Puppet Labs Standard Library module. Please submit issues at https://projects.puppetlabs.com/projects/modules/issues and not using the issue tracker on Github. Pull requests, however, are encouraged. =)
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Puppet Labs Standard Library

This module provides a "standard library" of resources for developing Puppet Modules. This modules will include the following additions to Puppet

  • Stages
  • Facts
  • Functions
  • Defined resource types
  • Types
  • Providers

This module is officially curated and provided by Puppet Labs. The modules Puppet Labs writes and distributes will make heavy use of this standard library.

To report or research a bug with any part of this module, please go to http://projects.puppetlabs.com/projects/stdlib


This module follows semver.org (v1.0.0) versioning guidelines. The standard library module is released as part of Puppet Enterprise and as a result older versions of Puppet Enterprise that Puppet Labs still supports will have bugfix maintenance branches periodically "merged up" into master. The current list of integration branches are:

  • v2.1.x (v2.1.1 released in PE 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.3, 1.2.4)
  • v2.2.x (Never released as part of PE, only to the Forge)
  • v2.3.x (Released in PE 2.5.x)
  • master (mainline development branch)

The first Puppet Enterprise version including the stdlib module is Puppet Enterprise 1.2.


The stdlib module does not work with Puppet versions released prior to Puppet 2.6.0.

stdlib 2.x

All stdlib releases in the 2.0 major version support Puppet 2.6 and Puppet 2.7.

stdlib 3.x

The 3.0 major release of stdlib drops support for Puppet 2.6. Stdlib 3.x supports Puppet 2.7.



Returns the absolute value of a number, for example -34.56 becomes 34.56. Takes a single integer and float value as an argument.

  • Type: rvalue


Converts a boolean to a number. Converts the values: false, f, 0, n, and no to 0 true, t, 1, y, and yes to 1 Requires a single boolean or string as an input.

  • Type: rvalue


Capitalizes the first letter of a string or array of strings. Requires either a single string or an array as an input.

  • Type: rvalue


Removes the record separator from the end of a string or an array of strings, for example hello\n becomes hello. Requires a single string or array as an input.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns a new string with the last character removed. If the string ends with \r\n, both characters are removed. Applying chop to an empty string returns an empty string. If you wish to merely remove record separators then you should use the chomp function. Requires a string or array of strings as input.

  • Type: rvalue


Converts a hash into a set of resources and adds them to the catalog.

This function takes two mandatory arguments: a resource type, and a hash describing a set of resources. The hash should be in the form {title => {parameters} }:

# A hash of user resources:
$myusers = {
  'nick' => { uid    => '1330',
              group  => allstaff,
              groups => ['developers', 'operations', 'release'], }
  'dan'  => { uid    => '1308',
              group  => allstaff,
              groups => ['developers', 'prosvc', 'release'], }

create_resources(user, $myusers)

A third, optional parameter may be given, also as a hash:

$defaults => {
  'ensure'   => present,
  'provider' => 'ldap',

create_resources(user, $myusers, $defaults)

The values given on the third argument are added to the parameters of each resource present in the set given on the second argument. If a parameter is present on both the second and third arguments, the one on the second argument takes precedence.

This function can be used to create defined resources and classes, as well as native resources.

  • Type: statement


Log a message on the server at level crit.

  • Type: statement


Log a message on the server at level debug.

  • Type: statement


Determine whether a given class or resource type is defined. This function can also determine whether a specific resource has been declared. Returns true or false. Accepts class names, type names, and resource references.

The defined function checks both native and defined types, including types provided as plugins via modules. Types and classes are both checked using their names:


Resource declarations are checked using resource references, e.g. defined( File['/tmp/myfile'] ). Checking whether a given resource has been declared is, unfortunately, dependent on the parse order of the configuration, and the following code will not work:

if defined(File['/tmp/foo']) {
    notify("This configuration includes the /tmp/foo file.")
file {"/tmp/foo":
    ensure => present,

However, this order requirement refers to parse order only, and ordering of resources in the configuration graph (e.g. with before or require) does not affect the behavior of defined.

  • Type: rvalue


Takes a resource reference and an optional hash of attributes.

Returns true if a resource with the specified attributes has already been added to the catalog, and false otherwise.

user { 'dan':
  ensure => present,

if ! defined_with_params(User[dan], {'ensure' => 'present' }) {
  user { 'dan': ensure => present, }
  • Type: rvalue


Deletes a selected element from an array.


delete(['a','b','c'], 'b')

Would return: ['a','c']

  • Type: rvalue


Deletes a determined indexed value from an array.


delete_at(['a','b','c'], 1)

Would return: ['a','c']

  • Type: rvalue


Converts the case of a string or all strings in an array to lower case.

