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100% free range, organic, pesticide free Puppet module for managing Puppet.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Module Description - What puppet-puppet does and why it is useful
  3. Setup - getting started with puppet-puppet
  4. Usage - Configuration options and additional functionality
  5. Limitations - OS compatibility, etc.
  6. Development - Guide for contributing to puppet-puppet


The puppet-puppet module manages puppet masters and agents using puppet.

Module Description

Puppet masters are frequently the only hand-crafted part of puppet-managed infrastructure. This module seeks to make the experience of running a puppet master similar to running Apache, Nginx, or MySQL using puppet.


What puppet-puppet affects

Depending on how you use this module, it can touch any of:

  • Puppet configuration files
  • Nginx or Apache configurations needed for running a master
  • Unicorn and Passenger configurations and init scripts
  • PuppetDB and PostgreSQL

As far as possible, this module tries to use other general-purpose modules to configure required non-puppet systems.

Setup Requirements

Puppet-puppet does not manage SSL certificates. You can generate the appropriate puppet SSL certificates by starting the webrick-based puppetmaster before using puppet-puppet. If you don't generate those SSL certs first, the resulting master won't work. (but should if you generate the certs; it's not strictly order dependent)

This module also doesn't manage r10k or hiera. Look at zack/r10k or sharpie/r10k for r10k, and the hunner/hiera module for managing hiera. If this is all unfamiliar, read the Shit Gary Says blog, starting with Building a Functional Puppet Workflow Part 1: Module Structure.


There are two general areas managed with this module: masters and agents.

Puppetmaster Setup

Webrick master

At an absolute minimum, you need the following.

class { 'puppet::server':
  servertype => 'standalone',
  manifest   => '/etc/puppet/manifests/site.pp',
  ca         => true,

This should get you a puppetmaster running under webrick which might scale to about 10 nodes if the wind doesn't blow too hard.

If, however, the moon is in the next phase then you probably want to use something that scales a bit more. Your options are nginx/unicorn or apache/passenger.

Nginx/Unicorn Master

The most basic setup would look something like:

class { 'puppet::server':
  servertype => 'unicorn',
  ca         => true,

A similar Apache/Passenger server would be:

class { 'puppet::server':
  servertype => 'passenger',
  ca         => true,

Certificate authority proxy configuration

If you want to automatically relay the certificate requests to an other CA you can do the following :

class { 'puppet::server':
  servertype  => 'unicorn',
  ca          => false,
  external_ca => 'https://my_puppet_ca_server:8140',

NB: This is only implemented for Nginx/Unicorn configuration so far.

Master with PuppetDB, PostgreSQL, and reports

Running a puppet master without PuppetDB loses much of the utility of Puppet, so you probably want it. As a convenience, this module will install puppetdb and postgresql using the puppetlabs/puppetdb module if manage_puppetdb => true is set.

If you want a more complex setup with PuppetDB and/or PostgreSQL on a different server, don't enable that option; use the puppetlabs/puppetdb module directly because it has many more configuration options that aren't exposed here.

class { 'puppet::server':
  directoryenvs    => true,
  basemodulepath   => '$confdir/modules:$confdir/secure',
  environmentpath  => '$confdir/environments',
  default_manifest => 'site/site.pp',
  manage_puppetdb  => true,
  reporturl        => "https://${::fqdn}/reports",
  servertype       => 'unicorn',
  ca               => true,
  reports          => [

# in a real environment, you'll probably populate parameters on these
# report classes from hiera. For this example, it's specified inline so that
# the manifest works as-is.

class { 'puppet::reports::graphite':
  server => $::fqdn,
  port   => 2003,
  prefix => 'puppetmaster'

class { 'puppet::reports::irccat':
  host      => $::fqdn,
  githuburl => '',
  dashboard => '',

Puppet Agent Configuration

At the most basic, simply:

include puppet::agent

That will configure a cron job to run the puppet agent. If that's not what you want, one of the following may be more to your liking:

Running the agent service instead of via cron

class { 'puppet::agent':
  method => 'service',

Agent using cron, with more configuration options set:

Note that although the parameters correspond with puppet configuration file option names, only a relatively subset can currently be managed with this module.

class { 'puppet::agent':
  server        => '',
  ca_server     => '',
  report_server => '',
  method        => 'cron',
  configtimeout => 900,

In a production environment, you should probably use include puppet::agent and populate parameters using hiera automatic parameter lookup instead of hardcoding these values into manifests.


This module is (basically) only tested on Debian Wheezy. The maintainers also care about FreeBSD and OpenBSD support. A token gesture of EL support exists in params.pp but that's about it; this probably won't do much on CentOS/RedHat. You'll see remnants of support for Windows, Gentoo, Solaris etc in the codebase but there's no testing or ongoing support for those platforms. They probably don't work at all. Pull requests welcome if you're interested.

Bootstrapping an all-in-one (master, puppetdb, postgresql) puppetmaster with puppet-puppet is relatively straightforward. However, building a usable puppet infrastructure with it requires additional steps, such as figuring out how you want to deploy manifests and modules to your master. (tip: use r10k)

You should definitely not use this module on an existing production puppetmaster unless you've tested it extensively. This is a tool developed by sysadmins, not developers, and testing is very incomplete.


Read to see instructions on running beaker and rspec tests.


100% free range, organic, pesticide free Puppet module for managing Puppet






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