environment.conf: Per-environment settings

Environments are isolated groups of agent nodes. Any environment can contain an environment.conf file. This file can override several settings whenever the primary server is serving nodes assigned to that environment.


Each environment.conf file is stored in an environment. It will be at the top level of its home environment, next to the manifests and modules directories.

For example, if your environments are in the default directory ($codedir/environments), the test environment’s config file is located at $codedir/environments/test/environment.conf.


# /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/test/environment.conf

# Puppet Enterprise requires $basemodulepath; see note below under "modulepath".
modulepath = site:dist:modules:$basemodulepath

# Use our custom script to get a git commit for the current state of the code:
config_version = get_environment_commit.sh


The environment.conf file uses the same INI-like format as puppet.conf, with one exception: it cannot contain config sections like [main]. All settings in environment.conf must be outside any config section.

Relative paths in values

Most of the allowed settings accept file paths or lists of paths as their values.

If any of these paths are relative paths — that is, they start without a leading slash or drive letter — they are resolved relative to that environment’s main directory.

For example, if you set config_version = get_environment_commit.sh in the test environment, Puppet uses the file at /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/test/get_environment_commit.sh.

Interpolation in values

The settings in environment.conf can use the values of other settings as variables (such as $codedir). Additionally, the config_version setting can use the special $environment variable, which gets replaced with the name of the active environment.

The most useful variables to interpolate into environment.conf settings are:

  • $basemodulepath — useful for including the default module directories in the modulepath setting. We recommend Puppet Enterprise (PE) users include this in the value of modulepath, because PE uses modules in the basemodulepath to configure orchestration and other features.
  • $environment — useful as a command line argument to your config_version script. You can interpolate this variable only in the config_version setting.

  • $codedir — useful for locating files.

Allowed settings

The environment.conf file can override these settings:

The list of directories Puppet loads modules from.

If this setting isn’t set, the modulepath for the environment is:
That is, Puppet adds the environment’s modules directory to the value of the basemodulepath setting from puppet.conf, with the environment’s modules getting priority. If the modules directory is empty of absent, Puppet only uses modules from directories in the basemodulepath. A directory environment never uses the global modulepath from puppet.conf.

The main manifest the primary server uses when compiling catalogs for this environment. This can be one file or a directory of manifests to be evaluated in alphabetical order. Puppet manages this path as a directory if one exists or if the path ends with a slash (/) or dot (.).

If this setting isn’t set, Puppet uses the environment’s manifests directory as the main manifest, even if it is empty or absent. A directory environment never uses the global manifest from puppet.conf.


A script Puppet can run to determine the configuration version.

Puppet automatically adds a config version to every catalog it compiles, as well as to messages in reports. The version is an arbitrary piece of data that can be used to identify catalogs and events.

You can specify an executable script that determines an environment’s config version by setting config_version in its environment.conf file. Puppet runs this script when compiling a catalog for a node in the environment, and use its output as the config version.

Note: If you’re using a system binary like git rev-parse, make sure to specify the absolute path to it. If config_version is set to a relative path, Puppet looks for the binary in the environment, not in the system’s PATH.

If this setting isn’t set, the config version is the time at which the catalog was compiled (as the number of seconds since January 1, 1970). A directory environment never uses the global config_version from puppet.conf.


How long the primary server caches the data it loads from an environment. If present, this overrides the value of environment_timeout from puppet.conf. Unless you have a specific reason, we recommend only setting environment_timeout globally, in puppet.conf. We also don’t recommend using any value other than 0 or unlimited.

For more information about configuring the environment timeout, see the timeout section of the Creating Environments page.