Puppet Interview Questions

Top 40 Puppet Interview Questions and Answers

Automation is the present-day keyword for every business. Automation of business processes is ideal for reducing costs as well as gaining a competitive advantage over peers. Therefore, many tools gained popularity for providing the advantages of automation. One of the most prominent tools in this context is Puppet.

Various organizations employ Puppet for configuration management in automation. Therefore, the demand for IT professionals skilled in Puppet is increasing gradually every day. Along the same lines, the demand for puppet interview questions is also increasing. Many candidates want to know more about the interview questions so that they can have a basic idea.

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Most Common Puppet Interview Questions and Answers

Practicing the most common puppet interview questions can give an additional edge to the candidates preparing for a Puppet interview. The following discussion would reflect on various common interview questions related to Puppet for fresher and experienced candidates. So, start your interview preparations right here!

Puppet Interview Questions for Fresher Candidates

As specified by the name, puppet interview questions for fresher candidates include some basic questions on the puppet. The fresher candidates don’t have any experience, so the interviewer asks simple questions just to check their basic knowledge about Puppet. Let’s check out some of the frequently asked puppet interview questions.

1. What is Puppet?

Answer: This is one of the most common interview questions on the puppet. Puppet is an open-source configuration management tool for deployment, configuration, and management of servers. You can also define Puppet Enterprise as a DevOps software platform tailored for automating infrastructure administration tasks. The different features of Puppet include infrastructure automation, automated provisioning, task management, code management, visualization, and reporting. Puppet also provides features for orchestration as well as discovery & insights.

2. Explain Puppet architecture.

Answer: Candidates will find this as a follow-up question among other puppet interview questions. Puppet follows a Master-Slave architecture. The Puppet Slave has to send a request to the Puppet Master for establishing a secure connection. The Puppet Master sends the Master Certificate along with a request for Slave Certificate. Then, the Puppet Slave sends the Slave Certificate to the Puppet Master along with a request for data. The Puppet Master receives the request and then pushes the configuration on the Puppet Slave.

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3. Can you tell how Puppet works?

Answer: You should always expect this as one of the most common puppet interview questions. The response to this question should deal with Puppet architecture again. First of all, a node or a Puppet Agent sends Facts or data pair representing the state of Puppet Slave. The Facts can include details of the Puppet Slave up-time, IP address or operating system. The Puppet Master utilizes the Facts for developing a Catalog.

The Catalog defines the specifications for configuration of the Slave. It describes the desired state for each resource managed by the Puppet Master on Slave. In the next step, the Puppet Slave sends Reports to the Master informing about the completion of the configuration process. The Reports could be seen in the Puppet dashboard. Candidates should keep in mind that comprehensiveness is the key factor for responding to interview questions on Puppet.

4. What do you know about Puppet manifests?

Answer: This is a very important mention among puppet interview questions. The definition of Puppet Manifests is the best way to respond to this question. The Puppet Master contains the configuration details of all nodes or Puppet Agents documented in native Puppet language. These documentations are known as Puppet Manifests. So, you can find that Manifests are built of Puppet code. You can distinguish manifests with the .pp extension. Therefore, Manifests are puppet programs.

5. What do you know about the Puppet module?

Answer: Another common mention among top puppet interview questions relates to puppet modules. Puppet modules are collections of manifests and data such as files, templates, and facts. Modules also have a particularly defined directory structure. Modules are ideal instruments for organizing Puppet code into different manifests. Therefore, Puppet Modules are the recommended best practice for organizing all Puppet Manifests.

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6. Do you know about Facter?

Answer: Facter is one of the basic topics in common puppet interview questions. Facter is a library that identifies and reports Facts relevant to each Agent to the Puppet Master. Facts can include SSH keys, network settings, hardware details, IP addresses, OS type, and version, and Mac addresses. The facts are then found as variables in the Manifests of the Puppet Master.

7. What do you know of the Puppet Catalog?

Answer: You can find this mention in the best puppet interview questions for fresher candidates. The Puppet Catalog is a document used by Puppet Agent for configuration of a node. The agent downloads the catalog from the Puppet Master. The catalog describes the desired state of each resource that has to be managed.

Also, the catalog can contain information about dependencies among resources for their effective management. Candidates can also improve their answer to this mention among top puppet interview questions. You can state information about the sources of configuration info used for the compilation of a catalog. The three sources of configuration info are puppet manifests, data provided by the agent, and external data.

