standalone wrapper for puppet (similar to chef solo)
Ruby Puppet
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finger-puppet helps you run Puppet locally against a Git checkout.

finger-puppet encourages a Puppet workflow where you quickly + iteratively develop your Puppet manifests on a single machine, then push your changes up to a repository to deploy to the rest of your infrastructure.

This workflow also complements a Capistrano or MCollective-style deployment, where you remotely instruct finger-puppet to check out a copy of the latest manifests and run them.

finger-puppet also has the ability to freeze Puppet in to the manifests repository, letting you quickly test different versions of Puppet without waiting for packages to appear, and reducing the dependencies on a system to run Puppet down to just Ruby and git.

This is originally forked from the the work of rump by railsmachine, my rationale for renaming and re-releasing was because it had become overly burdensome to manually build the gem on each system i was going to do an intitial deploy with from git, and had no feedback despite asking for a new version of the gem to get pushed, original source code here:


$ gem install finger-puppet

Using finger-puppet

Make sure you check out the man pages.

Check out your repository of Puppet manifests:

$ finger-puppet clone

Now cd into the directory, and do a Puppet run:

$ sudo finger-puppet go

When you make changes, run Puppet through finger-puppet:

$ sudo finger-puppet go

You can append options you'd normally pass to the puppet command at the end of finger-puppet go:

$ sudo finger-puppet go --verbose --debug --noop

There's nothing stopping you from running finger-puppet against different checkouts/branches of manifests. This is especially powerful when developing locally with the following workflow:

  1. finger-puppet clone
  2. finger-puppet go
  3. cd puppet && git checkout -b new_feature
  4. Make your changes && finger-puppet go --noop to see what will change.
  5. Apply the changes with finger-puppet go
  6. Iterate until everything's working
  7. git checkout master && git merge new_feature
  8. git push

Freezing Puppet

Alternatively, if you want to live on the bleeding edge and eschew your distribution's packages, you can run finger-puppet entirely from RubyGems or Git. This gives you a whole bunch of advantages:

  • You only need Ruby installed on your system to run Puppet
  • A checkout of your manifests also gives you Puppet
  • Bind your manifests to a particular version of Puppet
  • Test your manifests against new versions of Puppet in a separate branch
  • Manage upgrades of Puppet outside your operating system's release cycle

You can freeze Puppet and it's dependencies very easily:

$ finger-puppet freeze

This will freeze Puppet + Facter under vendor/, using Bundler.

When you run finger-puppet go, finger-puppet checks whether you have frozen Puppet + Facter, and runs the frozen Puppet if available.

You can manage the versions of Puppet you want frozen using the Gemfile at the root of your project. To use a specific version of Puppet, edit your Gemfile:

source :rubygems

gem "puppet", "2.6.4"

If you want to live on the bleeding edge, you can run Puppet out of git:

source :rubygems

gem "puppet", "2.6.7", :git => "git://", :tag => "2.7.0rc1"
gem "facter", "1.5.8", :git => "git://", :tag => "1.5.9rc5"

Any dependency you bundle will automatically be added to the load path when you run finger-puppet go.

Developing + Testing finger-puppet

Check out the repository, and run bundle install to suck down all the required development dependencies.

There's a suite of Cucumber tests to fully exercise finger-puppet in features/:

$ cucumber features/

The scenarios are tagged with @offline and @online, depending on whether the test requires internet connectivity. Run all but @online tests with:

$ cucumber --tags ~@online features/


  1. Puppet's fileserver (source => "puppet:///..." on File resources) doesn't behave as expected on Puppet < 2.6. If you are using Puppet < 2.6, all files need to be templates.

  2. Manifests need to be in modules so Puppet can pick them up correctly.


Original Copyright Rails Machine LLC 2010-2011, released under the LGPL.

Copyright Somerset Technical Solutions LTD 2011 released under the LGPL.

See LICENSE for more info.