Puppet manifests used to provision the main GOV.UK web stack
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.librarian/puppet Update librarian config. Mar 30, 2015
development-vm Add govuk-aws to the list of repos to clone Mar 2, 2018
docs Add note on hieradata_aws Feb 23, 2018
environments Rename `puppet` to `govuk-puppet` Dec 18, 2015
gpg Set less restrictive permissions on `gpg/` Dec 8, 2015
gpg_recipients Remove Alex Muller Jun 12, 2017
hieradata Add Jenkins job to run ETL::Master process for CPM Mar 15, 2018
hieradata_aws Change app_domain for aws staging to staging.govuk.digital Mar 19, 2018
lib Correct the purpose of this puppet-lint exception Feb 19, 2018
manifests Repoint to the correct doc location Aug 24, 2017
modules Merge pull request #7393 from alphagov/aws-rds-transition-db-postgresql Mar 16, 2018
spec/fixtures Amend hieradata lookups for govuk_jenkins::job to govuk_jenkins::jobs Jan 4, 2018
tools Add a tool to show the number of lines of code in a module Sep 26, 2017
vendor/puppet Update gdsoperations-rbenv to 1.3.0 Jan 8, 2018
.gitignore Rename `development` directory to `development-vm` Apr 7, 2016
.mailmap added user sebastianschmieschek and public key Feb 20, 2018
.pre-commit-config.yaml Add puppet-lint as a precommit hook on govuk-puppet Aug 18, 2017
.puppet-lint.rc The long line check is now has 140 in the name, not 80 Jul 25, 2016
.ruby-version Be more specific with .ruby-version Apr 26, 2016
.travis.yml Don't update bundler gem Dec 22, 2017
CONTRIBUTING.md update CONTRIBUTING language around approvals Sep 12, 2017
Gemfile Add support for ed25519 keys Oct 16, 2017
Gemfile.lock Add support for ed25519 keys Oct 16, 2017
Jenkinsfile Use external GOV.UK Jenkins library Feb 27, 2018
LICENSE.txt Add MIT LICENSE file Sep 22, 2015
Puppetfile Update gdsoperations-rbenv to 1.3.0 Jan 8, 2018
Puppetfile.lock Update gdsoperations-rbenv to 1.3.0 Jan 8, 2018
README.md Remove the training environment Nov 29, 2017
Rakefile Change order tests run in Nov 27, 2015
Vagrantfile Update Vagrant sync directory to work with Xenial builds Jan 30, 2017
hiera.yml Add hieradata for promoting staging to production May 20, 2016
hiera_aws.yml Update hiera config in AWS Jan 29, 2018
load_nodes.rb Add Xenial as a possible vagrant build Jan 24, 2017
spec_helper.rb The fact isn't uppercased on the actual hosts Nov 8, 2017


GOV.UK Puppet

This repository contains the puppet modules and manifests for GOV.UK.

Getting started

In order to run/test the Puppet manifests you will need Ruby 1.9.x and Bundler.

Dependencies are managed with Bundler and librarian-puppet, but hopefully this should be transparent unless you need to update the dependencies yourself.

If you're on a GOV.UK development VM, you should be able to run

$ govuk_puppet

which is a thin wrapper around the puppet-apply-dev script.


Please familiarise yourself with our Puppet standards before contributing to this repository:

Run rake spec and rake lint to run the tests and lint before checking in.


All modules from librarian-puppet are cached in this repo under vendor/puppet/ in order to ensure that third-party code doesn't change underneath us, protect us from downtime, and improve build times.


If you're using this repo for the first time or the contents of Gemfile[.lock] or Puppetfile[.lock] have recently changed then you'll need to run:

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec rake librarian:install

Please avoid using librarian-puppet directly because it's not very good at respecting or maintaining its own config file.

Running these commands will often be the solution to Puppet errors about unknown classes or functions such as:

  • Unknown function validate_bool at …
  • Could not find class apt for …
  • Puppet::Parser::AST::Resource failed with error ArgumentError: Invalid resource type apt::source …

It may affect errors relating to classes you have not modified when running spec tests after a rebase.

This should also fix errors while trying to run govuk_puppet, of the form:

  • chown: changing ownership of '/home/vagrant/.puppet/[…]': Operation not permitted


If you need to add a new module to the Puppetfile then you will need to run the following to install it and update the cache:

$ bundle exec rake librarian:package

If you need to update an existing module to a newer version, you'll need to run the following:

$ bundle exec rake 'librarian:update[alphagov/tune_ext]'

Afterwards you should commit the Puppetfile, Puppetfile.lock and any new files in vendor/puppet/. If updating a module then you will need to manually delete the old tarball from the cache directory.

NB: There should never be any changes to .librarian/puppet/config.


Assuming that your dependencies are installed, run all the tests:

$ bundle exec rake

The module tests are located in modules/<module>/spec. See the RSpec Puppet documentation for more details. The specs are run in parallel by default.

