Configuring and tuning Puppet Server

This version is out of date. For current versions, see Puppet Enterprise support lifecycle.

After you've installed Puppet Enterprise, optimize it for your environment by configuring and tuning Puppet Server settings as needed.

Tune the maximum number of JRuby instances

The jruby_max_active_instances setting controls the maximum number of JRuby instances to allow on the Puppet Server.

The default used in PE is the number of CPUs - 1, expressed as $::processorcount - 1. One instance is the minimum value and four instances is the maximum value. Four JRuby instances will work for most environments. However, if you're running a large number of nodes, you might need to increase the number of instances up to $::processorcount - 1.

Increasing the JRuby instances increases the amount of RAM used by pe-puppetserver. When you increase JRuby instances, increase the heap size. We conservatively estimate that a JRuby process uses 512MB of RAM.

Increase or decrease the number of JRuby instances by editing your Hiera default .yaml file, tuning the jruby_max_active_instances by setting the following code:
puppet_enterprise::master::puppetserver::jruby_max_active_instances: <number of instances>

Tune ruby_load_path

The ruby_load_path setting determines where Puppet Server finds components such as Puppet and Facter.

The default setting is located here: $puppetserver_jruby_puppet_ruby_load_path = ['/opt/puppetlabs/puppet/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby', '/opt/puppetlabs/puppet/cache/lib'].

Override this setting by changing the path to a different array in your Hiera configuration:

Note that if you change the libdir you must also change the vardir.

Tune max_requests_per_instance

The max_requests_per_instance setting determines the maximum number of requests per instance of a JRuby interpreter before it is killed.

The appropriate value for this parameter depends on how busy your servers are and how much you are affected by a memory leak. By default, max_requests_per_instance is set to 100,000 in PE.

When a JRuby interpreter is killed, all of its memory is reclaimed and it is replaced in the pool with a new interpreter. This prevents any one interpreter from consuming too much RAM, mitigating Puppet code memory leak issues and keeping Puppet Server up.

Starting a new interpreter has a performance cost, so set the parameter to get a new interpreter no more than every few hours. There are multiple interpreters running with requests balanced across them, so the lifespan of each interpreter varies.

Increase max_requests_per_instance by editing your Hiera default .yaml file with the following code:
puppet_enterprise::master::puppetserver::jruby_max_requests_per_instance: <number of requests>

Enable or disable environment-class-cache-enabled

The optional environment-class-cache-enabled setting specifies whether cached data is used when updating classes in the console. When true, Puppet Server refreshes classes using file sync, improving performance.

The default value for environment-class-cache-enabled depends on whether you use Code Manager:

  • With Code Manager, the default value is enabled (true). File sync clears the cache automatically in the background, so clearing the environment cache manually isn't required when using Code Manager.

  • Without Code Manager, the default value is disabled (false).

Note: If you're not using Code Manager and opt to enable this setting, make sure your code deployment method — for example r10k — clears the environment cache when it completes. If you don't clear the environment cache, the Node Classifier doesn't receive new class information until Puppet Server is restarted.

To enable or disable the cache:

  1. Open the Hiera default .yaml file in an editor.
  2. Add the following line with the appropriate setting:
               jruby_environment_class_cache_enabled: <true OR false>

Understanding the environment_timeout setting

The environment_timeout setting controls how long the master caches data it loads from an environment, determining how much time passes before changes to an environment's Puppet code are reflected in its environment.

In PE, the environment_timeout is set to unlimited for performance. We recommend leaving this setting as is.

For more information, see Environments limitations.

Add certificates to the puppet-admin certificate whitelist

Modify the puppet-admin certificate whitelist as needed in Hiera.

Edit your Hiera default .yaml file with the following code:
 - 'example_cert_name'

Disable update checking

Puppet Server (pe-puppetserver) checks for updates when it starts or restarts, and every 24 hours thereafter. It transmits basic, anonymous info to our servers at Puppet, Inc. to get update information. You can optionally turn this off.

Specifically, it transmits:

  • Product name

  • Puppet Server version

  • IP address

  • Data collection timestamp

To turn off update checking:

  1. Disable update checking by adding the following parameter to either the PE Master node group in the node classifier or to your Hiera configuration: puppet_enterprise::profile::master::check_for_updates: false
  2. On your master node, run Puppet.

Puppet Server configuration files

At startup, Puppet Server reads all of the .conf files in the conf.d directory (/etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/conf.d).

The conf.d directory contains the following files:

File nameDescription
auth.confContains authentication rules and settings for agents and API endpoint access.
global.confContains global configuration settings for Puppet Server, including logging settings.
metrics.confContains settings for Puppet Server metrics services.
pe-puppet-server.confContains Puppet Server settings specific to Puppet Enterprise.
webserver.confContains SSL and external Certificate Authority service configuration settings.
ca.conf(Deprecated) Contains rules for Certificate Authority services. Superseded by webserver.conf and auth.conf.

For information about Puppet Server configuration files, see Puppet Server's config files and the Related topics links below.

pe-puppet-server.conf settings

This file contains Puppet Server settings specific to Puppet Enterprise, with all settings wrapped in a jruby-puppet section.

Setting Description Default value
gem-home Determines where JRuby looks for gems. It is also used by the puppetserver gem command line tool. /opt/puppetlabs/puppet/cache/jruby-gems
master-conf-dir Sets the Puppet configuration directory's path. /etc/puppetlabs/puppet
master-var-dir Sets the Puppet variable directory's path. /opt/puppetlabs/server/data/puppetserver

Optional. Sets the maximum number of requests that may be queued waiting to borrow a JRuby from the pool. Once this limit is exceeded, a 503 Service Unavailable response will be returned for all new requests until the queue drops below the limit.

If max-retry-delay is set to a positive value, then the 503 response will include a Retry-After header indicating a random sleep time after which the client may retry the request.

Note: Don't use this solution if your managed infrastructure includes a significant number of agents older than Puppet 5.3. Older agents treat a 503 response as a failure, which ends their runs, causing groups of older agents to schedule their next runs at the same time, creating a thundering herd problem.
max-retry-delay Optional. Sets the upper limit in seconds for the random sleep set as a Retry-After header on 503 responses returned when max-queued-requests is enabled. 1800
ruby-load-path Sets the Puppet configuration directory's path. The agent's libdir value is added by default. '/opt/puppetlabs/puppet/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby', '/opt/puppetlabs/puppet/cache/lib'
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