Puppet Server Configuration

Puppet Server automatically loads the settings in the main and master sections of the configuration file. If there are duplicates, it prefers the values in the master section. Puppet Server honors the following puppet.conf settings:

  • allow_duplicate_certs
  • autosign
  • cacert
  • cacrl
  • cakey
  • ca_name
  • capub
  • ca_ttl
  • certdir
  • certname
  • cert_inventory
  • codedir (PE only)
  • csrdir
  • csr_attributes
  • dns_alt_names
  • hostcert
  • hostcrl
  • hostprivkey
  • hostpubkey
  • keylength
  • localcacert
  • manage_internal_file_permissions
  • privatekeydir
  • requestdir
  • serial
  • signeddir
  • ssl_client_header
  • ssl_client_verify_header
  • trusted_oid_mapping_file

However, for some tasks, such as configuring the web server or an external Certificate Authority (CA), Puppet Server has separate configuration files and settings. These files and settings are described below. For more information about differences between Puppet Server and the Ruby Puppet master’s use of puppet.conf settings, see Puppet Server: Differing Behavior in puppet.conf.

Configuration Files

Puppet Server’s configuration files and settings (with the exception of the logging config file) are in the conf.d directory, located by default at /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/conf.d. These config files are in the HOCON format, which keeps the basic structure of JSON but is more readable. For more information, see the HOCON documentation.

At startup, Puppet Server reads all the .conf files in the conf.d directory. You must restart Puppet Server for any changes to those files to take effect. The conf.d directory contains the following files and settings:

The product.conf file is optional and is not included by default. You can create that file in the conf.d directory in order to configure product-related settings, such as automatic update checking and analytics data collection.


Puppet Server’s logging is routed through the JVM Logback library. The default Logback configuration file is at /etc/puppetserver/logback.xml or /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/logback.xml. You can edit this file to change the logging behavior, or specify a different Logback config file in global.conf.

For more information on the logback.xml file, see its documentation and the Logback documentation. For advanced logging configuration tips, such as configuring Logstash or outputting logs in JSON format, see the Advanced Logging Configuration guide.

For some tips on advanced logging configuration, including information about configuring your system to write logs in a JSON format suitable for sending to logstash or other external logging systems, see the Advanced Logging Configuration documentation.

HTTP Traffic

Puppet Server logs HTTP traffic in a format similar to Apache, and to a separate file than the main log file. By default, this is located at /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver/puppetserver-access.log.

By default, the following information is logged for each HTTP request:

  • remote host
  • remote log name
  • remote user
  • date of the logging event
  • URL requested
  • status code of the request
  • response content length
  • remote IP address
  • local port
  • elapsed time to serve the request, in milliseconds

The Logback configuration file is at /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/request-logging.xml. You can edit this file to change the logging behavior. Specify a different Logback configuration file in webserver.conf with the access-log-config setting. For more information on configuring the logged data, see Logback Access Pattern Layout.


To enable additional logging related to auth.conf, edit Puppet Server’s logback.xml file. By default, only a single message is logged when a request is denied.

To enable a one-time logging of the parsed and transformed auth.conf file, add the following to Puppet Server’s logback.xml file:

<logger name="puppetlabs.trapperkeeper.services.authorization.authorization-service" level="DEBUG"/>

To enable rule-by-rule logging for each request as it’s checked for authorization, add the following to Puppet Server’s logback.xml file:

<logger name="puppetlabs.trapperkeeper.authorization.rules" level="TRACE"/>

Service Bootstrapping

Puppet Server is built on top of our open-source Clojure application framework, Trapperkeeper.

One of the features that Trapperkeeper provides is the ability to enable or disable individual services that an application provides. In Puppet Server, you can use this feature to enable or disable the CA service. The CA service is enabled by default, but if you’re running a multi-master environment or using an external CA, you might want to disable the CA service on some nodes.

Starting in Puppet Server 2.5.0, the service bootstrap configuration files are in two locations:

  • /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/services.d/: For services that users are expected to manually configure if necessary, such as CA-related settings.
  • /opt/puppetlabs/server/apps/puppetserver/config/services.d/: For services users shouldn’t need to configure.

Any files with a .cfg extension in either of these locations are combined to form the final set of services Puppet Server will use.

The CA-related configuration settings are set in /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/services.d/ca.cfg. If services added in future versions have user-configurable settings, the configuration files will also be in this directory. When upgrading Puppet Server 2.5.0 and newer with a package manager, it should not overwrite files already in this directory.

Note: If you’re upgrading from Puppet Server 2.4.x or earlier to Server 2.5 or newer, read and act on the bootstrap upgrade notes before upgrading.

In the ca.cfg file, find and modify these lines as directed to enable or disable the service:

# To enable the CA service, leave the following line uncommented
# To disable the CA service, comment out the above line and uncomment the line below

Adding Java JARs

Starting with Puppet Server 5.1.0, you can provide Java JARs to be loaded upon Puppet Server’s startup.

When launched, Server automatically loads any JARs placed in /opt/puppetlabs/server/data/puppetserver/jars into the classpath. JARs placed here will not be modified or removed when upgrading Puppet Server.

Configuring the JRuby Version

By default, Puppet Server uses a version of the JRuby 1.7.x series, running in a mode which conforms to MRI/Ruby language version 1.9. Starting with the Puppet Server 5.0 release, however, you can configure Puppet Server to instead use the JRuby 9k series (9.x.y.z). The Ruby language version supported by each JRuby 9k release is expected to evolve over time, tracking newer Ruby 2.x language versions. For example, the JRuby release conforms to Ruby language version 2.3.1, whereas conforms to Ruby language version 2.3.3.

