API curl tips

You can use curl to directly interact with PuppetDB's REST API. This is useful for testing, prototyping, and quickly fetching arbitrary data.

The instructions below are simplified. For full usage details, see the curl man page. For additional examples, please see the user guides for the individual query REST endpoints, or the other REST API services available.

Using curl From localhost (non-SSL/HTTP)

With its default settings, PuppetDB accepts unsecured HTTP connections at port 8080 on localhost. This allows you to SSH into the PuppetDB server and run curl commands without specifying certificate information:

curl http://localhost:8080/pdb/query/v4/nodes

If you have allowed unsecured access to other hosts in order to monitor the dashboard, these hosts can also use plain HTTP curl commands.

Using curl from remote hosts (SSL/HTTPS)

Using a certificate/private key pair

To make secured requests from other hosts, you will need to supply the following via the command line:

  • Your site's CA certificate (--cacert)

  • An SSL certificate signed by your site's Puppet CA (--cert)

  • The private key for that certificate (--key)

Any node managed by Puppet agent will already have all of these, and you can reuse them for contacting PuppetDB. You can also generate a new cert on the CA Puppet Server with the puppet cert generate command.

Note: If you have turned on certificate allowlisting, you must make sure to authorize the certificate you are using:

curl 'https://<your.puppetdb.server>:8081/pdb/query/v4/nodes' \
  --tlsv1 \
  --cacert /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/ca.pem \
  --cert /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/<node>.pem \
  --key /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/private_keys/<node>.pem

Using an RBAC token (Puppet Enterprise® only)

To make secured requests from other hosts, you will need to supply the following via the command line:

  • Your site's CA certificate (--cacert)

  • An RBAC token with permission to view and/or edit PuppetDB data (-H 'X-Authentication: <token>')

Any node managed by Puppet agent will already have the CA certificate, and you can reuse the CA certificate for contacting PuppetDB. You can read more about generating RBAC tokens and how they work in the PE documention.

Note: The token the user is for must have the correct permissions for viewing (nodes:view_data:*) or editing (nodes:edit_data:*) node data depending on the operation.

curl 'https://<your.puppetdb.server>:8081/pdb/query/v4/nodes' \
  -H "X-Authentication: <token contents>" \
  --tlsv1 \
  --cacert /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl/certs/ca.pem

Note: PE 2016.2 users will need to set client-auth = want under the [jetty] header of their jetty.ini configuration. Later versions of PE have this setting managed by the puppetlabs-puppet_enterprise module by default.

Locating Puppet certificate files

Locate Puppet's ssldir as follows:

sudo puppet config print ssldir

Within this directory:

  • The CA certificate is found at certs/ca.pem

  • The corresponding private key is found at private_keys/<name>.pem

  • Other certificates are found at certs/<name>.pem

Dealing with complex query strings

Many query strings will contain characters like [ and ], which must be URL-encoded. To handle this, you can use curl's --data-urlencode option.

If you do this with an endpoint that accepts GET requests, you must also use the -G or --get option. This is because curl defaults to POST requests when the --data-urlencode option is present.

curl -G http://localhost:8080/pdb/query/v4/nodes \
  --data-urlencode 'query=["=", "node_state", "active"]'

Pretty querying of PuppetDB

PuppetDB returns unprettified JSON by default. PuppetDB provides the option of prettifying your JSON responses with the pretty parameter. This parameter accepts a Boolean value (true or false) to indicate whether the response should be pretty-printed. Note that pretty printing comes at the cost of performance on some of our endpoints, such as /v4/catalogs, /v4/reports and /v4/factsets, due to the storage of some of their data as JSON/JSONB in PostgreSQL.

curl -X GET http://localhost:8080/pdb/query/v4/nodes \
    --data-urlencode 'pretty=true'

Querying PuppetDB with POST

PuppetDB supports querying by POST, which is useful for large queries (exact limits depend on the client and webserver used). POST queries allow you to limit the number of entries in the response. The example below limits the query to return one entry.

POST queries use the following syntax:

curl -X POST http://localhost:8080/pdb/query/v4/nodes \
  -H 'Content-Type:application/json' \
  -d '{"query":["~","certname",".*.com"],"order_by":[{"field":"certname"}],"limit":1}'

Querying PuppetDB based on specific resource attributes

You can use POST to query for a specific resource attribute. Note that this requires you to escape your quotes ("). Alternatively, use the PuppetDB CLI, together with the Puppet Query Language (PQL) to make queries without having to escape characters.

To query for the following resource attributes:

resources {
  tag = "foo" and
  exported = true

Use the following CURL command:

curl -X POST http://localhost:8080/pdb/query/v4 \
  -H 'Content-Type:application/json' \
  -d '{"query": "resources { tag = \"foo\" and exported = true }"}'