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Puppetizing Your Ubuntu Node

Before we get started, let’s first understand what puppet agent and puppet master are. Puppet agent is a software that runs on a node (server or client) and communicates with the puppet master to receive configuration instructions. The puppet master is a server that stores and manages the configuration instructions for all the nodes in your infrastructure.

Now that we have a basic understanding of puppet agent and puppet master, let’s dive into the installation process.

Step 1: Install puppet agent on the Ubuntu node

First, we need to add the puppet repository to our Ubuntu server. Run the following command:

wget <https://apt.puppetlabs.com/puppet6-release-bionic.deb>
sudo dpkg -i puppet6-release-bionic.deb

Next, update the package manager and install puppet agent:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install puppet-agent

Verify that puppet agent is installed by checking the version:

puppet --version

Step 2: Link the Ubuntu node to the puppet master

Before we can link the Ubuntu node to the puppet master, we need to retrieve the certificate signing request (CSR) from the node. Run the following command on the Ubuntu node:

puppet agent --test --waitforcert 10

This will generate a CSR and send it to the puppet master. Now, go to the puppet master and sign the CSR using the following command:

puppet cert sign <nodename>

Replace <nodename> with the actual name of the node.

Step 3: Configure the puppet master

Now that the Ubuntu node is linked to the puppet master, we need to configure the puppet master to manage the node. Open the puppet configuration file on the puppet master:

sudo nano /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/puppet.conf

Add the following lines to the file:

[main]
server = puppet-master.example.com
environment = production

Replace “puppet-master.example.com” with the actual hostname of the puppet master. Save and close the file.

Step 4: Apply the puppet configuration to the node

Now that the puppet master is configured, we can apply the puppet configuration to the node. Run the following command on the Ubuntu node:

puppet agent --test

This will apply the configuration instructions from the puppet master to the node.

Bonus tip: Use Hiera for data management

Puppet has a feature called Hiera, which allows you to store and retrieve data in a hierarchical structure. This is especially useful for managing large infrastructures with multiple nodes.

Key takeaways

  • Puppet agent is a software that runs on a node and communicates with the puppet master to receive configuration instructions
  • The puppet master is a server that stores and manages the configuration instructions for all the nodes in your infrastructure
  • To install puppet agent on an Ubuntu node, you need to add the puppet repository and install the puppet-agent package
  • To link the Ubuntu node to the puppet master, you need to retrieve the certificate signing request (CSR) from the node and sign it on the puppet master
  • The puppet master can be configured by adding the server hostname and environment to the puppet configuration file
  • Hiera is a useful feature in puppet that allows you to store and retrieve data in a hierarchical structure

Tips for increased productivity

  1. Use puppet to automate repetitive tasks, such as installing packages and configuring services
  2. Use Hiera to easily manage data for multiple nodes
  3. Use roles and profiles in puppet to organize your configuration instructions and make them reusable
  4. Use puppet’s built-in reporting feature to track changes and troubleshoot issues
  5. Use puppet’s dry-run mode to test configuration changes before applying them

Challenge

Now that you have learned how to install puppet agent on an Ubuntu node and link it to a puppet master, try applying a simple configuration to the node. For example, you can use puppet to install an Apache web server and configure it to serve a simple webpage.

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