8. Can you explain about a class in Puppet?

Answer: The best puppet interview questions for fresher would always deal with basic information on the puppet. Class is a block of puppet code stored in modules for using later on. Unless you invoke classes in puppet by name, they are not applied. You can add a class to a node’s catalog by assigning them from an ENC. Classes could be added to catalog by declaring them in the manifests. Classes are ideal for configuration of large or medium-sized bits of functionality. The functionalities can include all the packages, services needed for running an application, and config files.

9. How do Puppet Agent nodes communicate with Puppet Masters and vice-versa?

Answer: You can find out-of-the-blue puppet interview questions just like this one. The communication between Puppet agent nodes and Puppet Masters depends on HTTPS with client verification. The Puppet Master has an HTTP interface with different endpoints. Agents make an HTTPS request to the endpoints for requesting or submitting anything to the master. Client verification, in this case, implies the need for SSL certificate. The SSL certificates help in verifying the identity of the other party. Puppet also has an in-built certificate authority for effective management of certificates.

10. What is the stand-alone architecture in Puppet?

Answer: Candidates should also be prepared for tricky puppet interview questions. In the stand-alone architecture, every managed node has a complete copy of configuration info. Each managed node also compiles its catalog. The stand-alone architecture in Puppet involves running the Puppet apply application on managed nodes. The Puppet applies application is generally a scheduled task that can be used for smaller configuration tasks. The Puppet applies application also requires access to different sources of configuration data like the Puppet master application.

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11. How can you upgrade Puppet and Facter?

Answer: Even though this may not be one of the frequently asked puppet interview questions, it is important. The package management system of an operating system is the best approach for installation and upgrading Puppet and Facter. You can use either a public repository in Puppet Lab or the repository of your vendor. In cases of installation of Puppet from source, ensure removal of old versions completely before the upgrade. However, you don’t have to worry about configuration data between installation processes.

12. Does the organization size matter for using Puppet?

Answer: This is also a common entry among puppet interview questions for fresher candidates. You cannot find a specific organization size that could obtain advantages of Puppet. However, certain organization sizes can get the most from the use of Puppet. Organizations which have more servers could gain major benefits from Puppet by eliminating various tasks involving manual management. On the other hand, organizations with few servers would not gain much from the puppet. Smaller organizations could carry out maintenance of their servers without using the puppet.

13. According to you, what type of organizations can utilize Puppet?

This is one of the most popular puppet interview questions that are asked to interview candidates. There is no specific rule relating to the application of Puppet, the open-source configuration management tool. But the entities that have a large number of servers will significantly benefit by using Puppet in the organizational setting.

Puppet will make sure that it eliminates the need for manually managing the firm’s servers. The organizations which have few servers are less likely to derive high benefits from the Puppet tool. This is because manual management of a few servers will not be a tough thing to do.

14. What do you know about Puppet Labs?

It is one of the most frequently asked puppet interview questions that interviewees might face during the interview process. Puppet Labs is an organization that is interested in addressing the problems and issues that arise relating to the Puppet automation process. In the year 2016, the organization changed its name from “Puppet Labs” to “Puppet.”

The objective of doing so was to reflect the fact that the Puppet community has a strong link with the business entity. The mission of Puppet organization is to lend support to every organization so that they can improve the software in service and serve their clients better.

15. What is unique about the Puppet’s model-driven design?

This is one of the latest puppet interview questions that interviewers ask the candidates. Conventionally, the management of configurations of a large group of computers was quite complex as it involved a series of steps. But with time, the approach has become more sophisticated. Puppet takes an altogether unique approach. It models everything, including the intended configuration state, the prevailing state of the node, the actions undertaken during the configuration enforcement process.

It helps to resolve issues relating to configuration drift as well as the unknown system state. The system admins can add significant value to their puppet deployments by using the tool.

16. Why Must Puppet be considered for an organization’s cloud and servers?

The Puppet tool must be considered for an organization’s cloud, and servers as the innovative tool have the potential to define infrastructure as code. It can even manage a large number of servers in a highly efficient and dynamic manner. Puppet is considered to be one of the greatest DevOps programs that can be used to enforce system configurations.

This deployment tool can be used on Windows, Linux, and several other platforms to pull the string on numerous application servers simultaneously. It has wide industry support across the DevOps and cloud environment. By using Puppet, firms can ensure that it will work with all kinds of servers that are available today.