  • Type: rvalue


Log a message on the server at level emerg.

  • Type: statement


Returns true if the variable is empty.

  • Type: rvalue


Takes a resource type, title, and a list of attributes that describe a resource.

user { 'dan':
  ensure => present,

This example only creates the resource if it does not already exist:

ensure_resource('user, 'dan', {'ensure' => 'present' })

If the resource already exists but does not match the specified parameters, this function will attempt to recreate the resource leading to a duplicate resource definition error.

  • Type: statement


Log a message on the server at level err.

  • Type: statement


This is a parser function to read data from external files, this version uses CSV files but the concept can easily be adjust for databases, yaml or any other queryable data source.

The object of this is to make it obvious when it's being used, rather than magically loading data in when an module is loaded I prefer to look at the code and see statements like:

$snmp_contact = extlookup("snmp_contact")

The above snippet will load the snmp_contact value from CSV files, this in its own is useful but a common construct in puppet manifests is something like this:

case $domain {
  "myclient.com": { $snmp_contact = "John Doe <john@myclient.com>" }
  default:        { $snmp_contact = "My Support <support@my.com>" }

Over time there will be a lot of this kind of thing spread all over your manifests and adding an additional client involves grepping through manifests to find all the places where you have constructs like this.

This is a data problem and shouldn't be handled in code, a using this function you can do just that.

First you configure it in site.pp:

$extlookup_datadir = "/etc/puppet/manifests/extdata"
$extlookup_precedence = ["%{fqdn}", "domain_%{domain}", "common"]

The array tells the code how to resolve values, first it will try to find it in web1.myclient.com.csv then in domain_myclient.com.csv and finally in common.csv

Now create the following data files in /etc/puppet/manifests/extdata:

  snmp_contact,John Doe <john@myclient.com>

  snmp_contact,My Support <support@my.com>

Now you can replace the case statement with the simple single line to achieve the exact same outcome:

$snmp_contact = extlookup("snmp_contact")

The above code shows some other features, you can use any fact or variable that is in scope by simply using %{varname} in your data files, you can return arrays by just having multiple values in the csv after the initial variable name.

In the event that a variable is nowhere to be found a critical error will be raised that will prevent your manifest from compiling, this is to avoid accidentally putting in empty values etc. You can however specify a default value:

$ntp_servers = extlookup("ntp_servers", "1.${country}.pool.ntp.org")

In this case it will default to "1.${country}.pool.ntp.org" if nothing is defined in any data file.

You can also specify an additional data file to search first before any others at use time, for example:

$version = extlookup("rsyslog_version", "present", "packages")
package{"rsyslog": ensure => $version }

This will look for a version configured in packages.csv and then in the rest as configured by $extlookup_precedence if it's not found anywhere it will default to present, this kind of use case makes puppet a lot nicer for managing large amounts of packages since you do not need to edit a load of manifests to do simple things like adjust a desired version number.

Precedence values can have variables embedded in them in the form %{fqdn}, you could for example do:

$extlookup_precedence = ["hosts/%{fqdn}", "common"]

This will result in /path/to/extdata/hosts/your.box.com.csv being searched.

This is for back compatibility to interpolate variables with %. % interpolation is a workaround for a problem that has been fixed: Puppet variable interpolation at top scope used to only happen on each run.

  • Type: rvalue


Fail with a parse error.

  • Type: statement


Return the contents of a file. Multiple files can be passed, and the first file that exists will be read in.

  • Type: rvalue


This function flattens any deeply nested arrays and returns a single flat array as a result.


flatten(['a', ['b', ['c']]])

Would return: ['a','b','c']

  • Type: rvalue


Generates random numbers based on the node's fqdn. Generated random values will be a range from 0 up to and excluding n, where n is the first parameter. The second argument specifies a number to add to the seed and is optional, for example:

$random_number = fqdn_rand(30)
$random_number_seed = fqdn_rand(30,30)
  • Type: rvalue


Rotates an array a random number of times based on a nodes fqdn.

  • Type: rvalue


Calls an external command on the Puppet master and returns the results of the command. Any arguments are passed to the external command as arguments. If the generator does not exit with return code of 0, the generator is considered to have failed and a parse error is thrown. Generators can only have file separators, alphanumerics, dashes, and periods in them. This function will attempt to protect you from malicious generator calls (e.g., those with '..' in them), but it can never be entirely safe. No subshell is used to execute generators, so all shell metacharacters are passed directly to the generator.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns the absolute path of the specified module for the current environment.

