Work in progress document on installing foreman
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Setting up foreman

For simplicity we're going to assume a single foreman server. This will include a smart proxy, DHCP, TFTP and DNS. We also assume we have control over our domain. So let's call this server We're going to use with as gateway. Our manager will also be the recursing DNS server.

For this tutorial I'm going to assume a plain CentOS 6 install with EPEL, but it should be easily applied to Debian as well.

It should be noted that foreman-installer is still very much in development and things are going to change.

Installing foreman without the installer

For this part we'll use the foreman-installer. The content of this chapter is also available on the foreman installer wiki. We'll use git to retrieve the installer and then write our preferences in manager.pp.

yum -y install git puppet
git clone --recursive -b develop

Now we have the installer you can look at the various options available. Good starting points are init.pp and params.pp files. Now let's write our manager.pp file. To help you get started here's an example.

If you do not use assumed network, have a look at Using a different network because DHCP will fail to start.

class {'puppet':
} ->

class {'puppet::server':
  git_repo => true,
} ->

class {'foreman_proxy':
  dhcp => true,
  dns  => true,
} ->

class {'foreman':
  authentication => true,

Now we have a manager.pp we can apply.

puppet apply manager.pp --modulepath foreman-installer

Setting up the puppet environment

Since we've told foreman-installer that we want a git repository it has initialized one for us in /var/lib/puppet/puppet.git. Each branch will be converted into a puppet environment. The default branch is specified in HEAD and defaults to master.

Configuring using the webinterface

We should now have a basic running system. Just go to and check it out. In case you set up credentials the default user is admin, but be sure to change the password from changeme to something a little bit more secure.

First thing we're going to do is add our smart proxy. Navigate to More => Smart Proxies and click the New Proxy-button. Enter the name and URL. I recommend calling it manager and connect it to https://localhost:8443/. After it's added verify it has all the features you want. You should also be able to import your DHCP subnet here.

With this smart proxy we can import our puppet classes. Navigate to More => Puppet Classes and click the Import from manager-button. It should detect all your puppet classes and environments.

In order to install new servers we need to specify at least one architecture. Again under More we have Architectures which in turn has a New Architecture-button. I only have x86_64 but maybe you have i386 or more exotic architectures.

With architectures set up we'll continu by adding operating systems. By now I expect you'll find the New Operating System-button yourself. I also modified the mirror under Installation Media to one that's a bit closer.

Setting up a domain and subnet should be straightforward as well.

Last you'll need to configure Provisioning templates.

Beyond the defaults

Defaults are nice, but they're unlikely to fit everyone's needs.

Using a different network

While may be a good place to start, it might not fit everyone. In this example we're switching to where we'll use to In this network we also have two other recursors, and It just comes down to changing our foreman_proxy definition.

class {'foreman_proxy':
  dhcp             => true,
  dhcp_gateway     => '',
  dhcp_range       => '',
  dhcp_nameservers => ',',

  dns              => true,
  dns_reverse      => '',

Using multiple networks

Suppose you have multiple networks on your smart proxy. We'll assume and no free lease. For this you need to configure an IP in the range on some NIC. I'll assume you know how to do this yourself. Then we only need to add another DHCP pool and DNS reverse range to our manager.pp:

dhcp::pool {'My extra DHCP pool':
  network => '',
  mask    => '',
  range   => false,
  gateway => '',

dns::zone {'':
  reverse => true,

That should give us another IP range we can use, including reverse DNS.

Bugs / missing features

While writing this document I ran into several bugs / missing features. This section is also a TODO list for myself.

  • Apache only listens on ipv4

Then there are also some points I want to expand in this document

  • Setting up the puppet environment is a bit short
  • Configuring using the webinterface only graces over domain, subnets and provisioning templates