caseywilliams / puppet-agent

All of the directions for building a puppet agent package.

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The Puppet Agent

  • Overview
  • Runtime requirements
  • Building puppet-agent
  • Branches in puppet-agent
  • Installer plugin for OSX
  • License
  • Maintainers
  • Running Tests


The puppet agent is a collection of software that is required for puppet and its dependencies to run. This includes puppet, facter, and other Puppet software, but also vendored dependencies like ruby, curl, openssl, and more.

This repository contains configuration to build puppet-agent and the facter gem for all of Puppet's supported platforms using vanagon, a packaging utiltiy.

The full list of software components built into the puppet agent and the facter gem can be found in their project definitions, and each of the components has its own configuration in the components directory.

Components that are not developed by Puppet (like ruby, curl, or openssl) are built separately into a tarball and consumed here in the puppet-runtime component. See the puppet-runtime project for more information and a full list of the vendored dependencies it provides.

Runtime Requirements

Ruby and bundler are required to build puppet-agent. The Gemfile specifies all of the necessary ruby libraries to build a puppet-agent package. Additionally, puppet-agent requires a VM to build within for each desired package.

Environment variables


The location of Vanagon in the Gemfile can be overridden with the environment variable VANAGON_LOCATION. Can be set prior to bundle install or updated with bundle update.

  • 0.3.14 - Specific tag from the Vanagon git repo
  • - Remote git location and tag
  • file:///workspace/vanagon - Absolute file path
  • file://../vanagon - File path relative to the project directory

Building puppet-agent or the facter gem

If you wish to build puppet-agent or the facter gem yourself:

  1. First, build the puppet-runtime for your target platform and agent version.

  2. Run bundle install to install required ruby dependencies.

  3. When building puppet-agent or the cfacter gem on infrastructure outside of Puppet, you will need to make a few edits in the component and project files. The build process depends on the following packages:

    • GCC (>=4.8.0)
    • Boost (>=1.57)
    • CMake (>= 3.2.3)
    • yaml-cpp (>= 0.5.0)

    Any references to pl-gcc, pl-cmake, pl-boost, pl-yaml-cpp, etc. in the configs directory will need to be changed to refer to equivalent installable packages on your target operating system. In many cases, you can drop the pl- prefix and ensure that CXX or CC envrionment variables are what they should be.

  4. Update the location and version in the puppet-runtime component json file as follows:

    • location should be a file URL to your local puppet-runtime output directory, for example: file:///home/you/puppet-runtime/output
    • version should be the version of puppet-runtime that you built; You can find this value at the top level of the json metadata file produced by the build in your puppet-runtime output directory.
  • You also may need to change the source URIs for some other components. We recognize this is less than ideal at this point, but we wanted to err on the side of getting this work out in public rather than having everything perfect. If you have your own mirror of the components of puppet-agent, you can also use a rewrite rule. See the Vanagon README for an example.
  1. Now use vanagon to build the puppet-agent. Run the following:

    bundle exec build <project-name> <platform> <vm-hostname>


    • project name is a project from configs/projects (this can be puppet-agent, facter-gem, or facter-source-gem),
    • platform is a platform supported by vanagon and defined in the configs/platforms directory (for example, el-7-x86_64), and
    • the vm hostname is the hostname of a vm matching the desired platform. The current user must be able to ssh into that vm as root (vanagon has facilities to provide an ssh key beyond what is listed in .ssh/config).

Branches in puppet-agent

Tracking branch (master + stable):

  • some components may reference tags if they’re slow moving (ruby, openssl)
  • some components reference SHAs promoted by a CI pipeline (generally puppet-agent#master pipelines track components' master branches, and likewise for stable)

Guidelines on Merging Between Branches

  • stable should be merged to master regularly (e.g. per commit), as is done for component repos; no PR needed
  • master should be merged to stable as-needed; typically this is done when a component merges its master to stable, and there are matching changes needed in puppet-agent

Generally, no PR is needed for routine merges from stable to master, but a PR is advised for other merges. Use your judgment of course, and put up a PR if you want review.

Note that for all merges from master or stable, the merge should pick up:

  • changes outside of config/components
  • changes that bumped to a tag inside config/components

But never:

  • changes that bumped to a SHA inside config/components

Here's a sample snippet used for a stable -> master merge:

git merge --no-commit --no-ff stable
for i in {hiera,facter,puppet,pxp-agent,cpp-pcp-client}; do git checkout master -- configs/components/$i.json;done
git commit -m "(maint) Restore promoted components refs after merge from stable"

Installer plugin for OSX

The GUI installer for OSX includes a custom plugin that captures and sets information such as the puppet master and certificate name for the client. The source for this Xcode project can be found here.


File issues in the Puppet Agent (PA) project on the Puppet Labs Jira site. Issues with individual components should be filed in their respective projects.


Puppet agent is licensed under the Apache-2.0 license.



Running Tests

See Acceptance README


All of the directions for building a puppet agent package.



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