Example: $module_path = get_module_path('stdlib')

  • Type: rvalue


Lookup a variable in a remote namespace.

For example:

$foo = getvar('site::data::foo')
# Equivalent to $foo = $site::data::foo

This is useful if the namespace itself is stored in a string:

$datalocation = 'site::data'
$bar = getvar("${datalocation}::bar")
# Equivalent to $bar = $site::data::bar
  • Type: rvalue


This function searches through an array and returns any elements that match the provided regular expression.


grep(['aaa','bbb','ccc','aaaddd'], 'aaa')

Would return:

  • Type: rvalue


Determine if a hash has a certain key value.


$my_hash = {'key_one' => 'value_one'}
if has_key($my_hash, 'key_two') {
  notice('we will not reach here')
if has_key($my_hash, 'key_one') {
  notice('this will be printed')
  • Type: rvalue


This function converts and array into a hash.



Would return: {'a'=>1,'b'=>2,'c'=>3}

  • Type: rvalue


Evaluate one or more classes.

  • Type: statement


Log a message on the server at level info.

  • Type: statement


Evaluate a template string and return its value. See the templating docs for more information. Note that if multiple template strings are specified, their output is all concatenated and returned as the output of the function.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the variable passed to this function is an array.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the string passed to this function is a syntactically correct domain name.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the variable passed to this function is a float.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the variable passed to this function is a hash.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the variable returned to this string is an integer.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the string passed to this function is a valid IP address.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the string passed to this function is a valid mac address.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the variable passed to this function is a number.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns true if the variable passed to this function is a string.

  • Type: rvalue


This function joins an array into a string using a seperator.


join(['a','b','c'], ",")

Would result in: "a,b,c"

  • Type: rvalue


Returns the keys of a hash as an array.

  • Type: rvalue


Load a YAML file containing an array, string, or hash, and return the data in the corresponding native data type.

For example:

$myhash = loadyaml('/etc/puppet/data/myhash.yaml')
  • Type: rvalue


Strips leading spaces to the left of a string.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns a MD5 hash value from a provided string.

  • Type: rvalue


This function determines if a variable is a member of an array.


member(['a','b'], 'b')

Would return: true

member(['a','b'], 'c')

Would return: false

  • Type: rvalue


Merges two or more hashes together and returns the resulting hash.

For example:

$hash1 = {'one' => 1, 'two', => 2}
$hash2 = {'two' => 'dos', 'three', => 'tres'}
$merged_hash = merge($hash1, $hash2)
# The resulting hash is equivalent to:
# $merged_hash =  {'one' => 1, 'two' => 'dos', 'three' => 'tres'}

When there is a duplicate key, the key in the rightmost hash will "win."

  • Type: rvalue


Log a message on the server at level notice.

  • Type: statement


This function converts a number into a true boolean. Zero becomes false. Numbers higher then 0 become true.

  • Type: rvalue


This function accepts JSON as a string and converts into the correct Puppet structure.

  • Type: rvalue


This function accepts YAML as a string and converts it into the correct Puppet structure.

  • Type: rvalue


This function applies a prefix to all elements in an array.


prefix(['a','b','c'], 'p')

Will return: ['pa','pb','pc']

  • Type: rvalue


When given range in the form of (start, stop) it will extrapolate a range as an array.


range("0", "9")

Will return: [0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]

range("00", "09")

Will return: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

range("a", "c")

Will return: ["a","b","c"]

range("host01", "host10")

Will return: ["host01", "host02", ..., "host09", "host10"]

  • Type: rvalue


Make a virtual object real. This is useful when you want to know the name of the virtual object and don't want to bother with a full collection. It is slightly faster than a collection, and, of course, is a bit shorter. You must pass the object using a reference; e.g.: realize User[luke].

  • Type: statement


Perform regexp replacement on a string or array of strings.

