A batteries-included environment for debugging Puppet powered infrastructure.

Language: Ruby

Puppet Debugging Kit

The only good bug is a dead bug.

This project provides a batteries-included Vagrant environment for debugging Puppet powered infrastructures.


Getting the debugging kit ready for use consists of three steps:

  • Ensure the proper Vagrant plugins are installed.

  • Create VM definitions in config/vms.yaml.

  • Clone Puppet Open Source projects to src/puppetlabs (optional).

Rake tasks and templates are provided to help with all three steps.

Install Vagrant Plugins

Two methods are avaible depending on whether a global Vagrant installation, such as provided by the official packages from, is in use:

  • rake setup:global: This Rake task will add all plugins required by the debugging kit to a global Vagrant installation.

  • rake setup:sandboxed: This Rake task will use Bundler to create a completely sandboxed Vagrant installation that includes the plugins required by the debugging kit. The contents of the sandbox can be customized by creating a Gemfile.local that specifies additional gems and Bundler environment parameters.

Create VM Definitions

Debugging Kit virtual machine definitions are stored in the file config/vms.yaml and an example is provided as config/vms.yaml.example. The example can simply be copied to config/vms.yaml but it contains a large number of VM definitions which adds some notable lag to Vagrant start-up times. Start-up lag can be remedied by pruning unwanted definitions after copying the example file.

Clone Puppet Open Source Projects

The poss-envpuppet role is designed to run Puppet in guest machines directly from Git clones located on the host machine at src/puppetlabs/. This role is useful for inspecting and debugging changes in behavior between versions without re-installing packages. The required Git clones can be created by running the following Rake task:

rake setup:poss


Use of the debugging kit consists of:

  • Creating a new VM definition in config/vms.yaml. The box component determines which Vagrant basebox will be used. The default baseboxes can be found in data/puppet_debugging_kit/boxes.yaml.

  • Assigning a list of "roles" that customize the VM behavior. The role list can be viewed as a stack in which the last entry is applied first. Most VMs start with the base role which auto-assigns an IP address and sets up network connectivity. The default roles can be found in data/puppet_debugging_kit/roles.yaml and are explained in more detail below.

PE Specific Roles

There are three roles that assist with creating PE machines:

  • pe-forward-console: This role sets up a port forward for console accesss from 443 on the guest VM to 4443 on the host machine. If some other running VM is already forwarding to 4443 on the host, Vagrant will choose a random port number that will be displayed in the log output when the VM starts up.

  • pe-<version>-master: This role performs an all-in-one master installation of PE <version> on the guest VM. When specifying the version number, remove any separators such that 3.2.1 becomes 321. The PE console is configured with username and password puppetlabs.

  • pe-<version>-agent: This role performs an agent installation of PE <version> on the guest VM. The agent is configured to contact a master running at pe-<version>-master.puppetdebug.vlan --- so ensure a VM with that hostname is configured and running before bringing up any agents.

POSS Specific Roles

There are a few roles that assist with creating VMs that run Puppet Open Source Software (POSS).

  • poss-apt-repos: This role configures access to the official repositories at for Debian and Ubuntu VMs.

  • poss-yum-repos: This role configures access to the official repositories at for CentOS and Fedora VMs.

Extending and Contributing

The debugging kit can be thought of as a library of configuration and data for Oscar. Data is loaded from two sets of YAML files:

└── *.yaml         # <-- User-specific customizations
└── puppet_debugging_kit
    └── *.yaml     # <-- The debugging kit library

Everything under data/puppet_debugging_kit is loaded first. In order to avoid merge conflicts when the library is updated, these files should never be edited unless you plan to submit your changes as a pull request.

The contents of config/*.yaml are loaded next and can be used to extend or override anything provided by data/puppet_debugging_kit. These files are not tracked by Git and are where user-specific customizations should go.

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Charlie Sharpsteen Nick Walker Jay Wallace Lee Lowder Tyler Pace Thomas Kishel

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A batteries-included environment for debugging Puppet powered infrastructure.
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