Bolt can't find my task

Run the bolt task show command or Get-BoltTask PowerShell cmdlet and look for any warnings related to your task metadata.

Make sure your task name is valid: Task names must

  • Be lowercase

  • Start with a letter

  • Can only contain letters, numbers and underscores

Make sure your task executable is named the same as your task metadata. For example, if your task is named mytask.rb, you must name your metadata file mytask.json.

I can't add a module to my Bolt project

If you receive the following error:

Unable to use command 'bolt module add'. To use this command, update your project configuration to manage module dependencies.

You need to upgrade your project so Bolt can manage your modules and dependencies. For more information, see migrate a Bolt project.

My task fails with a "permission denied" error (noexec issue)

If your task fails with the following error, the issue might be that your temporary directory (tmpdir) is mounted with noexec.

The task failed with exit code 126 and no stdout but stderr contained: 
.... <temp path to task>>.rb: Permission denied

You can resolve this by configuring an alternate tmpdir for the transport you're using, or by talking to your administrator about updating permissions for the directory.

My plan/task show output is not correct

Bolt caches task and plan metadata when listing plans and tasks, and only updates the cache when modules in the <PROJECT DIRECTORY>/modules/ directory are modified. Try rerunning the command with --clear-cache to refresh the cache and update task and plan metadata. The task or plan may also be present at a higher precedence on the modulepath. To verify that the specific task or plan is being loaded from the place you expect, run bolt task show [task name], bolt plan show [plan name], Get-BoltTask -Name <TASK NAME>, or Get-BoltPlan -Name <PLAN NAME>to see the path the task or plan is loaded from.

My task fails mysteriously

Try running Bolt with --log-level debug to see the exact output from your task.

Make sure your task executable starts with a shebang (#!) line indicating the interpreter to use and verify that the executable is present on the target system. For example, if you write a Python task and include the line: #!/usr/bin/env python, Bolt attempts to execute the script using the default python executable on the target system.

My task fails on Windows targets

Bolt does not support PowerShell 2.0. If your task targets a Windows OS that has only PowerShell 2.0 installed, the task will fail.

In 2017, Microsoft deprecated PowerShell 2.0. For a more detailed explanation, see Micosoft's blog post on the subject.

Both Microsoft and Puppet recommend updating the target with Windows PowerShell 5.1, but versions 3.0 and 4.0 are also supported.

Bolt can't connect to my hosts over SSH

Host key verification failures

This will show up as an error similar to the following:

fingerprint SHA256:6+fv7inQSgU2DuYF5NolTlGF6xM8RBRTw1W6B9rbHkc is unknown for ","

When connecting over SSH, Bolt checks the host key against the fingerprint in ~/.ssh/known_hosts to verify the host is the one it's expecting to connect to. This error means that there is no key for the host in ~/.ssh/known_hosts, so Bolt doesn't know how to tell if it's the right host.

If you can connect to the host over SSH outside Bolt, you can store the SSH host key fingerprint with ssh-keyscan >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts.

You can disable this check entirely with --no-host-key-check on the CLI or the host-key-check: false option under the config: ssh section of inventory.yaml. Note that doing so will reduce the security of your SSH connection.

    host-key-check: false

Timeout or connection refused

By default, Bolt tries to connect over the standard SSH port 22. If you need to connect over a different port, either include the port in the name of the target ( or set it in your Bolt config or inventory.

Providing a password non-interactively using native-ssh

By default, the native-ssh transport enables BatchMode when establishing connections to targets. When BatchMode is enabled, SSH does not fall back to querying for a password, which might make it impossible to connect to a target if you are unable to authenticate using keys.

You can disable BatchMode in your transport configuration using the batch-mode setting, which allows SSH to fall back to querying for a password when key authentication fails. However, native-ssh uses the ssh client by default, which prompts for passwords interactively and causes Bolt to hang.

To avoid hanging when BatchMode is disabled, you must configure ssh-command to use an SSH utility like sshpass to provide a password to the SSH client non-interactively. Additionally, ensure the user is configured and host-key-check is disabled.

The following configuration shows how to disable BatchMode and provide a password to the SSH client using sshpass and the prompt plugin.

# inventory.yaml
    native-ssh: true
    host-key-check: false
    batch-mode: false
    user: root
      - sshpass
      - -p
      - _plugin: prompt
        message: Enter your SSH password
      - ssh

Bolt can't connect to my Windows hosts

Timeout or connection refused

By default, Bolt tries to connect over SSH. Make sure you've specified the winrm protocol for the target. There are three ways to specify winrm:

  • Include the winrm in the name of the target. For example: winrm://

  • Pass --transport winrm on the CLI

  • Set the winrm transport in your config or inventory file:

    # inventory.yaml
      transport: winrm

If you're still getting "connection refused" messages, try disabling SSL. By default, Bolt connects to targets over WinRM using the HTTPS port 5986. Your target might not be set up to connect over HTTPS. If you disable SSL, Bolt connects to the target using the HTTP port 5985. You can disable SSL in one of the following ways:

  • Pass --no-ssl on the CLI

  • Set the ssl key to false in your config or inventory file:

    # inventory.yaml
      transport: winrm
        ssl: false

Puppet log functions are not logging to the console

Puppet logs might not be printing to the console because they are logged at a lower level than Bolt is configured to print at. By default, Bolt prints all logs at the warn level or higher to the console.

Additionally, Puppet logs are printed at a different level in Bolt than they would be in Puppet. For example, Puppet notice level logs are equivalent to the info level in Bolt. As a result, if you use the notice() Puppet log function, Bolt does not print the contents of notice to the console by default. You can see which Bolt log level each Puppet log level maps to in Puppet log functions in Bolt.

