus infrastructure uses Puppet to set up servers, and to have a realistic development environment.

Our Puppet manifests are only tested with Ubuntu 12.04 right now.

Environment specific setup

Some infrastructure parts are specific to the environment (such as e.g. development, test and production) whilst passwords, for example, are confidential. In order to allow for such specific configuration, the repository requires a set of manual operations during the initial setup:


The private module is destined to store confidential information such as RSA keys, htpasswd files and so on. The repository provides a private-stub module containing defaults suitable for development and testing purposes. One can create a symbolic link to start using the resource:


ln -s private-stub modules/private


MKLINK /D modules\private private-stub

When creating a custom version, one may inspect the modules/private-stub directory to determine which resources have to be provided.

Development environment

As with our other projects, all changes to our infrastructure should be made in a local development environment, and reviewed before deployment. Thanks to Puppet, we can easily set up local VMs that mirror our production environment.

The most convenient way to do this is to use Vagrant, as described below.

Git users on Windows may experience issues caused by automatic line ending conversion if the git option core.autocrlf is set to true. It is therefore recommended to set this option to false or input, e.g. by running git config --global core.autocrlf false.


Start a VM

For each production server, we have a Vagrant VM with the same host name.

To start the filter1 VM:

vagrant up filter1

After you've made changes to Puppet manifests, you can update it like this:

vagrant provision filter1

You can omit the VM name if you want to boot or provision all VMs. This might take a while and eat quite a bit of RAM though.

SSH to the server

You can use vagrant to connect as the vagrant user:

vagrant ssh server5

If you want to test "real" SSH access you can use the test user account defined in private-stub:

ssh -i modules/private/files/id_rsa test@

The default password for this user (required for the sudo command) is "test".

Adding a host

To set up a new host, extend the custom hiera/private/host.yaml by another servers: item, e.g.:

# ...
    ip: []
    dns: foobar.example.com
    ssh_public_key: AAAAE2VjZHNhLXNoYTItbmlzdHAyNTYAAAAIbmlzdHAyNTYAAA...
    role: codereviewserver

See modules/base/manifests/init.pp, especially the definition of the named type explicit_host_record() within class base, for more information on the possible option keys and values.

In development, this is all that needs to be done before the new box can be started using vagrant up .... Production servers, however, need a working Puppet configuration first (see below).

Configuring Puppet


  1. Install Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS
  2. Run hiera/install_precise.py as user root to install Puppet and Hiera
  3. Enable pluginsync (Add the following to the main section in /etc/puppet/puppet.conf)


  4. Configure the master address (Add the following to the bottom of /etc/puppet/puppet.conf)

    [agent] server = puppetmaster.adblockplus.org

Now you can either set it up as a pure agent or as a master. The master provides the configuration, agents fetch it from the master and apply it locally. The master is also an agent, fetching configuration from itself.

Puppet agent

  1. Attempt an initial provisioning, this will fail

    puppet agent --test

  2. On the master: List the certificates to get the name of the new agent's certificate

    puppet cert list

  3. Still on the master: Sign the certificate, e.g. for serverx:

    puppet cert sign serverx

  4. Back on the agent: Attempt another provisioning, it should work now

    puppet agent --test

Puppet master

  1. Configure the certificate name (Add the following to the master section in /etc/puppet/puppet.conf)

    certname = puppetmaster.adblockplus.org

  2. Install the required packages

    apt-get install puppetmaster mercurial

  3. Clone the infrastructure repository

    hg clone ssh://hg@adblockplus.org/infrastructure /etc/puppet/infrastructure rmdir /etc/puppet/{modules,manifests,templates} ln -s /etc/puppet/infrastructure/manifests /etc/puppet/manifests ln -s /etc/puppet/infrastructure/modules /etc/puppet/modules

  4. Make sure to put the private files in place (see above)

  5. Provision the master itself

    puppet agent --test

Updating a production server

Puppet agent has to be rerun on the servers whenever their configuration is changed. The kick.py script automates and simplifies that task, e.g. the following will provision all servers (requires Puppet and PyYAML):

kick.py -u serveradmin all

Here serveradmin is your user account on the servers, it will be used to run Puppet on the servers via SSH (sudo privilege required). You can list any host groups defined in manifests/monitoringserver.pp or individual servers. You can also use -v flag to see verbose Puppet output or -t flag to do a dry run without changing anything.


Monitoring is fully functional in any environment, including development. Here, after bootstrapping the server4 box, one can access the Nagios GUI from the host machine via https://nagiosadmin:nagiosadmin@

The monitoring service of our production environment, however, is accessible via https://monitoring.adblockplus.org/. Add yourself to files/nagios-htpasswd in the private module used on the server, or have someone add you if you don't have access.