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#Puppet for Google Compute Engine

##Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Setup
  3. Quick Start with Puppet Enterprise
  4. Usage
  5. Development
  6. Migrating from v0


The gce_compute module provides everything you need to manage compute instances, disk storage and network interfaces in Google Compute Engine in Puppet's declarative DSL. It will even provision and configure Puppet Enterprise or Puppet Open Source during instance creation.

It should work on any system that supports Google's Cloud SDK but it has not been tested on Windows.


In order to use this module, you will need to signup for a Google Cloud Platform account and enable Google Compute Engine.

Setup a host with Google Cloud SDK

You will need to designate one machine to be your host. This machine will be responsible for provisioning objects into Google Compute using the gcloud compute command-line utility that is bundled as part of the Cloud SDK.

You may either use a virtual machine inside of your Google Cloud project as your host, or you may use a machine outside of the project.

Setup a host inside of your Google Cloud project

If you would like to use a virtual machine inside of your project as your host, setup is simple. Create the instance manually, either on the Developers Console or via the gcloud command-line interface, making sure to enable the compute-rw scope for your instance.

  • In the Developers Console, create an instance via Compute > Compute Engine > VM instances > New instance, show the security options, and select "Read Write" under Project Access > Compute.
  • In gcloud, just use gcloud compute instances create with the --scopes compute-rw flag.

Once you've setup your instance with the compute-rw scope, you don't need do anything else: gcloud comes preinstalled on the VM, and the instance is able to read and write resources within its project.

Setup a host outside of your Google Cloud project

If you would like to use a machine outside of your project as your host, you'll need to install and authenticate gcloud.

Install Puppet and this module

You'll now want to install Puppet on your host. Once you've installed Puppet, do

$ puppet module install puppetlabs-gce_compute

At this point, you should be ready to go!

Quick Start with Puppet Enterprise

These instructions assume you have installed and configured the Google Cloud SDK and Puppet from the previous step.

Puppet Enterprise is free to evaluate on up to 10 nodes and is installed for you as part of these examples.

Bring up a GCE instance that will auto-install the PE Master

One of the easiest ways to take advantage of this module is to build a single instance in Google Compute Engine to serve as your Puppet Enterprise master and console. After going through the setup, copy the the manifest in examples/puppet_enterprise/up.pp, to your host, and run

$ puppet apply up.pp

The install may take up to ten minutes but the master instance should be up within a minute or two. The manifest is configured to wait until all of the startup scripts are finished running.

As of right now, the puppet-test-enterprise-agent-instance doesn't properly connect to the master.

Use the future parser to build many more instances.

You can do something like this, in agent.pp:

$a = ['1','2','3','4','5','6','7','8']
each( $a ) |$value|{

  gce_instance { "sample-agent-${value}":
    ensure                   => present,
    zone                     => 'us-central1-f',
    startup_script           => '',
    block_for_startup_script => true,
    metadata                 => {
      'pe_role'    => 'agent',
      'pe_master'  => 'puppet-test-enterprise-master-instance',
      'pe_version' => '3.3.1',
$ puppet apply agent.pp --parser future


The gce_compute module provides the following resource types:

  • gce_instance - Virtual machine instances that can be assigned roles.
  • gce_disk - Persistent disks that can be attached to instances.
  • gce_firewall - Firewall rules that specify the traffic to your instances.
  • gce_network - Networks that routes internal traffic between virtual machine instances. Firewalls and instances are associated with networks.
  • gce_forwardingrule - Load balancer forwarding rules.
  • gce_httphealthcheck - Load balancer HTTP health checking.
  • gce_targetpool - Load balancer collection of instances.
  • gce_targetpoolhealthcheck - Assignment of a health-check to a targetpool.
  • gce_targetpoolinstance - Assignment of an instance to a targetpool.

