How to Install and Configure Puppet 7 Server on Ubuntu 20.04

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In this guide, we are going to install Puppet 7 Server Open Source in Ubuntu 20.04. We will set up a Puppet server and an agent and install Nginx using puppet manifests.

Puppet is a software configuration management tool which includes its own declarative language to describe system configuration. It is a model-driven solution that requires limited programming knowledge to use.  Puppet operates in an agent-master architecture, in which a master node controls configuration information for a fleet of managed agent nodes.

Puppet is distributed in several packages. These include puppetserverpuppet-agent and puppetdb. Puppet Server controls the configuration information for one or more managed agent nodes. PuppetDB is where the data generated by Puppet is stored.

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To follow along, ensure that you have:

  • Updated Ubuntu 20.04 Puppet Server and Puppet Agent machine
  • Root access to the servers
  • Internet access from the server
  • Knowledge of Linux terminal

Table of Content

  1. Ensuring the servers are up to date
  2. Set up Hostname
  3. Installing Puppet
  4. Configure puppet master and agent
  5. Starting and enabling puppet service
  6. Open Service Port on the firewall
  7. Add Puppet Binary folder to $PATH
  8. Start the Puppet client
  9. Verify the Puppet Agent Configuration
  10. Create Simple Manifest to Deploy Nginx

1. Ensuring the servers are up to date

Before proceeding let us ensure that the server packages are up to date with the following command:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y

2. Set up Hostname

Puppet uses server hostnames to push manifests to the nodes. Connect to the puppet master.

The set up hostname:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname

Ensure the hostname has proper DNS record and also update /etc/hosts file.

sudo vim /etc/hosts

Add this content: puppetmaster

Confirm that the hostname reflects:

$ sudo hostnamectl
   Static hostname:
         Icon name: computer-vm
           Chassis: vm
        Machine ID: ec215f021179fb425bc6e4df9393a66f
           Boot ID: a42cfac1fa654d3cb2a75f127ca8b540
    Virtualization: kvm
  Operating System: Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS
            Kernel: Linux 5.11.0-1028-aws
      Architecture: x86-64

Confirm that you can reach

$ ping puppetmaster
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.018 ms
64 bytes from ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.030 ms
--- ping statistics ---
2 packets transmitted, 2 received, 0% packet loss, time 1008ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.018/0.024/0.030/0.006 ms

3. Install Puppet Server

Enabling the Puppet platform repository makes the components needed for installation available on your system.

curl -LO
sudo dpkg -i ./puppet7-release-focal.deb

Puppet Server is a required application that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on the primary server.

In addition to hosting endpoints for the certificate authority service, Puppet Server also powers the catalog compiler, which compiles configuration catalogs for agent nodes, using Puppet code and various other data sources.

In this section, you will install the puppetserver package and start the service.

Install the Puppet Server package

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y puppetserver

4. Configure Puppet Master and Agent

After the installation is complete, we need to configure the memory allocation for puppetserver. We will set the max memory allocation for puppetserver to 1GB.

Edit the ‘puppetserver’ configuration using vim.

sudo vim /etc/default/puppetserver

Now change the line as below, then save and exit.

JAVA_ARGS="-Xms1g -Xmx1g ..."

Define Puppet Master FQDN and DNS alternative names:

sudo vim /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/puppet.conf

Add the DNS settings under the [server] section.

vardir = /opt/puppetlabs/server/data/puppetserver
logdir = /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver
rundir = /var/run/puppetlabs/puppetserver
pidfile = /var/run/puppetlabs/puppetserver/
codedir = /etc/puppetlabs/code

Add main section – this is the puppet agent configs.

certname =
server =
environment = production
runinterval = 30m

5. Starting and enabling puppet service

Once the in stallation and configuration is done, we can start the puppet server using this command:

sudo systemctl start puppetserver

Check status of puppetserver using this command:

$ sudo systemctl status puppetserver
● puppetserver.service - puppetserver Service
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/puppetserver.service; disabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Thu 2022-03-03 21:29:15 UTC; 11s ago
    Process: 19488 ExecStart=/opt/puppetlabs/server/apps/puppetserver/bin/puppetserver start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 19515 (java)
      Tasks: 45 (limit: 4915)
     Memory: 978.2M
     CGroup: /system.slice/puppetserver.service
             └─19515 /usr/bin/java -Xms2g -Xmx2g -Djruby.logger.class=com.puppetlabs.jruby_utils.jruby.Slf4jLogger -XX:OnOutOfMemoryError=kill -9 %p -XX:ErrorFile=/var>

Mar 03 21:28:50 systemd[1]: Starting puppetserver Service...
Mar 03 21:29:15 systemd[1]: Started puppetserver Service.

