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A Python helper library for use by Puppet Tasks. It provides a class that handles error generation, simplifies JSON input and output, and makes testing your task easier. It requires Bolt >= 1.1 and Puppet Enterprise >= 2019.0.

Table of Contents

  1. Description
  2. Requirements
  3. Setup
  4. Usage
  5. Debugging


This library handles parsing JSON input, serializing the result as JSON output, and producing a formatted error message for errors.


This library works with Python 2.7 and later.


To use this library, include this module in a Puppetfile

mod 'puppetlabs-python_task_helper'

Add it to your task metadata (note that the helper expects to read arguments on stdin)

  "files": ["python_task_helper/files/"],
  "input_method": "stdin"


When writing your task include the library in your script, extend the TaskHelper module, and write the task() function. The task() function must take a hash of parameters as input (even if it's an empty hash), and must return a hash. The following is an example of a task that uses the library

#!/usr/bin/env python

import os, sys
sys.path.append(os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), '..', '..', 'python_task_helper', 'files'))
from task_helper import TaskHelper

class MyTask(TaskHelper):
    def task(self, args):
        return {'result': 'Hi, my name is '+args['name']}

if __name__ == '__main__':

You can then run the task like any other Bolt task

bolt task run mymodule::task -t name='Robert'

You can find this example in examples, as well as an example test in tests. For a real task, examples would be renamed to tasks.

You can additionally provide detailed errors by raising a TaskError, such as

class MyTask(TaskHelper):
    def task(self, args):
        raise TaskError('my task errored', 'mytask/error_kind', {'location': 'task entry'})


When writing your task, it can be helpful to write debugging statements to locate the source of any errors. The library includes a debug method that accepts arbitrary values and logs it as a debugging statement. If the task errors, the list of debugging statements will be included in the resulting error message.

The list of debugging statements can also be accessed from the task itself by accessing the debug_statements attribute. This can be used to include the debugging statements in a TaskError that you explicitly raise.

Adding a debugging statement:

self.debug('Result of method call: {}'.format(result))

Adding the list of debugging statements to a TaskError:

raise TaskError('my task error message',
                { 'debug': self.debug_statements })