Managing environment content with a Puppetfile
A Puppetfile specifies detailed information about each environment's Puppet code and data, including where to get that code and data from, where to install it, and whether to update it.
Both Code Manager and r10k use a Puppetfile to install and manage the content of your environments.
The Puppetfile specifies the modules and data that you want in each environment. The Puppetfile can specify what version of modules you want, how the modules and data are to be loaded, and where they are placed in the environment.
A Puppetfile is a formatted text file that specifies the modules and data that you want brought into your control repo. Typically, a Puppetfile controls content such as:
- Modules from the Forge
- Modules from Git repositories
- Data from Git repositories
For each environment that you want to manage content in, you need a
Puppetfile. Create a base Puppetfile in your default environment (usually
production). As you create new branches
based on your default branch, each environment inherits this base Puppetfile. You can then edit each environment's Puppetfile as needed.
Managing modules with a Puppetfile
With code management, install and manage your modules only with a Puppetfile.
Almost all Puppet manifests are kept in modules, collections
of Puppet code and data with a specific directory structure.
By default, Code Manager and r10k
install content in a modules directory (
./modules) in the same directory
the Puppetfile is in. For example, declaring the
puppetlabs-apache module in the Puppetfile normally installs the module into
./modules/apache. To learn more about
modules, see the module documentation.
With Code Manager and r10k, do
not use the
puppet module command to install or manage
modules. Instead, code management depends on the Puppetfile in each of your environments to install,
update, and manage your modules. If you've installed modules to the live code
puppet module install, Code Manager deletes them.
The Puppetfile does NOT include Forge module dependency resolution. You must make sure that you have every module needed for all of your specified modules to run. In addition, Forge module symlinks are unsupported; when you install modules with r10k or Code Manager, symlinks are not installed.
Including your own modules
If you develop your own modules, maintain them in version control and include them in
your Puppetfile as you would declare any module from a
repository. If you have content in your control repo's module directory that is
not listed in your Puppetfile, code management
purges it. (The control repo module directory is, by default,
relative to the location of the Puppetfile.)
When you install or update a module, you must trigger Code Manager or r10k to deploy the new or updated code to your environments.
specdirectories. These directories are for testing only, and they are not useful in a production environment. If you would like to include a module's
specdirectory when deploying, add
exclude_spec: falseto the module declaration in your Puppetfile.
With Code Manager, you can deploy code on the command line or using a webhook:
Creating a Puppetfile
Your Puppetfile manages the content you want to maintain in that environment.
In a Puppetfile, you can declare:
- Modules from the Forge.
- Modules from a Git repository.
- Data or other non-module content (such as Hiera data) from a Git repository.
You can declare any or all of this content as needed for each environment. Each module or
repository is specified with a
mod directive, along with the name of
the content and other information the Puppetfile needs so
that it can correctly install and update your modules and data.
It's best to create your first Puppetfile in your production branch. Then, as you create branches based on your production branch, edit each branch's Puppetfile as needed.
Create a Puppetfile
Create a Puppetfile that manages the content maintained in your environment.
Set up a control repo, with
production as the default branch. To learn more about control repositories,
see the control
Create a Puppetfile in your production
branch, and then edit it to declare the content in your production environment with the
On your production branch, in the root directory,
create a file named
In a text editor, for example Visual Studio Code (VS Code), edit the Puppetfile, declaring modules and data content for your
environment. Note that Puppet has an extension for VS Code that supports syntax highlighting of
the Puppet language.
You can declare modules from the Forge or you can declare Git repositories in your Puppetfile. See the related topics about declaring content in the Puppetfile for details and code examples.
Change the Puppetfile module installation directory
If needed, you can change the directory to which the Puppetfile installs all modules.
To specify a module installation path other than the default modules
./modules), use the
This directive applies to all content declared in the Puppetfile. You must specify this as a relative path at the top of the Puppetfile, before you list any modules.
To change the installation paths for only certain modules or data,
declare those content sources as Git repositories and set
install_path option. This option
moduledir directive. See
the related topic about how to declare content as a Git
repo for instructions.
moduledirdirective at the top of the Puppetfile, specifying your module installation directory relative to the location of the Puppetfile.
Declare Forge modules in the Puppetfile
Declare Forge modules in your Puppetfile, specifying the version and whether or not code management keeps the module updated.
forgesetting that provides legacy compatibility with
librarian-puppet. This setting is non-operational for Code Manager and r10k. To configure how Forge modules are downloaded, specify
forge_settingsin Hiera instead. See the topics about configuring the Forge settings for Code Manager or r10k for details.
moddirective. For each module, pass the module name as a string, and optionally, specify what version of the module you want to track.
you specify no options, code management installs the
latest version and keeps the module at that version.
