Book review: Pro Puppet

Warning: This blogpost has been posted over two years ago. That is a long time in development-world! The story here may not be relevant, complete or secure. Code might not be complete or obsoleted, and even my current vision might have (completely) changed on the subject. So please do read further, but use it with caution.
Posted on 22 Sep 2011
Tagged with: [ book review ]  [ puppet

If you have read the book “Pulling strings with puppet”, a lot of this book might sound familiar to you already. Not really a strange thing since it’s from the same author. But because the book was written in 2007, a new update was in order and the new Pro Puppet book they’ve release so much more than an update: it’s a complete reference for beginning to the most expert puppeteers.

When starting with puppet, there are a lot of things to consider: setting up your infrastructure, creating manifests, version control everything, trying out MCollective etc. This book will guide you in a easy and concise way from the absolute start of puppet to the most advanced levels so don’t let the title fool you: this book is for literally everybody.

One of the downsides for me personally was the amount of time spend on elaborating git. I’m sure that there are many users out there who never used git, but those pages could have been filled with more puppet info. But maybe the fact that you can just type the code and see what happens is one of the strong points of this book. It also spend a lot of time about installing puppet on different platforms so nobody needs to be left out so whether you are working on a debian-based system or a redhat-based one: everything you need is present in the book to get you going.

The book itself is such an easy read that everybody who can spend a few hours reading, will  know enough to get up and running with puppet and that is what I like about such books. The first few chapters are about how to setup your manifests and how to build hosts. Afterwards it will deal with the scalability of puppet, how to use external tools like the Puppet Dashboard etc. The last chapters of the book are about extending Facter and Puppet, and what MCollective is and how it works.

If you want to know more about puppet, this book is the definitive guide. Can’t wait until the next release!

Name Pro Puppet
Author James Turnbull & Jeffrey McCune
ISBN 978-1-4302-3057-1