Puppet 4.5 reference manual

Puppet Server honors most settings in puppet.conf and picks them up automatically. However, for some tasks, such as configuring the web server or an external Certificate Authority (CA), Puppet Server has separate configuration files and settings.

These files and settings are described below. For more information about differences between Puppet Server and the Ruby Puppet master’s use of puppet.conf settings, see Puppet Server: Differing Behavior in puppet.conf.

Configuration Files

Puppet Server’s configuration files and settings (with the exception of the logging config file) are in the conf.d directory, located by default at /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/conf.d. These config files are in the HOCON format, which keeps the basic structure of JSON but is more readable. For more information, see the HOCON documentation.

At startup, Puppet Server reads all the .conf files in the conf.d directory. You must restart Puppet Server for any changes to those files to take effect. The conf.d directory contains the following files and settings:


Puppet Server’s logging is routed through the JVM Logback library. The default Logback configuration file is at /etc/puppetserver/logback.xml or /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/logback.xml. You can edit this file to change the logging behavior, or specify a different Logback config file in global.conf.

For more information on the logback.xml file, see its documentation and the Logback documentation. For advanced logging configuration tips, such as configuring Logstash or outputting logs in JSON format, see the Advanced Logging Configuration guide.

For some tips on advanced logging configuration, including information about configuring your system to write logs in a JSON format suitable for sending to logstash or other external logging systems, see the Advanced Logging Configuration documentation.

HTTP Traffic

Puppet Server logs HTTP traffic in a format similar to Apache, and to a separate file than the main log file. By default, this is located at /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver/puppetserver-access.log (open source releases) and /var/log/pe-puppetserver/puppetserver-access.log (Puppet Enterprise).

By default, the following information is logged for each HTTP request:

  • remote host
  • remote log name
  • remote user
  • date of the logging event
  • URL requested
  • status code of the request
  • response content length
  • remote IP address
  • local port
  • elapsed time to serve the request, in milliseconds

The Logback configuration file is at /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/request-logging.xml. You can edit this file to change the logging behavior. Specify a different Logback configuration file in webserver.conf with the access-log-config setting. For more information on configuring the logged data, see Logback Access Pattern Layout.


To enable additional logging related to auth.conf, edit Puppet Server’s logback.xml file. By default, only a single message is logged when a request is denied.

To enable a one-time logging of the parsed and transformed auth.conf file, add the following to Puppet Server’s logback.xml file:

<logger name="puppetlabs.trapperkeeper.services.authorization.authorization-service" level="DEBUG"/>

To enable rule-by-rule logging for each request as it’s checked for authorization, add the following to Puppet Server’s logback.xml file:

<logger name="puppetlabs.trapperkeeper.authorization.rules" level="TRACE"/>

Service Bootstrapping

Puppet Server is built on top of our open-source Clojure application framework, Trapperkeeper. One of the features that Trapperkeeper provides is the ability to enable or disable individual services that an application provides. In Puppet Server, you can use this feature to enable or disable the CA service, by modifying your bootstrap.cfg file (usually located in /etc/puppetserver/bootstrap.cfg). In that file, find the lines that look like this:

# To enable the CA service, leave the following line uncommented
# To disable the CA service, comment out the above line and uncomment the line below

In most cases, you’ll want the CA service enabled. However, if you’re running a multi-master environment or using an external CA, you might want to disable the CA service on some nodes.

Enabling the Insecure SSLv3 Protocol

Puppet Server usually cannot use SSLv3, because it is disabled by default at the JRE layer. (As of javase 7u75 / 1.7.0_u75. See the 7u75 Update Release Notes for more information.)

You should almost always leave SSLv3 disabled, because it is compromized by the POODLE vulnerability and no longer secure. If you have clients that can’t use newer protocols, you should try to upgrade them instead of downgrading Puppet Server.

However, if you absolutely must, you can allow Puppet Server to negotiate with SSLv3 clients.

To enable SSLv3 at the JRE layer, first create a properties file (for example, /etc/sysconfig/puppetserver-properties/java.security) with the following content:

# Override properties in $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/security/java.security
# An empty value enables all algorithms including INSECURE SSLv3
# java should be started with
# -Djava.security.properties=/etc/sysconfig/puppetserver-properties/java.security
# for this file to take effect.

Once this property file exists, update JAVA_ARGS, typically defined in /etc/sysconfig/puppetserver, and add the option -Djava.security.properties=/etc/sysconfig/puppetserver-properties/java.security. This will configure the JVM to override the jdk.tls.disabledAlgorithms property defined in $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/security/java.security. Restart the puppetserver service for this setting to take effect.

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