While trying to learn Puppet you should probably first want to know what Puppet is.

What is Puppet and what can we do?

Puppet is an automation configuration management tool from Puppet Labs. It’s supports automation cross-platform, for example in several OS like Windows, Linux but there is also VMware vCenter integration. With its integration with vCenter, Puppet enables provisioning VMware VMs and automatically install, configure, and deploy applications like web servers and databases. For vCloud Director there is also a plugin to furthermore automate deployment of multiple tenants.

For this VMware integration you need the Enterprise edition of Puppet. You can try out a free edition to start and manage 10 nodes for free.

From 11 nodes you will have to buy a additional enterprise license (including standard support) from $99 per node. To more nodes the lower the pricing. See details at http://puppetlabs.com/puppet/how-to-buy.

And… even better at http://docs.puppetlabs.com/learning/ you can get a learning course and a learning VM (vmx or OVF) dowload so you have your Puppet learning lab ready. There is a serverless module and an agent master module to start up your Puppet skills. The learning VM is based on the Enterprise Free edition.

The VM

You can download the learning Puppet VM at http://info.puppetlabs.com/download-learning-puppet-VM.html. Here you will have to register and choose you flavour of download; either the OVF or the VMX (recommended for VMware fusion or workstation). You can install the VM in different flavours of virtualization software like VMware Workstation or VirtualBox.

You can use the console (root and password puppet) to access the system, you can also use SSH. The IP is shown on bootup. The is also a web interface to connect; https://<ip>/. The web interface is for managing your environment and connections. There you will have to log in as puppet@example.com, with the password learningpuppet.

I am using the vmx download and import the vmx in VMware workstation 10 inventory. It is a 1,5 GB download. Extract and put it in a VM folder. Open workstation and from file – open browse to the VMX file. Alternatively you can use explorer and double click vmx if you have a file extension to opening application set-up to workstation.

If your happy with the configuration start up the guest. After boot at the login just wait a few seconds and the IP information with default user passwords are shown.

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You system is now set to further learn Puppet.

– Enjoy learning automation with Puppet!

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