Puppet Server's auth.conf file contains rules for authorizing access to Puppet Server's HTTP API endpoints. For an overview, see Puppet Server Configuration.

The rules are defined in a file named auth.conf, and Puppet Server applies the settings when a request's endpoint matches a rule.

Note: You can also use the puppetlabs-puppet_authorization module to manage the new auth.conf file's authorization rules in the new HOCON format, and the puppetlabs-hocon module to use Puppet to manage HOCON-formatted settings in general.

To configure how Puppet Server authenticates requests, use the supported HOCON auth.conf file and authorization methods, and see the parameters and rule definitions in the HOCON Parameters section.

You can find the Puppet Server auth.conf file here.

HOCON example

Here is an example authorization section using the HOCON configuration format:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
            match-request: {
                path: "^/my_path/([^/]+)$"
                type: regex
                method: get
            allow: [ node1, node2, node3, {extensions:{ext_shortname1: value1, ext_shortname2: value2}} ]
            sort-order: 1
            name: "user-specific my_path"
            match-request: {
                path: "/my_other_path"
                type: path
            allow-unauthenticated: true
            sort-order: 2
            name: "my_other_path"

For a more detailed example of how to use the HOCON configuration format, see Configuring The Authorization Service.

For descriptions of each setting, see the following sections.

HOCON parameters

Use the following parameters when writing or migrating custom authorization rules using the new HOCON format.


The version parameter is required. In this initial release, the only supported value is 1.


Note: Puppet Server ignores the setting of the same name in puppetserver.conf in favor of this setting in the auth.conf file.

This optional authorization section parameter determines whether to enable external SSL termination on all HTTP endpoints that Puppet Server handles, including the Puppet API, the certificate authority API, and the Puppet Admin API. It also controls how Puppet Server derives the user's identity for authorization purposes. The default value is false.

If this setting is true, Puppet Server ignores any presented certificate and relies completely on header data to authorize requests.

Warning! This is very insecure; do not enable this parameter unless you've secured your network to prevent any untrusted access to Puppet Server.

You cannot rename any of the X-Client headers when this setting is enabled, and you must specify identity through the X-Client-Verify, X-Client-DN, and X-Client-Cert headers.

For more information, see External SSL Termination in the Puppet Server documentation and Configuring the Authorization Service in the trapperkeeper-authorization documentation.


The required rules array of a Puppet Server's HOCON auth.conf file determines how Puppet Server responds to a request. Each element is a map of settings pertaining to a rule, and when Puppet Server receives a request, it evaluates that request against each rule looking for a match.

You define each rule by adding parameters to the rule's match-request section. A rules array can contain as many rules as you need, each with a single match-request section.

If a request matches a rule in a match-request section, Puppet Server determines whether to allow or deny the request using the rules parameters that follow the rule's match-request section:

If no rule matches, Puppet Server denies the request by default and returns an HTTP 403/Forbidden response.


A match-request can take the following parameters, some of which are required:

  • path and type (required): A match-request rule must have a path parameter, which returns a match when a request's endpoint URL starts with or contains the path parameter's value. The parameter can be a literal string or regular expression as defined in the required type parameter.

    # Regular expression to match a path in a URL.
    path: "^/puppet/v3/report/([^/]+)$"
    type: regex
    # Literal string to match the start of a URL's path.
    path: "/puppet/v3/report/"
    type: path

    Note: While the HOCON format doesn't require you to wrap all string values with double quotation marks, some special characters commonly used in regular expressions --- such as * --- break HOCON parsing unless the entire value is enclosed in double quotes.

  • method: If a rule contains the optional method parameter, Puppet Server applies that rule only to requests that use its value's listed HTTP methods. This parameter's valid values are get, post, put, delete, and head, provided either as a single value or array of values.

    # Use GET and POST.
    method: [get, post]
    # Use PUT.
    method: put

    Note: While the new HOCON format does not provide a direct equivalent to the deprecated method parameter's search indirector, you can create the equivalent rule by passing GET and POST to method and specifying endpoint paths using the path parameter.

  • query-params: Use the optional query-params setting to provide the list of query parameters. Each entry is a hash of the param name followed by a list of its values.

For example, this rule would match a request URL containing the environment=production or environment=test query parameters:

``` hocon
query-params: {
    environment: [ production, test ]

allow, allow-unauthenticated, and deny

After each rule's match-request section, it must also have an allow, allow-unauthenticated, or deny parameter. (You can set both allow and deny parameters for a rule, though Puppet Server always prioritizes deny over allow when a request matches both.)

If a request matches the rule, Puppet Server checks the request's authenticated "name" (see allow-header-cert-info) against these parameters to determine what to do with the request.

  • allow-unauthenticated: If this Boolean parameter is set to true, Puppet Server allows the request --- even if it can't determine an authenticated name. This is a potentially insecure configuration --- be careful when enabling it. A rule with this parameter set to true can't also contain the allow or deny parameters.

  • allow: This parameter can take a single string value, an array of string values, a single map value with either an extensions or certname key, or an array of string and map values.

    The string values can contain:

    • An exact domain name, such as

    • A glob of names containing a * in the first segment, such as * or simply *.

    • A regular expression surrounded by / characters, such as /example/.

    • A backreference to a regular expression's capture group in the path value, if the rule also contains a type value of regex. For example, if the path for the rule were "^/example/([^/]+)$", you can make a backreference to the first capture group using a value like $

    The map values can contain:

    • An extensions key that specifies an array of matching X.509 extensions. Puppet Server authenticates the request only if each key in the map appears in the request, and each key's value exactly matches.

    • A certname key equivalent to a bare string.

    If the request's authenticated name matches the parameter's value, Puppet Server allows it.

Note: If you are using Puppet Server with the CA disabled, you must use OID values for the extensions. Puppet Server will not be able to resolve short names in this mode.

  • deny: This parameter can take the same types of values as the allow parameter, but refuses the request if the authenticated name matches --- even if the rule contains an allow value that also matches.

Also, in the HOCON Puppet Server authentication method, there is no directly equivalent behavior to the deprecated auth parameter's on value.


After each rule's match-request section, the required sort-order parameter sets the order in which Puppet Server evaluates the rule by prioritizing it on a numeric value between 1 and 399 (to be evaluated before default Puppet rules) or 601 to 998 (to be evaluated after Puppet), with lower-numbered values evaluated first. Puppet Server secondarily sorts rules lexicographically by the name string value's Unicode code points.

sort-order: 1


After each rule's match-request section, this required parameter's unique string value identifies the rule to Puppet Server. The name value is also written to server logs and error responses returned to unauthorized clients.

name: "my path"

Note: If multiple rules have the same name value, Puppet Server will fail to launch.