17. What are some of the Puppet use cases?

The Puppet tool can be used in various scenarios, which is why it is considered to be extremely crucial in the DevOps setting. Puppet is used for giving distinct configurations to every host. The on-going checking is necessary to make sure whether the necessary configuration is in place or not. Puppet helps to minimize the overall cost and effort that is required to make slight alterations in a large number of systems. The deployment tool gives a clear insight into the change control mechanism. The tool will help to upgrade the entire software package throughout the entire organization.

18. How is the Puppet tool trending currently?

The Puppet tool is gaining a lot of attention in the digitalized times form various reasons. A large number of developers add value to the source of the management tool. It has a large user base. This is because almost 30,000 organizations and numerous universities make use of the deployment tool regularly.

Puppet has a decent commercial use since the day of its inception. The puppet servers can run on any kind of platform that can host Ruby, such as Microsoft Windows Server and Oracle Enterprise Linux. It can also run on different deployment models like private, public, and hybrid clouds.

19. What are some of the key areas that can improve by using Puppet?

By implementing Puppet in the organizational setting, several functional areas can be streamlined and improved. Puppet helps business organizations to strengthen their infrastructure so that they can keep pace with the industry. It improves the overall scalability and consistency throughout the enterprise. The level of flexibility can be increased by implementing Puppet in the organizational context.

A firm will be in a position to effectively and efficiently match the desired configuration for the appropriate machines. The Puppet tool will also enable business entities to get a proper infrastructural insight so that a large number of servers can be efficiently managed.

20. Which command helps in checking certificate requests to the Puppet Master from Puppet Slave?

Answer: Puppet interview questions and answers for experienced candidates will deal with practical aspects like this one. The command for checking the list of Certificate signing requests to the Puppet Master from Puppet Agent is “puppet cert list.” You have to run the command on Puppet Master. You can also sign a specific Certificate execute through the command “puppet cert sign <Hostname of agent>.” The command “puppet cert sign all” is ideal for signing all certificates at once.

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Puppet Interview Questions for Experienced Candidates

So, we have covered top puppet interview questions for freshers and now moving to the next section – puppet interview questions for experienced candidates. One who have gained considerable experience in working with Puppet, the interviewer asks typical questions such as command-based and scenario-based. With such questions, interviewer checks the working knowledge of the candidate. So, let’s go through the puppet interview questions for experienced candidates.

21. What are the “etckeeper-commit-post” and “etckeeper-commit-pre” commands?

Answer: Candidates can find puppet interview questions related to specific commands and requirements. The “etckeeper-commit-post” is a configuration file for defining scripts and commands. The configuration file runs after the Master pushes configuration on the slave or the agent. The “etckeeper-commit-pre” is also a configuration file for definition of scripts and commands. This command executes before the Master pushes configuration on the Agent.

22. Which characters are allowed in a class name, module name, and identifiers?

Answer: This entry is one of the simplest puppet interview questions and answers for experienced candidates. Class names could have lowercase letters, underscores, and numbers. Class names should always start with a lowercase letter. The Scope Resolution Operator (“::”) is the namespace separator for class names. The characters allowed in the case of Class names are also applicable in the case of defining module names.

The rules are also applicable to the definition of resource types and parameters. However, modules and parameters cannot apply the namespace operator. Variables or identifiers are also subject to certain rules for permitted characters. Variable names are case-sensitive and could include underscores as well as alphanumeric characters.

23. What versions of Ruby are supported by Puppet?

Answer: There are specific versions of Ruby tested specifically for Puppet while some versions are not tested. You can run the command “ruby -version” for checking the version of Ruby on the system. Puppet versions after Puppet 4 do not depend on Ruby version of the OS because it bundles own Ruby environment.

Now, you could install a puppet agent with any version of Ruby or for any systems without installing Ruby. Puppet Enterprise does not depend on the Ruby version of the OS because of the bundling of its own Ruby environment. PE installation with another version of Ruby or in systems without Ruby installation is possible.

24. What happens if you don’t sign a CLA?

Answer: This entry among puppet interview questions is ideal for experienced candidates. Without signing a CLA, code contributions to Puppet or Facter are not accepted. Users should log in their GitHub account for signing the agreement on the CLA page.

25. What is the process for documentation of manifests?

Answer: You can also find this mention among frequently asked puppet interview questions for experienced candidates. The puppet language has a simple documentation syntax. You can find the syntax on the Puppet Manifest Documentation Wiki page. The puppet doc command leverages this syntax for automatic generation of RDoc or HTML documents for modules and manifests.

26. What is the codedir in Puppet?

Answer: Candidates can find this entry among puppet interview questions commonly. The codedir in Puppet is the main directory ideal for puppet data and code. The codedir contains environments that hold manifests and modules. Also, you can find Hiera data and a global modules directory.