  • Parameters (in order):

    • target The string or array of strings to operate on. If an array, the replacement will be performed on each of the elements in the array, and the return value will be an array.
    • regexp The regular expression matching the target string. If you want it anchored at the start and or end of the string, you must do that with ^ and $ yourself.
    • replacement Replacement string. Can contain backreferences to what was matched using \0 (whole match), \1 (first set of parentheses), and so on.
    • flags Optional. String of single letter flags for how the regexp is interpreted:
      • E Extended regexps
      • I Ignore case in regexps
      • M Multiline regexps
      • G Global replacement; all occurrences of the regexp in each target string will be replaced. Without this, only the first occurrence will be replaced.
    • encoding Optional. How to handle multibyte characters. A single-character string with the following values:
      • N None
      • E EUC
      • S SJIS
      • U UTF-8
  • Examples

Get the third octet from the node's IP address:

$i3 = regsubst($ipaddress,'^(\d+)\.(\d+)\.(\d+)\.(\d+)$','\3')

Put angle brackets around each octet in the node's IP address:

$x = regsubst($ipaddress, '([0-9]+)', '<\1>', 'G')
  • Type: rvalue


Evaluate one or more classes, adding the required class as a dependency.

The relationship metaparameters work well for specifying relationships between individual resources, but they can be clumsy for specifying relationships between classes. This function is a superset of the 'include' function, adding a class relationship so that the requiring class depends on the required class.

Warning: using require in place of include can lead to unwanted dependency cycles.

For instance the following manifest, with 'require' instead of 'include' would produce a nasty dependence cycle, because notify imposes a before between File[/foo] and Service[foo]:

class myservice {
  service { foo: ensure => running }

class otherstuff {
  include myservice
  file { '/foo': notify => Service[foo] }

Note that this function only works with clients 0.25 and later, and it will fail if used with earlier clients.

  • Type: statement


Reverses the order of a string or array.

  • Type: rvalue


Strips leading spaces to the right of the string.

  • Type: rvalue


Add another namespace for this class to search. This allows you to create classes with sets of definitions and add those classes to another class's search path.

  • Type: statement


Returns a SHA1 hash value from a provided string.

  • Type: rvalue


Quote and concatenate arguments for use in Bourne shell.

Each argument is quoted separately, and then all are concatenated


Randomizes the order of a string or array elements.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns the number of elements in a string or array.

  • Type: rvalue


Sorts strings and arrays lexically.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns a new string where runs of the same character that occur in this set are replaced by a single character.

  • Type: rvalue


This converts a string to a boolean. This attempt to convert strings that contain things like: y, 1, t, true to 'true' and strings that contain things like: 0, f, n, false, no to 'false'.

  • Type: rvalue


This converts a string to a salted-SHA512 password hash (which is used for OS X versions >= 10.7). Given any simple string, you will get a hex version of a salted-SHA512 password hash that can be inserted into your Puppet manifests as a valid password attribute.

  • Type: rvalue


This function returns formatted time.


To return the time since epoch:


To return the date:


Format meaning:

%a - The abbreviated weekday name (``Sun'')
%A - The  full  weekday  name (``Sunday'')
%b - The abbreviated month name (``Jan'')
%B - The  full  month  name (``January'')
%c - The preferred local date and time representation
%C - Century (20 in 2009)
%d - Day of the month (01..31)
%D - Date (%m/%d/%y)
%e - Day of the month, blank-padded ( 1..31)
%F - Equivalent to %Y-%m-%d (the ISO 8601 date format)
%h - Equivalent to %b
%H - Hour of the day, 24-hour clock (00..23)
%I - Hour of the day, 12-hour clock (01..12)
%j - Day of the year (001..366)
%k - hour, 24-hour clock, blank-padded ( 0..23)
%l - hour, 12-hour clock, blank-padded ( 0..12)
%L - Millisecond of the second (000..999)
%m - Month of the year (01..12)
%M - Minute of the hour (00..59)
%n - Newline (

) %N - Fractional seconds digits, default is 9 digits (nanosecond) %3N millisecond (3 digits) %6N microsecond (6 digits) %9N nanosecond (9 digits) %p - Meridian indicator (AM'' orPM'') %P - Meridian indicator (am'' orpm'') %r - time, 12-hour (same as %I:%M:%S %p) %R - time, 24-hour (%H:%M) %s - Number of seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC. %S - Second of the minute (00..60) %t - Tab character ( ) %T - time, 24-hour (%H:%M:%S) %u - Day of the week as a decimal, Monday being 1. (1..7) %U - Week number of the current year, starting with the first Sunday as the first day of the first week (00..53) %v - VMS date (%e-%b-%Y) %V - Week number of year according to ISO 8601 (01..53) %W - Week number of the current year, starting with the first Monday as the first day of the first week (00..53) %w - Day of the week (Sunday is 0, 0..6) %x - Preferred representation for the date alone, no time %X - Preferred representation for the time alone, no date %y - Year without a century (00..99) %Y - Year with century %z - Time zone as hour offset from UTC (e.g. +0900) %Z - Time zone name %% - Literal ``%'' character

  • Type: rvalue


This function removes leading and trailing whitespace from a string or from every string inside an array.


strip("    aaa   ")

Would result in: "aaa"

  • Type: rvalue


This function will swap the existing case of a string.