To keep the module updated, specify
install a specific version of the module and keep it
at that version, specify the version number as a
mod 'puppetlabs/apache' mod 'puppetlabs/ntp', :latest mod 'puppetlabs/stdlib', '0.10.0'
- Installs the latest version of the apache module, but does not update it.
- Installs the latest version of the ntp module, and updates it when environments are deployed.
- Installs version 0.10.0 of the stdlib module, and does not update it.
Declare Git repositories in the Puppetfile
List the modules, data, or other non-module content that you want to install from a Git repository.
To specify any environment content as a Git
repository, use the
mod directive with the
option. This is useful for modules you don't get from the Forge, such as your own modules, as well as data or
other non-module content.
:gitdirective. Optionally, specify an
:install_pathfor the content.
This example installs the apache module and keeps that module updated with the master branch of the listed repository. It also installs site data content from a Git repository into the environment's
mod 'apache', :git => 'https://github.com/puppetlabs/puppetlabs-apache' mod 'site_data', :git => 'email@example.com:site_data.git', :install_path => 'hieradata'
:install_path option. Use this option with non-module content to keep your data separate from your modules.
Specify installation paths for repositories
You can set individual installation paths for any of the repositories that you declare in the Puppetfile.
option allows you to separate non-module content in your directory structure or to set
specific installation paths for individual modules. When you set this option for a specific
repository, it overrides the
install_pathoption. To install into the root of the environment, specify an empty value.
mod 'site_data_1', :git => 'firstname.lastname@example.org:site_data_1.git', :install_path => 'hieradata' mod 'site_data_2', :git => 'email@example.com:site_data_2.git', :install_path => ''
This example installs site data content from the
./hieradata/site_data and content from
Declare module or data content with SSH private key authentication
To declare content protected by SSH private keys, declare the content as a repository, and then configure the private key setting in your code management tool.
Declare your repository content, specifying the Git
repo by the SSH URL.
mod 'myco/privatemod', :git => 'firstname.lastname@example.org:myco/privatemod.git'Note: If modifying the Puppetfile triggers a code deployment, expect the code deployment to fail. You must complete the next step to get a successful code deployment.
Configure the private key settings by modifying the following Code Manager or r10k
parameters in Hiera:
- To set a key for all Git
operations, use the private key setting under
- To set a private key for an individual remote, set the
private key in the
git-settingsfor each specific remote.
- To set a key for all Git operations, use the private key setting under
Keep repository content at a specific version
The Puppetfile can maintain repository content at a specific version.
To specify a particular repository version, declare the version you want to track with your choice of the following options. Setting one of these options maintains the repository at that version and deploys any updates you make to that particular version.
ref: Specifies the Git reference to check out. This option can reference either a tag, a commit, or a branch.
tag: Specifies the repository by a certain tag value.
commit: Specifies the repository by a certain commit.
branch: Specifies a certain branch of the repository.
default_branch: Specifies a default branch to use for deployment if the specified
branchcannot be deployed. You must also specify one of the other version options. This is useful if you are tracking a relative branch of the control repository.
puppetlabs/apache and specify the '0.9.0' tag, use the
mod 'apache', :git => 'https://github.com/puppetlabs/puppetlabs-apache', :tag => '0.9.0'
puppetlabs/apache and use the
branch option to track the ‘proxy_match’ branch.
mod 'apache', :git => 'https://github.com/puppetlabs/puppetlabs-apache', :branch => 'proxy_match'
puppetlabs/apache and use the
option to track the '8df51aa' commit.
mod 'apache', :git => 'https://github.com/puppetlabs/puppetlabs-apache', :commit => '8df51aa'
Declare content from a relative control repo branch
option also has a special
option, which allows you to deploy content from a control repo branch relative to the location
of the Puppetfile.
branchtracks a specific named branch of a repo, such as testing. If you set it to
:control_branch, it instead tracks whatever control repo branch the Puppetfile is in. For example, if your Puppetfile is in the production branch, content from the production branch is deployed; if a duplicate Puppetfile is located in testing, content from testing is deployed. This means that as you create new branches, you don't have to edit the inherited Puppetfile as extensively.
:branchoption set to
mod 'hieradata', :git => 'email@example.com:organization/hieradata.git', :branch => :control_branch
Set a default branch for content deployment
default_branch option to specify what branch code management deploys content from
if the given option for your repository cannot be deployed.
If you specified a
branch option for your repository, and it cannot be resolved and deployed,
code management can instead deploy the
default_branch. This is mostly useful when you set
branch to the
If your specified content cannot be resolved and you have not set a default branch, or if the default branch cannot be resolved, code management logs an error and does not deploy or update the content.
default_branchoption to the branch you want to deploy if your specified option fails.
# Track control branch and fall-back to master if no matching branch. mod 'hieradata', :git => 'firstname.lastname@example.org:organization/hieradata.git', :branch => :control_branch, :default_branch => 'master'