Puppet-lint is a tool that checks various syntax and style rules common to well written Puppet code. It can be run with:

$ bundle exec rake lint

This outputs a set of errors or warnings that should be fixed. See the Puppet Style Guide for more information.

Scoped testing

You can run the tests for a specific module or modules by setting an environment variable, mods for the rake task, e.g.

$ bundle exec rake mods=nginx,varnish

The manifests/ directory is considered one module called manifests for this purpose.

$ bundle exec rake mods=manifests,govuk

Precommit Testing

This repo uses pre-commit for managing its pre- commit hooks. This is available via brew:

brew install pre-commit

The pre-commit hooks are configured in the .pre-commit-config.yaml file in the root of this repo. To make the pre-commit hooks work you first need to install the pre-commit shim in your local .git/hooks directory:

pre-commit install

This will run hooks configured in .pre-commit-config.yaml when you run a git commit and will pass each hook the list of files staged as part of the commit. You can test the hooks by doing:

pre-commit run

You can also run the hooks on all files to test the status of the entire repo. This might be useful, for example, as part of a PR builder job:

pre-commit run --all-files

Node testing

Some issues that span multiple classes or modules may not be picked up unit testing. Duplicate resources and mislabelled dependencies are such examples. To catch these, all available govuk::node classes can be exercised with:

$ bundle exec rake spec:nodes

Compiling node complete node catalogs takes quite a long time, so you may wish to restrict it to certain classes of node by setting the environment variable classes for the rake task, e.g.

$ bundle exec rake spec:nodes classes=frontend,backend

Test Hieradata

During spec tests spec/fixtures/hiera/hiera.yaml is used to configure hieradata which only uses spec/fixtures/hieradata/common.yaml for its values (i.e. nothing from hieradata/).

During node tests the hieradata uses the vagrant and development environments. The development environment should only be used if a value in ENV['classes'] matches the regexp /^development$/ (i.e. in normal operation it will use vagrant). This can mean that settings in common.yaml will be overwritten in accordance with hiera's :hierarchy.

Test Coverage

Each test suite's results are followed by a summary of how many resources that suite covers, how many the tests touch and the coverage as a percentage. e.g.

Total resources:   175
Touched resources: 36
Resource coverage: 20.57%

A list of untouched resources can be gained by setting the FULL_COVERAGE_REPORT environment variable before running the tests:

FULL_COVERAGE_REPORT=true bundle exec rake spec

Warning Given the number of modules that have limited tests this will produce a very large amount of output unless the tests are scoped.

Rspec Basic Mode

It is sometimes useful to have access to the normal RSpec Rake task. This exposes the SPEC and SPEC_OPTS environment variables that mean you can set the test specification and RSpec options respectively. This gives finer grain control when it is needed. e.g.

$ bundle exec rake rspec_basic_mode SPEC="./modules/collectd/spec/classes/collectd__package_spec.rb:7" SPEC_OPTS="-c"

runs the single test at line 7 of collectd__package_spec.rb with colour mode enabled.

Warning using this option disables parallel running of tests and the mod arguments will not work.

Vagrant testing


You will need an up-to-date checkout of the private govuk-provisioning repository for node definitions.


It is recommended that you use Vagrant > 1.4 from a binary/system install. alphagov/gds-boxen can set this up for you.


You need only bring up the subset of nodes that you're working on. For example, to bring up a frontend and backend:

vagrant up frontend-1.frontend backend-1.backend

Vagrant will run the Puppet provisioner against the node when it boots up. Nodes should look almost identical to that of our real production/staging/preview environments, including network addresses. To access a node's services like HTTP/HTTPS you can point your hosts file to the host-only IP address (eth1).

Physical attributes like memory and num_cores will be ignored because they don't scale appropriately to local VMs, but can still be customised as described below.


Node definitions can be overridden with a nodes.local.yaml file in this directory. This is merged on top of all other node definitions. The following keys are currently available for customisation:

  • box_dist Ubuntu distribution. Currently "trusty".
  • box_version Internal version number of the GDS basebox.
  • memory Amount of RAM. Default is "384".
  • ip IP address for hostonly networking. Currently all subnets are /16.
  • class Name of the Puppet class/role.

For example to increase the amount of RAM on a PuppetMaster:

  memory: 768


Some errors that you might encounter..

NFS failed mounts
[frontend-1.frontend] Mounting NFS shared folders...
Mounting NFS shared folders failed. This is most often caused by the NFS
client software not being installed on the guest machine. Please verify
that the NFS client software is properly installed, and consult any resources
specific to the linux distro you're using for more information on how to do this.

This seems to be caused by a combination of OSX, VirtualBox, and Cisco AnyConnect. Try temporarily disconnecting from the VPN when bringing up a new node. You can also set VAGRANT_GOVUK_NFS=no as an environment variable to disable the use of NFS. This is less performant but fine for checking puppet runs.