Hiera 1: Installing

This version is out of date. For current versions, see Puppet packages and versions.

Note: We’ve released a major update to Hiera called Hiera 5.

Hiera 5 is built into Puppet 4.9 and higher, and includes features like per-environment hierarchies, module data, simplified custom backends, improved debugging with puppet lookup --explain, and more.

As part of this update, we’ve moved Hiera’s documentation into the Puppet reference manual. Once you’ve upgraded to Puppet 4.9 or higher, see the following pages for more info about the new Hiera:

Note: If you are using Puppet 3 or later, you probably already have Hiera installed. You can skip these steps, and go directly to configuring Hiera.


  • Hiera works on *nix and Windows systems.
  • It requires Ruby 1.8.5 or later.
  • To work with Puppet, it requires Puppet 2.7.x or later.
  • If used with Puppet 2.7.x, it also requires the additional hiera-puppet package; see below.

Installing Hiera

If you are using Hiera with Puppet, you should install it on your puppet master server(s); it is optional and unnecessary on agent nodes. (If you are using a standalone puppet apply site, every node should have Hiera.)

Step 1: Install the hiera Package or Gem

Install the hiera package, using Puppet or your system’s standard package tools.

Note: You may need to enable the Puppet Labs package repos first.

$ sudo puppet resource package hiera ensure=installed

If your system does not have native Hiera packages available, you may need to install it as a Rubygem.

$ sudo gem install hiera

Step 2: Install the Puppet Functions

If you are using Hiera with Puppet 2.7.x, you must also install the hiera-puppet package on every puppet master.

$ sudo puppet resource package hiera-puppet ensure=installed

Or, on systems without native packages:

$ sudo gem install hiera-puppet

Note: Puppet 3 does not need the hiera-puppet package, and may refuse to install if it is present. You can safely remove hiera-puppet in the process of upgrading to Puppet 3.


That’s it: Hiera is installed. Next, configure Hiera with its hiera.yaml config file.

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