Add nodes to the inventory

Your inventory is the list of nodes managed by Puppet. Add nodes with agents, agentless nodes that connect over SSH or WinRM, or add network devices like network switches and firewalls. Agent nodes help keep your infrastructure in your desired state. Agentless nodes do not have a Puppet agent installed, but can do things like run tasks and plans.

Add agent nodes

You can use the Puppet Enterprise (PE) console to install Puppet agents on Windows, *nix, and macOS nodes and add the nodes to your inventory. Agents help with configuration management by periodically checking in with the primary server for the desired configuration, detecting and correcting changes to resources the agent manages, and reporting information to the primary server about your infrastructure.

These steps demonstrate one method for Installing agents. For more detailed instructions, go to Install agents from the console.
  1. In the PE console, go to Nodes > Add nodes > Install agents.
  2. Select a transport method used to remotely install the agent on the target node.
    • SSH for *nix and macOS
    • WinRM for Windows
  3. Enter the target host names and the credentials required to access them. You can specify multiple targets, but only one set of credentials.
    Important: If you use an SSH key, include the begin and end tags.
  4. Click Add nodes to install agents on the specified nodes. You can click Installation job started to view the task's job details.
    Agents are installed on the target nodes and then they automatically submit certificate signing requests (CSRs) to the primary server.
  5. Go to Certificates > Unsigned certificates and accept the CSRs.

Add agentless nodes

You can add nodes that don't or can't have a Puppet agent installed on them. Agentless automation allows you to do manage nodes that don't have software installed, such as updating a package or restarting a server on demand.

  1. In the PE console, click Nodes > Add nodes.
  2. Click Connect over SSH or WinRM.
  3. Select a transport method.
    • SSH for *nix and macOS targets
    • WinRM for Windows targets
  4. Enter target host names and the credentials required to access them. If you use an SSH key, include the begin and end tags.
  5. Optional: Select additional Transport configuration options. For example, to customize the connection port number, select Target Port from the Target options drop-down list, enter the desired port number, and click Add.
  6. Click Add nodes.
What to do next
After adding agentless nodes to your PE inventory, they are added to PuppetDB, and you can view them on the Nodes page (in the console). Any nodes in your inventory can be added to the inventory node list when you set up a job to run tasks. To review a node's connection settings or remove an agentless node from the inventory, go to the Connections tab on the Node details page.