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Setting up Puppet on Ubuntu 10.04

A walkthrough of setting up a basic Puppet configuration on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Table of contents


Puppet is the not quite so new automated server provisioning hotness. It allows you to provision and manage servers automatically from one Puppet Master Server. It is a great solution for quickly bringing up new VPS instances. Here is a quick walkthrough on how to get started on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS


I’m setting this up on two clean installs of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition. If you are using other Linux flavours things should work but your experience may vary.


To help learn Puppet I used two Ubuntu server instances in VirtualBox. If you choose to use VirtualBox in the network settings for the virtual machine choose Bridged Adapter to allow a network IP address to be assigned.

Next I installed the two servers from the .iso and gave the Puppet Master the hostname of puppetmaster and the Puppet Client the name of puppetclient. The rest of the install is standard, selecting no automatic updates, and installing no additional software.

Installing Puppet

Once you’ve installed the servers we can get going with the interesting stuff - installing and configuring Puppet. There is a package available for Puppet in aptitude but I found I had issues with this so instead I recommend that you install it via RubyGems so let’s get that installed

First install packages required by Puppet via aptitude

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install irb libopenssl-ruby libreadline-ruby rdoc ri ruby ruby-dev

Now we can install RubyGems

cd /usr/local/src
sudo wget
sudo tar -xzf rubygems-1.5.2.tgz
cd rubygems-1.5.2
sudo ruby setup.rb
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gem gem /usr/bin/gem1.8 1
sudo gem update --system

And finally Puppet

sudo gem install puppet

All done!

Configuring Puppet

I’m assuming you have completed the installation of Puppet on both the puppet master and client servers. I’m working locally so I need to explicity set the ip addresses of my Puppet Master and client in my /etc/hosts file. To find out the internally assigned ip address run


You want the entry that say inet addr: - it should be something like

Then you need to update the /etc/hosts file on each machine with each machine’s ip address puppetmaster puppet puppetclient.example puppetclient

Now on the Puppet Master you need to set up the puppet configuration in /etc. John Arundel of Bitfield Consulting has created a handy tarball that you can use as a template. Let’s get it

cd /etc
sudo wget
sudo tar -xzf powering-up-with-puppet.tar.gz

This provides a basic stucture for Puppet configuration. We’ll come onto writing manifests in a later post. Now we can start the Puppet daemon, making the relevant system users in the process

puppet master --mkusers --verbose --no-daemonize

If you see it start then great. I encountered a bug here that meant the Puppet Master Deamon failed to start. The issue here is that file ownership isn’t set correctly I fixed this with

chown -R puppet:puppet /var/lib/puppet

Once you are sure everything is ok you can daemonize Puppet with

puppet master

Finally we can run a local test to make sure that everything is running as expected

puppet agent --test --server=`hostname`

You should see something like

info: Caching catalog for puppetmaster
info: Applying configuration version '1298651839'
notice: Finished catalog run in 0.25 seconds

Next we’ll look at connecting the client to the Puppet Master, creating manifests before moving on to managing users. Stay tuned!

Have an update or suggestion for this article? You can edit it here and send me a pull request.


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