Man Page: puppet certificate


puppet-certificate - Provide access to the CA for certificate management.


puppet certificate action [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION


This subcommand interacts with a local or remote Puppet certificate authority. Currently, its behavior is not a full superset of puppet cert; specifically, it is unable to mimic puppet cert's "clean" option, and its "generate" action submits a CSR rather than creating a signed certificate.


Note that any setting that's valid in the configuration file is also a valid long argument, although it may or may not be relevant to the present action. For example, server and run_mode are valid settings, so you can specify --server <servername>, or --run_mode <runmode> as an argument.

See the configuration file documentation at for the full list of acceptable parameters. A commented list of all configuration options can also be generated by running puppet with --genconfig.

--render-as FORMAT
The format in which to render output. The most common formats are json, s (string), yaml, and console, but other options such as dot are sometimes available.
Whether to log verbosely.
Whether to log debug information.
--ca-location LOCATION

Whether to act on the local certificate authority or one provided by a remote puppet master. Allowed values are 'local' and 'remote.'

This option is required.

--extra HASH
A terminus can take additional arguments to refine the operation, which are passed as an arbitrary hash to the back-end. Anything passed as the extra value is just send direct to the back-end.
--terminus _TERMINUS

Indirector faces expose indirected subsystems of Puppet. These subsystems are each able to retrieve and alter a specific type of data (with the familiar actions of find, search, save, and destroy) from an arbitrary number of pluggable backends. In Puppet parlance, these backends are called terminuses.

Almost all indirected subsystems have a rest terminus that interacts with the puppet master's data. Most of them have additional terminuses for various local data models, which are in turn used by the indirected subsystem on the puppet master whenever it receives a remote request.

The terminus for an action is often determined by context, but occasionally needs to be set explicitly. See the "Notes" section of this face's manpage for more details.


  • destroy - Delete a certificate.: SYNOPSIS

    puppet certificate destroy [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION host


    Deletes a certificate. This action currently only works on the local CA.



  • find - Retrieve a certificate.: SYNOPSIS

    puppet certificate find [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION host


    Retrieve a certificate.


    An x509 SSL certificate.

    Note that this action has a side effect of caching a copy of the certificate in Puppet's ssldir.

  • generate - Generate a new certificate signing request.: SYNOPSIS

    puppet certificate generate [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION [--dns-alt-names NAMES] host


    Generates and submits a certificate signing request (CSR) for the specified host. This CSR will then have to be signed by a user with the proper authorization on the certificate authority.

    Puppet agent usually handles CSR submission automatically. This action is primarily useful for requesting certificates for individual users and external applications.

    OPTIONS --dns-alt-names NAMES - A comma-separated list of alternate DNS names for Puppet Server. These are extra hostnames (in addition to its certname) that the server is allowed to use when serving agents. Puppet checks this setting when automatically requesting a certificate for Puppet agent or Puppet Server, and when manually generating a certificate with puppet cert generate. These can be either IP or DNS, and the type should be specified and followed with a colon. Untyped inputs will default to DNS.

    In order to handle agent requests at a given hostname (like ""), Puppet Server needs a certificate that proves it's allowed to use that name; if a server shows a certificate that doesn't include its hostname, Puppet agents will refuse to trust it. If you use a single hostname for Puppet traffic but load-balance it to multiple Puppet Servers, each of those servers needs to include the official hostname in its list of extra names.

    Note: The list of alternate names is locked in when the server's certificate is signed. If you need to change the list later, you can't just change this setting; you also need to:

    • On the server: Stop Puppet Server.
    • On the CA server: Revoke and clean the server's old certificate. (puppet cert clean <NAME>) (Note puppet cert clean is deprecated and will be replaced with puppetserver ca clean in Puppet 6.)
    • On the server: Delete the old certificate (and any old certificate signing requests) from the ssldir.
    • On the server: Run puppet agent -t --ca_server <CA HOSTNAME> to request a new certificate
    • On the CA server: Sign the certificate request, explicitly allowing alternate names (puppet cert sign --allow-dns-alt-names <NAME>). (Note puppet cert sign is deprecated and will be replaced with puppetserver ca sign in Puppet 6.)
    • On the server: Run puppet agent -t --ca_server <CA HOSTNAME> to retrieve the cert.
    • On the server: Start Puppet Server again.

    To see all the alternate names your servers are using, log into your CA server and run puppet cert list -a, then check the output for (alt names: ...). Most agent nodes should NOT have alternate names; the only certs that should have them are Puppet Server nodes that you want other agents to trust.



  • info - Print the default terminus class for this face.: SYNOPSIS

    puppet certificate info [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION


    Prints the default terminus class for this subcommand. Note that different run modes may have different default termini; when in doubt, specify the run mode with the '--run_mode' option.

  • list - List all certificate signing requests.: SYNOPSIS

    puppet certificate list [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION


    List all certificate signing requests.


    An array of #inspect output from CSR objects. This output is currently messy, but does contain the names of nodes requesting certificates. This action returns #inspect strings even when used from the Ruby API.

  • sign - Sign a certificate signing request for HOST.: SYNOPSIS

    puppet certificate sign [--terminus _TERMINUS] [--extra HASH] --ca-location LOCATION [--[no-]allow-dns-alt-names] host


    Sign a certificate signing request for HOST.

    OPTIONS --[no-]allow-dns-alt-names - Whether or not to accept DNS alt names in the certificate request


    A string that appears to be (but isn't) an x509 certificate.



Request a certificate for "somenode" from the site's CA:

$ puppet certificate generate somenode.puppetlabs.lan --ca-location remote


Sign somenode.puppetlabs.lan's certificate:

$ puppet certificate sign somenode.puppetlabs.lan --ca-location remote


This subcommand is an indirector face, which exposes find, search, save, and destroy actions for an indirected subsystem of Puppet. Valid termini for this face include:

  • ca
  • disabled_ca
  • file
  • rest

Copyright 2011 by Puppet Inc. Apache 2 license; see COPYING