These types allow users to describe application stacks in Google Compute Engine using Puppet's DSL. This provides the following benefits:

  • Users can express application deployments as text that can be version controlled.
  • Teams can share and collaborate on application deployments described using Puppet's DSL.
  • Users can take advantage of the composition aspects of the Puppet DSL to create reusable and extendable abstraction layers on top of multi-node deployment descriptions.
  • Allows Puppet to support ongoing management of application stacks created in GCE.

Service Account Scopes

Note that if your GCE instances will need access to other Google Cloud services (e.g. Google Cloud Storage, Google BigQuery, etc.) then you can specify access with the scopes attribute. For more information about Service Account scopes, see this page.

The PE Quick Start example assigns the Master a compute-ro service scope which allows it to query metadata about other instances within the GCE project. This information is used for automatic certificate signing.

Automatic Certificate Signing

If you plan to host your Puppet master and agents in Google Compute Engine, this module can take advantage of Google's API and Metadata services to verify and automatically connect agents to the master so that they can immediately be assigned work after creation.

To use this capability, you must specify particular properties in your gce_instance resources.

  • Within the Puppet Master resource, assign a service account scope that can query GCE metadata.

service_account_scopes => ['compute-ro'],

  • The Puppet Master resource also needs to install the gce_compute module and configure itself with the provided autosigner class.

      modules  => ['puppetlabs-gce_compute'],
      manifest => 'include gce_compute::autosign',
  • Within the host resources, assign the startup script.

startupscript => '',

With this configuration, agents will retrieve particular metadata about themselves from the GCE metadata service and insert them into their certificate signing request. The Puppet Master will query the metadata service for the same information and ensure that it matches what the agent claims in its CSR.

Be careful. This configuration trusts that you've protected your Google credentials and that you trust everyone who has credentials to provision instances inside of your Google Compute Engine project. So long as this chain remains trustworthy, this method will reliably connect newly provisioned instances to your PE infrastructure without interaction.

Enable/Disable Live Instance Migration

Your Compute Engine instances, by default, will enable live migration. In the event that Google needs to perform a datacenter maintenance, your instance will be automatically migrated to a new location without visible impact. This feature can be disabled by setting maintenance_policy to TERMINATE.

Classifying resources

In addition to creating instances with gce_instance, you may pass additional parameters to configure and classify the instance. The work is done during instance creation by a bootstrap script. The module includes a scripts to configure both open source Puppet and Puppet Enterprise.

In the gce_instance resource, you may provide the following parameter to choose a startup script. You can use any executable script that's located in the gce_compute modules files directory and can be interpreted by the OS that GCE provisions.

   startupscript => ''
   startupscript => ''
   startupscript => ''

The classification is currently only supported by running puppet apply during the bootstrapping process of the created instances by passing in the contents of a manifest file with the manifest parameter.

Classification is specified with the following gce_instance parameters:

  • puppet_master - Hostname of the puppet master instance that the agent instance must be able to resolve. If this parameter is specified, then it is used as the server parameter in puppet.conf.
  • puppet_service - absent or present; if this parameter is specified, then the puppet service is automatically started on the managed instance and set to restart on boot (in /etc/default/puppet).
  • puppet_manifest - A string to pass in as a local manifest file and applied during the bootstrap process. You can use any manifest that's located in the gce_compute modules files directory.
  • puppet_modules - List of modules that should be installed from the forge.
  • puppet_module_repos - Modules that should be installed from GitHub. Accepts a hash where the keys indicates the module directory where the module should be installed and the value points to the GitHub repo.

If you would like Puppet to wait until the startup script has completed running, you may use the following parameters:

  • block_for_startup_script - Whether the resource should block until its startup sctipt has completed.
  • startup_script_timeout - Amount of time to wait before timing out when blocking for a startup script.

