Why not to use Puppet::Parser::Functions.autoloader.loadall

Recently (about 5 minutes ago), I was writing a custom puppet-function to offload some puppet magic. In short: I’m writing a wrapper around create_resources so I can keep syntax for the end-users of my module crispy clean. This means I need the create_resources function to be available in my custom function. This can be done by using Puppet::Parser::Functions.autoloader.loadall as suggested on the puppetlabs custom modules guide. Unfortunately, when using #loadall, all functions will be loaded.

Why unfortunately? In my case: A function defined in puppet-foreman depends on the rest-client gem and I do not have this installed. Some people might say: Just install the gem and be done with it! This is hardly a proper solution. The way to go would to be only include the function I really  need, being create_resources.

And here is how:

Puppet::Parser::Functions.autoloader.load(:create_resources) unless Puppet::Parser::Functions.autoloader.loaded?(:create_resources)

This will basically load the create_resources function after checking that it has not been loaded before. This (the function already being loaded) could be the case if you properly depend on puppetlabs-create_resources in your manifests. Side note: I added a small dummy class so my modules can depend on this function being available.

This has resolved my issues with #loadall, but if I ever needed to include another function that DOES use #loadall, I’ll be screwed all over again. So (pretty) pls, don’t use #loadall.

Puppet Module Patterns


I’ve used puppet quite intensively since a couple of months (about 4 I would guess). Before that, I’ve played with it, change something here and there. But quite not as much as now. I’ve used several puppet modules from wherever google leads me, roamed github, inherited a few from colleagues and created several from scratch. While doing so, I saw a lot of stuff I disliked and learned a lot on how we I can (ab)use puppet to do what I want it to do. Over those last months, I have grown my set of ideas on how a puppet module should look. So, before every statement I make, you should probably add ‘IMHO’.


Puppet modules in Jenkins.

Code style checking


  • You will need a recent enough version of puppet-lint that supports the --log-format flag. Install the gem so that the Jenkins can use it.
  • On Jenkins, you will need the Warnings Plugin and the HTML Publisher Plugin.
  • Make sure that when checking the module from your VCS, it ends up in WORKSPACE/modules/module_name.



Go to the Configure System page and find the Compiler Warnings settings. Add a new console log parser and call it puppet-lint. I use following configuration for parsing puppet-lint warnings and errors.

The warnings plugin has been updated and now has puppet-lint support out of the box! So configuring puppet-lint manually is kind of useless now.



Regular Expression:


Mapping Script:

import hudson.plugins.warnings.parser.Warning
// map regular expression to strings
String fileName = matcher.group(1);
String lineNumber = matcher.group(2);
String kind = matcher.group(3);
String check = matcher.group(4);
String message = matcher.group(5);
// return a Warning.
return new Warning(fileName, Integer.parseInt(lineNumber), check, kind, message);

Example Log Message:

./manifests/params.pp:25:autoloader_layout:error:apache::params not in autoload module layout

Jenkins job configuration

We will add several build steps that will run certain actions on our puppet modules.

  1. Check syntax
  2. Check style
  3. Generate documentation

1. For the syntax check, I use following shell script (add a build step):

for file in $(find . -iname '*.pp'); do
  puppet parser validate --color false --render-as s --modulepath=modules $file || exit 1;

2. For the style check, we use puppet-lint (add another build step):

find . -iname *.pp -exec puppet-lint --log-format "%{path}:%{linenumber}:%{check}:%{KIND}:%{message}" {} \;

3. And for generating documentation:

## Cleanup old docs.
[ -d doc/ ] && rm -rf doc/
## Dummy manifests folder.
! [ -d manifests/ ] && mkdir manifests/
## Generate docs
puppet doc --mode rdoc --manifestdir manifests/ --modulepath ./modules/ --outputdir doc
## Fix docs to how I want them, I don't like that the complete workspace is included in all file paths.
if [ -d ${WORKSPACE}/doc/files/${WORKSPACE}/modules ]; then
  mv -v "${WORKSPACE}/doc/files/${WORKSPACE}/modules" "${WORKSPACE}/doc/files/modules"
grep -l -R ${WORKSPACE} * | while read fname; do sed -i "s@${WORKSPACE}/@/@g" $fname; done;

In your post build section:

  • Enable Scan for compiler warnings and select puppet-lint.
  • Enable publish HTML reports (use ‘doc‘, ‘index.html‘ and ‘Puppet Docs‘ as values). This will add a link to the Job page linking your generated puppet docs.

That’s about it! Any suggestions / improvements on this are always welcome!


  • I have some examples/tests setup on my Jenkins instance for testing at http://jenkins.vstone.eu. Since I use this for testing, it might be offline / broken / buggy at times.
  • The scripts I use may also require some changes if you are using an older version of puppet. I’m currently using 2.7.x for testing my modules.