Check if you installed the Puppet Server correctly, by running: puppetserver -v

# puppetserver -v
puppetserver version: 7.6.0

Now you can enable puppet server to always start on boot:

sudo systemctl enable puppetserver

7. Open Service Port on the firewall

With the service started, open the port on the firewall so you can access the server from the network. This is only needed if you enforce firewall rules and you have firewalld installed.

sudo firewall-cmd --add-port=8140/tcp --permanent
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

8. Add Puppet Binary folder to $PATH

Puppet binaries are located in /opt/puppetlabs/bin. This directory by default is not in your $PATH.

echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/opt/puppetlabs/bin' | tee -a ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

9. Start the Puppet client

Let’s start puppet agent service as we’ll use it for some testing.

Let us register the puppet agent to the puppet master.

Start puppet agent:

sudo systemctl start puppet

Check the status using this command:

$ sudo systemctl status puppet
● puppet.service - Puppet agent
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/puppet.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Thu 2022-03-03 21:32:35 UTC; 5s ago
   Main PID: 19779 (puppet)
      Tasks: 1 (limit: 4624)
     Memory: 61.5M
     CGroup: /system.slice/puppet.service
             └─19779 /opt/puppetlabs/puppet/bin/ruby /opt/puppetlabs/puppet/bin/puppet agent --no-daemonize

Mar 03 21:32:35 systemd[1]: Started Puppet agent.
Mar 03 21:32:36 puppet-agent[19779]: Starting Puppet client version 7.14.0
Mar 03 21:32:38 puppet-agent[19780]: Applied catalog in 0.01 seconds

10. Verify the Puppet Agent Configuration

After the puppet master signed the certificate file for the agent, run command below on the puppet agent to verify the configuration

# puppet agent --test
Info: Using environment 'production'
Info: Retrieving pluginfacts
Info: Retrieving plugin
Info: Caching catalog for
Info: Applying configuration version '1646343518'
Notice: Applied catalog in 0.02 secondscp

The Puppet agent pulled the configuration from the puppet master and applied to the server without any error.

11. Create Simple Manifest to Deploy Nginx

With the puppet master and agent installation and configuration complete, let us create a simple manifest for testing. We will create a manifest to install Nginx web server.

The puppet manifess will be stored in the environment specific directory in the /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/<env> path. We have defined production in our case so let’s switch to the production manifests directory using this:

cd /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests

Create new manifest file.

vim site.pp

Paste the following configuration.

node '' {
     package { 'nginx':
         ensure  => "installed",
     service { 'nginx':
         ensure => running,
         enable => true

Save and exit.

Now open the puppet agent server shell and run the command below.

puppet agent -t

The command will retrieve new manifest configuration file from the puppet master and then apply it to the agent server.

You can also apply the changes using the puppet apply command.

Following is the result.

# puppet parser validate site.pp
# puppet apply site.pp
Notice: Compiled catalog for in environment production in 0.33 seconds
Notice: /Stage[main]/Main/Node[]/Package[nginx]/ensure: created
Notice: Applied catalog in 6.06 seconds

You can check Nginx using this command:

$ sudo systemctl status nginx
● nginx.service - A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Thu 2022-03-03 21:40:32 UTC; 1min 44s ago
       Docs: man:nginx(8)
   Main PID: 20439 (nginx)
      Tasks: 3 (limit: 4624)
     Memory: 4.3M
     CGroup: /system.slice/nginx.service
             ├─20439 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on; master_process on;
             ├─20440 nginx: worker process
             └─20441 nginx: worker process

Mar 03 21:40:32 systemd[1]: Starting A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server...
Mar 03 21:40:32 systemd[1]: Started A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server.

The nginx web server has been installed using the puppet manifest.


We managed to install and configure the Puppet Master and Puppet Agent on Ubuntu 20.04 Server successfully.

I am a Devops Engineer, but I would describe myself as a Tech Enthusiast who is a fan of Open Source, Linux, Automations, Cloud and Virtualization. I love learning and exploring new things so I blog in my free time about Devops related stuff, Linux, Automations and Open Source software. I can also code in Python and Golang.

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