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Getting Help

Puppet has a healthy community full of people who are happy to help you get unstuck, but the community works best if you know how it works. If you run into trouble with puppet, here’s a guide to getting help. These steps are listed more or less in order of how your troubleshooting flow should go.

Self-directed Troubleshooting

Puppet has a relatively long history and open development process for an open-source project, so there is a ton of information returned from google searches for various problems. To narrow down your results to the most relevant, try these google tips:

  • restrict your search to – this will cut out the old Trac / reductivelabs wiki and get you more recent hits
  • join the puppet-users google group and use the search box on the group page to search the mailing list. this eliminates duplicate hits from ML mirrors like nabble and lets you order results by date so you aren’t getting confused by a bug that was fixed three versions ago.
  • use correct Puppet-specific terminology for your problem like yum provider, file resource, and manifest

Many general questions about Puppet and Puppet Labs are answered in the Frequently Asked Questions . Otherwise, the Documentation Start is the place to go. There are a number of presentations and articles about Puppet available on the Publications page. Also available is “Pulling Strings with Puppet” by James Turnbull which is the first book to be written about Puppet and its sequel “Pro Puppet”.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

A great place to get real-time help with Puppet is our IRC channel: #puppet on There are usually many helpful people there in addition to some of the Puppetlabs staff.

Please read and understand this fantastic guide to getting help for open-source projects on irc before diving in. All of the points there apply to #puppet, especially “Don’t repeat yourself”, “Don’t ask to ask”, and “Stick around”. #puppet in particular has heavy concentrations of people in UK (GMT) and West-coast US (PST), so asking your question when those time zones are in business hours is more likely to get a good result.

Be aware that the IRC channel is not an official support channel, it’s an ad hoc group of people (some of whom work on puppet for a living) self-organizing to help each other out. If you do not receive an answer to your question, (especially if you have not followed the getting help on irc best practices!!), that doesn’t mean you are out of options, the software is hopelessly broken, or your problem is insoluble. It just means you need to keep troubleshooting.

Mailing lists

  • Puppet User: The Puppet users mailing list, for any and all Puppet discussion.
  • Puppet Developer: The Puppet-dev mailing list, for all public discussions related to the development of the puppet codebase.
  • Puppet Announcements: A read-only list containing announcements related to Puppet, e.g.; major version releases
  • Puppet Bugs: A read-only list that gets a copy of all project ticket activity.
  • Puppet Commits: A (defunct? appears to have stopped updating Sep 2010) read-only list that gets a copy of all git source code commits.

To subscribe to any of these lists from a normal (i.e., non-Google) account, just email the list address with +subscribe tacked onto the list name (e.g.

Ticketing and Bug Tracking

You can lodge bug reports and support tickets for Puppet at the Redmine ticketing system. In order to cut down on ticket spam, the tracker requires you to register and log in before the “New issue” link appears in the UI:

New issue

All of the general How to File a Good Bug Report guidelines apply here.

Commercial Support

Puppet Labs continues the development of Puppet by providing commercial services for it. These services include commercial support, installation consulting, training, and developer support. Please contact us for more information. If you have a significant feature enhancement or a bug that is non-trivial to fix and/or highly specific to your environment, paid-for support is an excellent way to get your voice heard. Ultimately, this is the only option for getting help that has a “Service Level Agreement” type of guarantee attached to it.

new_issue.jpg - people seem to have a hard time with this. (27.2 KB) eric sorenson, 12/27/2010 05:40 pm