Saturday, October 27, 2007


Puppet - cute name, serious application.
Put simply, Puppet is a system for automating system administration tasks.
What, another one? Sure - but this one appears to be easy to setup, easy to scale across many servers and environments. I fooled around with cfengine long ago and it felt like an application I had to spend a huge amount of time getting to the sysadmin version of 'Hello World'. More time than I could spend, frankly. I work at a mid-size company I simply don't have time to devote to spend 40 hours to get to 'Hello World'.

I must not be the only one.

Luke Kanies, who founded Reductive Labs, has been doing server automation for years, and Puppet is the result of his frustration with existing tools. After significant effort spent trying to enhance cfengine, plus a stint at a commercial server automation vendor, Luke concluded that the only way to get a great automation tool was to develop one.

And yes, I'm familiar with the saying 'If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to fix it'. Well sometimes you don't have time to do it right, because you won't be in business if you fool around with piddly crap and forget you have customers waiting for your product.

Any way. Downloaded it, configured a server. Configured a client. Setup the server to tell the client who owns a test file and file permissions. Client connects and after a authenticating .. shazam! It works.

I like stuff that Just Works. See previous post for why.
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