To print logs and messages in Bolt to the console you can do one or more of the following:

  • When you want to view all logs at a specific level on the console, set the log level from the command line or in your configuration file.

  • When you have messages you want to log directly from Bolt, use Bolt's log plan functions.

  • When you have messages you want printed to the console regardless of log level, you should use the out::message plan function.

'Extensions are not built' error message

If you see a gem related error similar to the following:

    Ignoring nokogiri-1.10.2 because its extensions are not built. Try: gem pristine nokogiri --version 1.10.2
    Ignoring unf_ext- because its extensions are not built. Try: gem pristine unf_ext --version

Use the Bolt-provided gem command to reinstall/install these gems. For example:

    sudo /opt/puppetlabs/bolt/bin/gem pristine nokogiri --version 1.10.2
    sudo /opt/puppetlabs/bolt/bin/gem pristine unf_ext --version

Certificate verify failed when installing modules

When running on Windows, Bolt automatically sets the SSL_CERT_DIR and SSL_CERT_FILE environment variables if they are not already set. Assuming a default install location, the variables are set to the following directory and certificate, which are installed with the Bolt package:

  • SSL_CERT_DIR = C:\Program Files\Puppet Labs\Bolt\ssl\certs

  • SSL_CERT_FILE = C:\Program Files\Puppet Labs\Bolt\ssl\cert.pem

If you see an SSL connection error similar to the following when running on Windows:

SSL_connect returned=1 errno=0 state=error: certificate verify failed (unable to get local issuer certificate)

Set the SSL_CERT_DIR and SSL_CERT_FILE environment variables to use a valid certificate and certificate directory.

PowerShell does not recognize Bolt cmdlets

PowerShell 3.0 cannot automatically discover and load the Bolt module. If you're using PowerShell 3.0, add the Bolt module manually.

🔩 Tip To confirm your PowerShell version, run$PSVersionTable.

To allow PowerShell to load Bolt, add the correct module to your PowerShell profile.

  1. Update your PowerShell profile.

    'Import-Module -Name ${Env:ProgramFiles}\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\PuppetBolt' | Out-File -Append $PROFILE
  2. Load the module in your current PowerShell window.

    . $PROFILE

PowerShell could not load the Bolt PowerShell module

PowerShell's execution policy is a safety feature that controls the conditions under which PowerShell loads configuration files and runs scripts. This feature helps prevent the execution of malicious scripts. The default policy is Restricted (allow no scripts to run) for Windows clients and RemoteSigned (allow signed scripts and non-signed scripts not from the internet) for Windows servers. Some environments change this to AllSigned, which only allows scripts to run as long as they are signed by a trusted publisher.

As of Bolt 2.21.0, we sign Bolt PowerShell module files with a Puppet code signing certificate. If your PowerShell environment uses an AllSigned execution policy and you add Puppet as a trusted publisher, the bolt command works without any further input. If you're using the AllSigned policy and you have not added Puppet as a trusted publisher, you can accept the publisher without having to change your execution policy.

If your environment uses a Restricted policy, you must change your policy to RemoteSigned or AllSigned. Check with your security team before you make any policy changes.

If you see this or a similar error when trying to run Bolt, you probably need to change your script execution policy restrictions:

bolt : The 'bolt' command was found in the module 'PuppetBolt', but the module could not be loaded. 
For more information, run 'Import-Module PuppetBolt'.
                At line:1 char:1
                + bolt --help
                + ~~~~
                + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (bolt:String) [], CommandNotFoundExceptio
                + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CouldNotAutoloadMatchingModule

To change your script execution policy:

  1. Press Windows+X, A to run PowerShell as an administrator.

  2. Set your script execution policy to at least RemoteSigned:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

    For more information about PowerShell execution policies, see Microsoft's documentation about execution policies and how to set them.

'Could not parse PKey: no start line' error message when using SSH private key

Bolt does not support encrypted SSH private keys if the keys are provided using the key-data field in your transport configuration. If providing a decrypted key is feasible for your use case and security practices, you can manually decrypt the key by running openssl rsa -in <KEY FILE> and providing your passphrase. Alternatively, you can add the key to your SSH agent and not specify a private-key for Bolt to use. Bolt will use the agent to authenticate your connection.

Running commands with the Docker transport does not use environment variables

When Bolt runs a command using the Docker transport, it shells out to the docker exec command and sets environment variables using the --env command-line option to set environment variables. When you run a command using the Docker transport, and the command includes environment variable interpolations, the environment variables are not interpolated as expected.

For example, the following command:

bolt command run 'echo \"\$PHRASE\"' --env-var PHRASE=hello --targets docker://example

Results in output similar to:

Started on docker://example...
Finished on docker://example:
Successful on 1 target: docker://example
Ran on 1 target in 0.59 sec

To run commands that interpolate environment variables using the Docker transport, update the command to execute a new shell process and then read the command from a string. For example, you can update the command to:

bolt command run "/bin/sh -c 'echo \"\$PHRASE\"'" --env-var PHRASE=hello --targets docker://example

This results in the expected output:

Started on docker://example...
Finished on docker://example:
Successful on 1 target: docker://example
Ran on 1 target in 0.59 sec

You can configure the Docker transport to always execute a new shell process when running commands by setting the configuration option in your inventory file or bolt-defaults.yaml file:

# inventory.yaml
    shell-command: /bin/sh -c
# bolt-defaults.yaml
    shell-command: /bin/sh -c

I can't access sensitive output from a task using the pcp transport

Sensitive output is not supported when running tasks using the pcp transport. For more information, see the bolt_shim documentation.

I still need help

Visit the #bolt channel in the Puppet Community Slack to find a whole community of people waiting to help!