Puppet Enterprise

If you choose startupscript => '', you can provide data needed for the PE installer answer file in the metadata parameter. The following example specifies the PE version and PE Console login details.

   metadata             => {
	   'pe_role'          => 'master',
	   'pe_version'       => '3.1.0',
	   'pe_consoleadmin'  => '',
	   'pe_consolepwd'    => 'puppetize',

This example will provision a PE Agent and will point it to your PE master.

   metadata             => {
      'pe_role'          => 'agent',
      'pe_master'        => "[gce_instance_namevar].c.[gce_projectid].internal",
      'pe_version'       => '3.1.0',


To setup a development environment, follow the Setup instructions above, up until

$ puppet module install puppetlabs-gce_compute

Instead, clone this repository, cd into the repository, then do

$ rake install

If you're going to be doing any kind of modifications, I highly recommend using rbenv, ruby-build, (don't forget the dependencies!) and bundler.


This module has unit and live integration, (acceptance,) tests. The whole test suite takes about 20 minutes, and can be run using

$ rake spec

Unit tests live in spec/unit, and include tests for types and providers, and can be run with

$ rake spec:unit

Live integration tests live in spec/integration, and will actually spin up and tear down live resources in your GCP environment. Integration tests can be run with

$ rake spec:integration

Integration tests use the system puppet and modules, so, in preparation for running, Rake will automatically install the current version of the module. If you would like to run an individual test file, you must reinstall the module manually, for example:

$ rake install && rspec spec/integration/puppet/puppet_community_spec.rb

If integration tests fail, they'll leave resources lying around in you project. To cleanup, you can remove them altogether:

$ rake spec:integration:clean

or individually, for example:

$ rake install && puppet apply examples/puppet_community/down.pp

Migrating from v0

In rewriting this module since v0, types have changed to be as consistent with gcloud as possible, which causes some breaking changes in the types. Below are notes about what attributes have changed name, (and to what,) what attributes are no longer supported, and also the manifest syntax changes.

(This attempts to be a complete list, but may not be. If you have questions, ask, or file a bug.)


  • size_gb is now size;
  • source_image is now image; and
  • wait_until_complete is no longer supported—all commands wait until they are complete.


This resource used to be called gce_firewall.

  • allowed is now allow, and takes an array of strings rather than a comma-separated string;
  • allowed_ip_sources is now source_ranges, and takes an array of strings rather than a comma-separated string; and
  • allowed_tag_sources is now source_tags, and takes an array of strings rather than a comma-separated string.


  • ip is now address, and takes the name of an address resource;
  • protocol is now ip_protocol; and
  • target is now target_pool.


  • check_interval_sec is now check_interval;
  • check_timeout_sec is now timeout;


  • authorized_ssh_keys is no longer supported, (read more at Connecting to an instance using ssh);
  • disk is now boot_disk, and if no boot_disk is specified, a disk will be automatically provisioned, and will be set to auto-destroy when the instance is deleted;
  • external_ip_address is now address, and takes the name of an address resource;
  • internal_ip_address was read-only, and is no longer supported;
  • on_host_maintenance is now maintenance_policy;
  • service_account and service_account_scopes are now both reflected in scopes, and scopes takes an array of strings, (see examples/gce_instance/up.pp for an example);
  • add_compute_key_to_project is no longer supported, (read more at Connecting to an instance using ssh);
  • use_compute_key is no longer supported, (read more at Connecting to an instance using ssh);
  • enc_classes is no longer supported;
  • manifest is now puppet_manifest, and takes a manifest filename, rather than an inline manifest;
  • modules is now puppet_modules, and the metadata is space-separated rather than comma-separated; and
  • module_repos is now puppet_module_repos, is now stored in puppet_module_repos metadata, instead of puppet_repos, and that metadata is space-separated rather than comma-separated.

See examples/puppet_community/up.pp for an example of how to use the Puppet attributes: puppet_master, puppet_service, puppet_manifest, puppet_modules, and puppet_module_repos.


  • gateway was read-only, and is no longer supported.


  • health_checks is now health_check.
  • instances now takes a hash, of zones and lists of instances, (see examples/gce_targetpool/up.pp for an example).

gce_targetpoolhealthcheck & gce_targetpoolinstance

Both of these types are now reflected in gce_targetpool, (see examples/gce_targetpool/up.pp for an example).


native types for managing google compute instances




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