Puppet – automated administrative engine

Puppet offers an automatic way to inspect, deliver, operate and future-proof software, regardless where it runs. It’s a very comprehensive tool with core configuration management capabilities and functionality out-of-the-box.

The software allows system administrators to centrally manage every important aspect of a system using a cross-platform specification language that manages all the separate elements normally aggregated in different files, like users, cron jobs, and hosts, along with obviously discrete elements like packages, services, and files.

Puppet’s simple declarative specification language provides powerful classing abilities for drawing out the similarities between hosts while allowing them to be as specific as necessary, and it handles dependency and prerequisite relationships between objects clearly and explicitly. As the language is declarative, you only need to detail the desired end state(s) of the system and Puppet sorts out the rest.

The primary design goal of Puppet is that it has an expressive enough language backed by a powerful enough library that you can write your own server automation applications in just a few lines of code.

Puppet consists of:

  • A puppet-agent “All-in-One” package that installs Puppet, Ruby, Facter, Hiera, and supporting code.
  • A puppetserver package that installs Puppet Server.
  • A puppetdb package that installs PuppetDB.

Features include:

  • Custom declarative language to describe system configuration.
  • Manages any type of machine including workstations.
  • Helps reduce your overheads.
  • Powerful, flexible and extensible.
  • Puppet uses Facter, a system profiling library. It discovers and reports per-node facts, which are available in your Puppet manifests as variables.
  • Reproduce any configuration on any number of additional systems.
  • Built-in facilities known as classes.
  • Huge collection of modules: reusable, sharable units of code that extend Puppet across your infrastructure by automating tasks including setting up a web server, mail server, database, and much more.
  • Active user community.

Puppet comes in two versions, Puppet Enterprise and Open Source Puppet. In addition to providing functionalities of Open Source Puppet, Puppet Enterprise also provides GUI, API and command line tools for node management.

Website: puppet.com/open-source
Support: Documentation, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Puppet Labs
License: Apache License v2.0

Facter is written in C++ while Puppet Server and Puppet DB are written in Clojure. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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