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Puppet Dashboard


The Puppet Dashboard is a web interface providing node classification and reporting features for Puppet, an open source system configuration management tool.

Source, community and support


The Puppet Dashboard will run on most Unix, Linux and Mac OS X systems if you install the following software from your operating system's repositories or these websites:

You may also want to install these tools:

  • Git revision control system to checkout the source code
  • Rubygems package manager to easily install Ruby libraries


  1. Download the Puppet Dashboard software:

    1. Checkout the latest source code using Git:

      git clone git://

    2. Or install the software using APT or RPM packages. See README_PACKAGES.markdown for instructions.

  2. Setup a MySQL database server, create a user and database for use with the Dashboard. For example, you might start a mysql session as root and run commands like:

    CREATE USER 'dashboard'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'my_password';
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON dashboard.* TO 'dashboard'@'localhost';
  3. Create a config/database.yml file to connect your Puppet Dashboard to this new database. Please see the config/database.yml.example file for further details about database configurations and environments.

  4. Populate the database with the tables for the Puppet Dashboard. You must cd into the directory with the Puppet Dashboard software before running these commands:

    1. For typical use with the production environment:

      rake RAILS_ENV=production db:migrate

    2. For developing the software using the development and test environments:

      rake db:migrate db:test:prepare


There are many ways to run a Ruby web application like the Puppet Dashboard, we recommend:

  1. Built-in webserver: You can run a single instance of the application without any additional software. This is great for getting started quickly, but isn't recommended for production use because it's slow and can't handle multiple requests at the same time. You must cd into the directory with the Puppet Dashboard software before running these commands:

    1. Start a production server on port 3000:

      ./script/server -e production

    2. Or start a development server on port 8080:

      ./script/server -p 8080

  2. Passenger: You can compile this plugin for Apache or Nginx to easily serve Ruby web apps quickly and with multiple instances -- it's great for production use. You can also use it with Ruby Enterprise Edition to reduce memory usage. For further information, please see Passenger/ and Ruby Enterprise Edition and the example apache configuration in ext/passenger/dashboard-vhost.conf.

  3. Thin: You can install this server, have it start multiple instances of your application as a cluster, and then put it behind a proxy like Apache or Nginx -- it's fast and reliable. For further information, please see Thin


Import existing reports into the Puppet Dashboard

To import Puppet run reports stored in /var/puppet/lib/reports to your production environment:

rake RAILS_ENV=production reports:import

Or specify a different report directory:

rake RAILS_ENV=production reports:import REPORT_DIR=/path/to/your/reports

Import reports from your puppetmasterd as they're produced

First, ensure that your puppet agents are sending reports to the puppet server by setting report to true in the [agents] block of your puppet.conf.

Puppet 0.25.x and earlier

To enable live report aggregation, add the absolute path to the Puppet Dashboard's lib/puppet directory to your puppet.conf file's libdir.

For example, if you installed the Puppet Dashboard into /opt/puppet-dashboard and your regular libdir was /var/puppet/lib, you would add a line to your puppet.conf like:

libdir = /opt/puppet-dashboard/lib/puppet:/var/puppet/lib

To verify that this change was valid, run this command and confirm that it printed what you just set:

puppet --configprint libdir

Then ensure that your puppetmasterd runs with the option --reports puppet_dashboard.

The puppet_dashboard report assumes that your Puppet Dashboard server is available at localhost on port 3000 (as it would be if you started it via script/server). For now, you will need to modify the constants in lib/puppet/puppet_dashboard.rb if this is not the case.

Puppet 2.6.x

For the latest Puppet, a new http reports processor has been added that will send reports to a server located at http://localhost:3000/reports. To enable the http processor, add it to the reports setting in your puppet.conf. The url can be configured via the reporturl setting in your puppet.conf.

A complete puppet.conf example for reporting to a Puppet Dashboard server running under Passenger on port 81:



Using as an external node classification tool

The Puppet Dashboard functions as an external node classification tool. All nodes can be exported as Puppet-compatible YAML. See bin/external_node for an example script that connects to the Puppet Dashboard as an external node classifier.


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