Using JRuby 9k with Puppet Server is still considered somewhat experimental. We have not encountered any significant functional issues with it in internal testing so far, and the JRuby community is solidly behind it as their base going forward. We have, however, observed some targeted performance regressions and increased memory usage compared to the JRuby 1.7 series.

We hope to see these issues resolved over time, and at some point be able to switch to 9k as the default JRuby. In the meantime, we are very interested in hearing about external users’ experiences with JRuby 9k and hope to work with the JRuby community to make incremental improvements.

With the ability to configure Puppet Server to use JRuby 9k for Ruby language 2.x support, we have also removed support for the jruby-puppet.compat-version setting from puppetserver.conf. The JRuby community no longer supports the compat-version setting for configuring Ruby language 2.0, which is effectively broken as of JRuby 1.7.27. If the compat-version setting is present in your Puppet Server configuration, the puppetserver service exits with an error message that describes steps you can follow in order to configure the use of JRuby 9k instead.

To provide configurable support for JRuby 1.7 vs. 9k, Puppet Server 5.0 and later packages include both versions of JRuby and their upstream dependencies. Because of this, the packages are about 30 MB larger than in the Puppet Server 2.x series.

To change the JRuby version Puppet Server uses, you can add an environment variable to the init configuration file.


The init configuration file location depends on your operating system.

  • For RHEL/CentOS, open /etc/sysconfig/puppetserver.
  • For Debian/Ubuntu, open /etc/default/puppetserver.

Enabling JRuby 9k

  1. Open the init configuration file and add the following line:


    This line causes a jar containing JRuby 9k and its upstream dependencies to be added to the java classpath in place of the default JRuby jar file which is used on the java classpath, /opt/puppetlabs/server/apps/puppetserver/jruby-1_7.jar.

    If the path to the jar file for the JRUBY_JAR setting does not exist, the puppetserver service will fail to start, with an error message like the following being written to the system journal or /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver-daemon.log file, depending upon the OS:

    Jun 01 19:58:16 myhost puppetserver[24001]: Unable to find specified JRUBY_JAR:/opt/puppetlabs/server/apps/puppetserver/jruby-wrong.jar
  2. Set code cache size for better performance

    To ensure good performance with JRuby 9k, add -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize=512m to JAVA_ARGS, typically defined in /etc/sysconfig/puppetserver. This scales up the JVM’s code cache to the size needed by JRuby 9k. (If you have a very large heap and have already configured this setting to something larger than 512MB, you can skip this step.) This setting also behaves well when using JRuby 1.7, so it is safe to leave this setting on if you are switching back and forth.

  3. Restart the puppetserver service.

    You must fully restart the service to use the new JRuby version. A service reload or kill -HUP reload is not sufficient.

    The JRUBY_JAR setting changes the version of JRuby that the puppetserver service and all subcommands (including foreground, gem, irb, and ruby) use.

    To confirm that puppetserver is using JRuby 9k, run:

    puppetserver ruby --version

    This returns the JRuby version in use. For JRuby 9k, the version starts with 9.:

    jruby (2.3.3) 2017-05-15 28aa830 OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM 25.131-b12 on 1.8.0_131-b12 +jit [linux-x86_64]

    In /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver/puppetserver.log, you should also see an INFO log entry that outputs the same JRuby version info:

    2017-06-01 18:41:49,563 INFO  [async-dispatch-2] [p.s.j.jruby-puppet-service] JRuby version info: jruby (2.3.3) 2017-05-15 28aa830 OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM 25.131-b12 on 1.8.0_131-b12 +jit [linux-x86_64]

Reverting to the default JRuby, 1.7.x

  1. To return to using JRuby 1.7.x, open the init config file and remove the JRUBY_JAR line that had been previously been added to enable the use of JRuby 9k.

  2. Restart the puppetserver service.

    After doing this, the puppetserver service and all subcommands should again use the default JRuby version. To confirm this for the subcommands, run:

    puppetserver ruby --version

    This returns the JRuby version in use:

    jruby 1.7.27 (1.9.3p551) 2017-05-11 8cdb01a on OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM 1.8.0_131-b12 +jit [linux-amd64]

    In /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver/puppetserver.log, you should also see an INFO log entry that outputs the same JRuby version info:

    2017-06-01 18:49:52,198 INFO  [async-dispatch-2] [p.s.j.jruby-puppet-service] JRuby version info: jruby 1.7.27 (1.9.3p551) 2017-05-11 8cdb01a on OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM 1.8.0_131-b12 +jit [linux-amd64]

Enabling the Insecure SSLv3 Protocol

Puppet Server usually cannot use SSLv3, because it is disabled by default at the JRE layer. (As of javase 7u75 / 1.7.0_u75. See the 7u75 Update Release Notes for more information.)

You should almost always leave SSLv3 disabled, because it is compromized by the POODLE vulnerability and no longer secure. If you have clients that can’t use newer protocols, you should try to upgrade them instead of downgrading Puppet Server.

However, if you absolutely must, you can allow Puppet Server to negotiate with SSLv3 clients.

To enable SSLv3 at the JRE layer, first create a properties file (for example, /etc/sysconfig/puppetserver-properties/java.security) with the following content:

# Override properties in $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/security/java.security
# An empty value enables all algorithms including INSECURE SSLv3
# java should be started with
# -Djava.security.properties=/etc/sysconfig/puppetserver-properties/java.security
# for this file to take effect.

Once this property file exists, update JAVA_ARGS, typically defined in /etc/sysconfig/puppetserver, and add the option -Djava.security.properties=/etc/sysconfig/puppetserver-properties/java.security. This will configure the JVM to override the jdk.tls.disabledAlgorithms property defined in $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/security/java.security. Restart the puppetserver service for this setting to take effect.