Automating server installation and maintenance with Puppet

Bring your laptop for a hands-on intro to Puppet

by Nelis Boucké & Johan Peeters


If you do the same thing three times, it should be automated. How do you do that for systems administration? Puppet is an open source configuration management tool that provides a declarative language to describe your systems' target state, both on Unix and Microsoft Windows systems. Come to this session to experience Puppets' possibilities and limitations.

Goal of the session: Give the participants hands-on experience using puppet.
Intended audience: Anyone who (occasionally) needs to set up a server. (see Personas)
Experience level: basic linux knowledge helps
Session Type: Hands-on
Topic: Technology and Technique
Duration: 90 min
Max participants: 25
Laptops required: yes

Detailed Description

Before we used Puppet, server infrastructure was a source of frustration. It was something we did not have under control.

Here are 2 examples from our experience:

Puppet is an open source configuration management tool that uses a declarative configuration language giving developers and system administrators control over complex server configurations. Puppet is designed to manage the configuration of Unix and Microsoft Windows systems. Puppet competes in the automated configuration management niche with other tools such as Chef and CFEngine.

In this session, we want you to get a flavor of Puppet's possibilities and limitations by working through some hands-on exercises. At the end of the session, we share experiences and debate where the use of Puppet is appropriate.
The session is based on the tutorial and learning VM provided by Puppet Labs. We coach participants to work through the tutorial and provide help with the most relevant exercises. While the tutorial and learning VM are great for self-study, we believe we can accelerate participants’ learning by focusing on salient points, encouraging to skip less important details and explaining poorly understood concepts. At the end of the session there is time to reflect on the use of Puppet and to discuss the experiences of participants and presenters.

After the session, you should

Participants are expected to bring their own laptop that either has VMWare or virtual box installed, and enough free resources to run a virtual machine with minimal 512MB memory (or better: 1GB) and a few gigabytes of free diskspace. If possible, download and install the learning environment beforehand from

Created: 02/07/12 11:51 -- Modified: 27/10/12 15:48
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