Troubleshooting connections between components

If agent nodes can't retrieve configurations, check for communication, certificate, DNS , and NTP issues.

Agents can't reach the Puppet master

Agent nodes must be able to communicate with the Puppet master in order to retrieve configurations.

If agents can't reach the Puppet master, running telnet <puppet master's hostname> 8140 returns the error "Name or service not known."

  1. Verify that the Puppet master server is reachable at a DNS name your agents recognize.
  2. Verify that the pe-puppetserver service is running.

Agents don't have signed certificates

Agent certificates must be signed by the Puppet master.

If the node's Puppet agent logs have a warning about unverified peer certificates in the current SSL session, the agent has submitted a certificate signing request that hasn't yet been signed.

  1. On the master, view a list of pending certificate requests: puppet cert list
  2. Sign a specified node's certificate: puppet cert sign <NODE NAME>

Agents aren't using the master's valid DNS name

Agents trust the master only if they contact it at one of the valid hostnames specified when the master was installed.

On the node, if the results of puppet agent --configprint server don't return one of the valid DNS names you chose during installation of the master, the node and master can't establish communication.

  1. To edit the master's hostname on nodes, in /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/puppet.conf, change the server setting to a valid DNS name.
  2. To reset the master's valid DNS names, run:
    /etc/init.d/pe-nginx stop
    puppet cert clean <MASTER_CERTNAME>
    puppet cert generate <MASTER_CERTNAME> --dns_alt_names=<COMMA-SEPARATED_LIST_OF_DNS_NAMES>
    /etc/init.d/pe-nginx start

Time is out of sync

The date and time must be in sync on the Puppet master and agent nodes.

If time is out of sync on nodes, running date returns incorrect or inconsistent dates.

Get time in sync by setting up NTP. Keep in mind that NTP can behave unreliably on virtual machines.

Node certificates have invalid dates

The date and time must be in sync when certificates are created.

If certificates were signed out of sync, running openssl x509 -text -noout -in $(puppet master --configprint ssldir)/certs/<NODE NAME>.pem returns invalid dates, such as certificates dated in the future.

  1. On the master, delete certificates with invalid dates: puppet cert clean <NODE NAME>
  2. On nodes with invalid certificates, delete the SSL directory: rm -r $(puppet agent --configprint ssldir)
  3. On agent nodes, generate a new certificate request: puppet agent --test
  4. On the master, sign the request: puppet cert sign <NODE NAME>

A node is re-using a certname

If a node re-uses an old node's certname and the master retains the previous node's certificate, the new node is unable to request a new certificate.

  1. On the master, clear the node's certificate: puppet cert clean <NODE NAME>
  2. On agent node, generate a new certificate request: puppet agent --test
  3. On the master, sign the request: puppet cert sign <NODE NAME>

Agents can't reach the filebucket server

If the master is installed with a certname that doesn't match its hostname, agents can't back up files to the filebucket on the Puppet master.

If agents log errors like "could not back up," nodes are likely attempting to back up files to the wrong hostname.

On the master, edit /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests/site.pp so that filebucket server attribute points to the correct hostname:
# Define filebucket 'main':
filebucket { 'main':
  server => '<PUPPET_MASTER_DNS_NAME>',
  path   => false,

Changing the filebucket server attribute on the master fixes the error on all agent nodes.