Autogenerate Rspec-puppet specs
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Release 2.5.0

Build Status


This script can be used to generate Rspec-puppet examples for all of the resources in a Puppet JSON catalog document. The intended use-cases include quickly generating default Rspec tests in a project that doesn't have any; and it can also be useful when refactoring Puppet modules.

It is assumed that the user already knows how to set up Rspec-puppet for a Puppet module (i.e. how to create the .fixtures.yml, Gemfile, spec/spec_helper.rb etc). If not, consider reading my blog post. Or better still, use pdk.


This tool uses the awesome_print Gem.

Also, be aware that the generated spec may depend on the verify_contents method that is normally found inside Puppetlabs-spec-helper.


Install by cloning this repo:

$ git clone

Then add a line to your .bash_profile like:

export PATH=/Users/alexharvey/git/create_specs:$PATH

Ensure you have the dependencies:

$ gem install awesome_print


Help message:

$ create_specs.rb -h
Usage: create_specs.rb [options]
  -f, --config_file CONFIG    Path to config file
  -c, --catalog CATALOG       Path to the catalog JSON file
  -C, --class CLASS           Class (or node) name under test
  -o, --output OUTPUTFILE     Path to the output Rspec file
  -x, --exclude RESOURCE      Resources to exclude. String or Regexp. Repeat this option to exclude multiple resources
  -i, --include RESOURCE      Resources to include despite the exclude list.
  -I, --only-include RESOURCE Only include these resources and exclude everything else. Regexp supported
  -m, --md5sums               Use md5sums instead of full file content to validate file content
  -t, --[no-]compile-test     Include or exclude the catalog compilation test
  -h, --help                  Print this help

Basic usage

Basic usage:

$ cd /path/to/puppet/module
$ create_specs.rb -c path/to/catalog.json

This will cause the resources in catalog.json to be rewritten as Rspec-puppet examples in spec/classes/init_spec.rb, which is the default output file.

By default, the script excludes all defined types as well as Class, Anchor, Notify and Node resources (see config.yml).

include option

If you want to override and include one or more of these, use the -i option:

$ create_specs.rb -c catalog.json -i Class -i Node

To include defined types:

$ create_specs.rb -c catalog.json -i /::/

Due to a quirk of the implementation (again, see config.yml) it is not possible to include a specific defined type only. Using -i My::Type would not override the default behaviour to exclude everything matching /::/. To work around that use -I.

exclude option

If you want to exclude additional resource types, use the -x option:

$ create_specs.rb -c catalog.json -x User -x Group

only include option

It is also possible to exclude everything other than a list of resources you care about. Use the -I option for this:

$ create_specs.rb -c catalog.json -I 'Service[ntp]' -I 'File[ntp]'

This option can also accept regular expressions, e.g.:

Only include all files:

$ create_specs.rb -c catalog.json -I '/File/'  # or
$ create_specs.rb -c catalog.json -I 'File[/.*/]'

Only include files in /etc/ssl:

$ create_spec.rb -c catalog.json -I 'File[/\/etc\/ssl/]'

output option

To specify a different output file:

$ create_specs.rb -c path/to/catalog.json -o path/to/output_spec.rb

class name option

By default, the class name that was used to generate the catalog is guessed. In some edge-cases (e.g. if a pre-condition is used in the set up that first declares a different class) the auto-detected class is wrong. To get around this, use the -C option:

$ create_specs.rb -c path/to/catalog.json -C class

compile test option

The default behaviour is to include a compile test as follows:

  it 'should write a compiled catalog' do compile.with_all_deps

This can be disabled by specifying --no-compile-test.

Specifying custom setup

By using the -f option, it is possible to pass a custom config.yml file with a custom setup section in it. For example, if your config.yml contained:

    - hiera_include('classes')
  :hiera_config: spec/fixtures/hiera.yaml
    foo: bar
    baz: qux

This would result in auto-generated Rspec code with:

  let(:pre_condition) do

  let(:hiera_config){ 'spec/fixtures/hiera.yaml' }

  let(:facts) do
      "foo" => "bar",
      "baz" => "qux"

Creating the catalog document

While there are a variety of ways of creating a compiled Puppet catalog, the easiest way is to use Rspec-puppet. Just create a spec file with the following content:

require 'spec_helper'

describe 'myclass' do
  let(:params) do
      'param1' => 'value1',
      'param2' => 'value2',

  it {

Then run the tests and you'll have a compiled catalog.

For more detail, see my other blog post.