Would result in: "AbCd"

  • Type: rvalue


This function will return the current time since epoch as an integer.



Will return something like: 1311972653

  • Type: rvalue


Converts the argument into bytes, for example 4 kB becomes 4096. Takes a single string value as an argument.

  • Type: rvalue


Returns the type when passed a variable. Type can be one of:

  • string
  • array
  • hash
  • float
  • integer
  • boolean

  • Type: rvalue


This function will remove duplicates from strings and arrays.



Will return:


You can also use this with arrays:


This returns:

  • Type: rvalue


Converts a string or an array of strings to uppercase.



Will return:

  • Type: rvalue


Validate the string represents an absolute path in the filesystem. This function works for windows and unix style paths.

The following values will pass:

$my_path = "C:/Program Files (x86)/Puppet Labs/Puppet"
$my_path2 = "/var/lib/puppet"

The following values will fail, causing compilation to abort:

validate_absolute_path([ 'var/lib/puppet', '/var/foo' ])
validate_absolute_path([ '/var/lib/puppet', 'var/foo' ])
$undefined = undef
  • Type: statement


Validate that all passed values are array data structures. Abort catalog compilation if any value fails this check.

The following values will pass:

$my_array = [ 'one', 'two' ]

The following values will fail, causing compilation to abort:

$undefined = undef
  • Type: statement


Validate that all passed values are either true or false. Abort catalog compilation if any value fails this check.

The following values will pass:

$iamtrue = true
validate_bool(true, true, false, $iamtrue)

The following values will fail, causing compilation to abort:

$some_array = [ true ]
  • Type: statement


Validate that all passed values are hash data structures. Abort catalog compilation if any value fails this check.

The following values will pass:

$my_hash = { 'one' => 'two' }

The following values will fail, causing compilation to abort:

$undefined = undef
  • Type: statement


Perform simple validation of a string against one or more regular expressions. The first argument of this function should be a string to test, and the second argument should be a stringified regular expression (without the // delimiters) or an array of regular expressions. If none of the regular expressions match the string passed in, compilation will abort with a parse error.

If a third argument is specified, this will be the error message raised and seen by the user.

The following strings will validate against the regular expressions:

validate_re('one', '^one$')
validate_re('one', [ '^one', '^two' ])

The following strings will fail to validate, causing compilation to abort:

validate_re('one', [ '^two', '^three' ])

A helpful error message can be returned like this:

validate_re($::puppetversion, '^2.7', 'The $puppetversion fact value does not match 2.7')
  • Type: statement


Validate that the first argument is a string (or an array of strings), and less/equal to than the length of the second argument. It fails if the first argument is not a string or array of strings, and if arg 2 is not convertable to a number.

The following values will pass:

validate_slength("discombobulate",17) validate_slength(["discombobulate","moo"],17)

The following valueis will not:

validate_slength("discombobulate",1) validate_slength(["discombobulate","thermometer"],5)

  • Type: statement


Validate that all passed values are string data structures. Abort catalog compilation if any value fails this check.

The following values will pass:

$my_string = "one two"
validate_string($my_string, 'three')

The following values will fail, causing compilation to abort:

validate_string([ 'some', 'array' ])
$undefined = undef
  • Type: statement


When given a hash this function will return the values of that hash.


$hash = {
  'a' => 1,
  'b' => 2,
  'c' => 3,

This example would return:

  • Type: rvalue


Finds value inside an array based on location.

The first argument is the array you want to analyze, and the second element can be a combination of:

  • A single numeric index
  • A range in the form of 'start-stop' (eg. 4-9)
  • An array combining the above


values_at(['a','b','c'], 2)

Would return ['c'].

values_at(['a','b','c'], ["0-1"])

Would return ['a','b'].

values_at(['a','b','c','d','e'], [0, "2-3"])

Would return ['a','c','d'].

  • Type: rvalue


Takes one element from first array and merges corresponding elements from second array. This generates a sequence of n-element arrays, where n is one more than the count of arguments.



Would result in:

["1", "4"], ["2", "5"], ["3", "6"]
  • Type: rvalue

This page autogenerated on Thu Aug 16 10:53:05 -0700 2012