Config Files: environment.conf

This version is out of date.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

When using directory environments, each environment may contain an environment.conf file. This file can override several settings whenever the Puppet master is serving nodes assigned to that environment.


Each environment.conf file should be stored in a directory environment. It should be at the top level of its home environment, next to the manifests and modules directories.

For example: if your environmentpath setting is set to $confdir/environments, the environment.conf file for the test environment should be located at $confdir/environments/test/environment.conf.


# /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/environments/test/environment.conf

# Puppet Enterprise requires $basemodulepath; see note below under "modulepath".
modulepath = site:dist:modules:$basemodulepath

# Use our custom script to get a git commit for the current state of the code:
config_version =


The environment.conf file uses the same INI-like format as puppet.conf, with one exception: it cannot contain config sections like [main]. All settings in environment.conf must be outside any config section.

Relative Paths in Values

Most of the allowed settings accept file paths or lists of paths as their values.

If any of these paths are relative paths — that is, they start without a leading slash or drive letter — they will be resolved relative to that environment’s main directory.

For example:

  • Environment directory: /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/environments/test
  • Relative setting in environment.conf: config_version =
  • Equivalent value for setting: config_version = /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/environments/test/

Interpolation in Values

The settings in environment.conf can use the values of other settings as variables (e.g., $confdir). Additionally, the config_version setting can use the special $environment variable, which gets replaced with the name of the active environment. As of Puppet 3.7.1, you can interpolate $environment only into the config_version setting.

The most useful variables to interpolate into environment.conf settings are:

  • $basemodulepath — useful for including the default module directories in the modulepath setting. Puppet Enterprise users should usually include this in the value of modulepath, since PE uses modules in the basemodulepath to configure orchestration and other features.
  • $environment — useful as a command line argument to your config_version script. You can interpolate this variable only in the config_version setting.
  • $confdir — useful for locating files.

Allowed Settings

In this version of Puppet, the environment.conf file is only allowed to override five settings:

  • modulepath
  • manifest
  • parser (Puppet 3.7.5 and later)
  • config_version
  • environment_timeout


The list of directories Puppet will load modules from. See the reference page on the modulepath for more details about how Puppet uses it.

If this setting isn’t set, the modulepath for the environment will be:


That is, Puppet will add the environment’s modules directory to the value of the basemodulepath setting from puppet.conf, with the environment’s modules getting priority. If the modules directory is empty or absent, Puppet will only use modules from directories in the basemodulepath. A directory environment will never use the global modulepath from puppet.conf.


The main manifest the Puppet master will use when compiling catalogs for this environment. This can be one file or a directory of manifests to be evaluated in alphabetical order. Puppet manages this path as a directory if one exists or if the path ends with a / or .

If this setting isn’t set, Puppet will use the environment’s manifests directory as the main manifest, even if it is empty or absent. A directory environment will never use the global manifest from puppet.conf.


Whether to use the 3.x parser (current) or the 4.x parser (future). If present, this will override the value of parser from puppet.conf.

This is useful when preparing for a migration to Puppet 4: you can switch a limited test environment to using the Puppet 4 version of the Puppet language, and catch any failures or behavior changes without affecting your main production environments.

More info: full description of the parser setting.


A script Puppet can run to determine the configuration version.

Puppet automatically adds a config version to every catalog it compiles, as well as to messages in reports. The version is an arbitrary piece of data that can be used to identify catalogs and events.

You can specify an executable script that will determine an environment’s config version by setting config_version in its environment.conf file. Puppet will run this script when compiling a catalog for a node in the environment, and use its output as the config version.

Note: If you’re using a system binary like git rev-parse, make sure to specify the absolute path to it! If config_version is set to a relative path, Puppet will look for the binary in the environment, not in the system’s PATH.

If this setting isn’t set, the config version will be the time at which the catalog was compiled (as the number of seconds since January 1, 1970). A directory environment will never use the global config_version from puppet.conf.


How long the Puppet master should cache the data it loads from an environment. If present, this will override the value of environment_timeout from puppet.conf.

  • Unless you have a specific reason, we recommend only setting environment_timeout globally, in puppet.conf.
  • We also don’t recommend using any value other than 0 or unlimited.

For more information about configuring the environment timeout, see the timeout section of the Configuring Environments page.

Puppet sites use proprietary and third-party cookies. By using our sites, you agree to our cookie policy.