Advanced templating in Puppet

Posted: 2017-07-02 10:54:40 by Alasdair Keyes

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For my web servers I have a puppet class that takes a hostname and sets up all the elements required to create a hosting account including...

All the configs are very easily templated except for Nginx. My requirement for this class is that if I have a predefined Nginx config, that puppet should use that, otherwise generate a config from a default template.

This turned out to be a harder task than I anticipated, but I managed to find a solution which could be useful to others.

    $hostname = $title
    $username = $hostname
    $home = "/path/to/hosting/space/$hostname"

    $nginx_config = "/etc/nginx/sites-available/$hostname.conf"

    file { $nginx_config:
        ensure  => 'present',
        owner   => 'root',
        group   => 'root',
        mode    => 0644,
        content => inline_template(
        notify  => Service['nginx'],

It's a bit of a messy solution as we are actually putting a template within the files/ folder. As an alternative you can use an absolute path for file() and put the template within the templates/ folder, but this gets a bit problematic if you change your absolute paths.

It works in the following way....

This means new default sites can be created easily and then customisations are simple to implement.

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© Alasdair Keyes

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