27. Where is the codedir configured in Puppet?

Answer: Practical puppet interview questions can fetch better chances of employment. The puppet.conf is ideal for configuration of the location of codedir with the codedir setting. However, Puppet Server uses its JRuby-puppet.master-code-dir Setting with the puppetserver.conf. In the case of non-default codedir, you have to change both settings.

28. What are permanent and temporary test environments?

Answer: Permanent test environment involves a stable group of test nodes. All the changes should be successful for integration with the production code. Test nodes in permanent test environments are smaller versions of the complete production infrastructure. Temporary test environment allows testing of a single change or group of modifications. The testing process involves a review of changes out of version control into the $codedir/environments directory. Temporary test environments have descriptive names or a commit ID from the underlying version.

29. What is Hiera?

Answer: Hiera is a key-value lookup ideal for separation of data from Puppet code. Hiera serves as the in-built key-value configuration data lookup apparatus of Puppet. Hiera is ideal for storing configuration data in key-value pairs. It is also ideal for finding out data needed by a specific module for a given node.

30. What are Virtual Resources in Puppet?

Answer: Virtual Resources in Puppet are instruments for the specification of a particular state of a resource. However, Virtual Resources do not require the implementation of the specific state for the resource. You can declare virtual resources once but can realize them many times.

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31. Is Puppet suitable for managing workstations?

Answer: A puppet is an ideal tool for managing almost any machine. Puppet is a major tool for managing various organizations that have various systems.

32. What are the open-source or community tools for making Puppet more powerful?

Answer: Jira is a preferred tool for ticketing changes and requests, thereby providing ease of management through internal processes. Git and Puppet Code Manager app is suitable for managing Puppet code in unison with best practices. Furthermore, the breaker testing framework in the continuous integration pipeline in Jenkins can help in running all Puppet modifications.

33. What is the difference between a Manifest and a Module?

It is one of the top puppet interview questions that interviewers during the interview. In Puppet, a Manifest is a file that contains Puppet DSL code. It is a .pp file with DSL commands which could contain the necessary, desired, and relevant state configurations. A manifest could be node-specific, and it can be organized into a catalog. Manifests are applicable on a Puppet Agent server or a local server.

Modules can be defined as the structure that is used to create ‘portable cords.’ Mostly, modules encompass manifests, they also generally encompass templates, files, test cases along with metadata. A module that does not contain manifest can also be created.

34. What do you know about MCollective?

It is one of the best puppet interview questions that candidates are expected to answer to impress the interviewer. MCollective is also known as the Marionette Collective. It refers to a framework that is used for creating parallel job-execution systems or server orchestration. A majority of the users can programmatically execute varying administrative tasks on the collection of servers.

MCollective is the tool that has been designed by Puppet labs so that it can help to run thousands of jobs in parallel while making use of the existing plugins. For interacting parallelly with multiple hosts simultaneously, it uses publish/subscribe middleware.

35. Why does the Puppet tool have its very own language? Why YAML and XML are considered incompatible?

This is one of the top puppet interview questions that is asked to the candidates during the interview process. The language that is used for manifests is finally the Puppet’s human interface. YAML and XML are the data formats that are developed around the processing capabilities of computer systems, and thus they are not appropriate human interfaces.

Even though there are individuals who can read and write them, YAML and XML restrict the assurance that the specific interface was declarative. There is a possibility that one process will treat a YAML configuration or XML configuration different from another process.

36. If the servers are all unique, can Puppet be helpful?

This is one of the best puppet interview questions that might seem to be puzzling for an interviewee. The Puppet tool will be helpful even if all the servers are unique. All servers are unique in some way or another, but they are not unique. For instance, even if the IP addresses or the hostname might be different, generally servers run on relatively standard Operating System (OS).

In case a server is unique, Puppet can be useful as it will help in terms of uniqueness as well as consistency. It will help to express the expected consistency, and it can allow special provisions so that the server’s uniqueness can be handled.

37. What do you understand by module-path in Puppet?

It is one of the most popular puppet interview questions that interviewees are likely to come across during an interview. In Puppet, the puppet master server, as well as the puppet, apply command load a majority of their content from modules that are found in one or more directories.

The list or record of directories where the Puppet tool searches for modules is known as a module path. The environment of the current node sets the module-path. module-path can also be defined as the ordered list of directories where the former directories are given priority over the latest ones.

38. What is the cache directory in Puppet?

This is one of the most frequently asked puppet interview questions that candidates will come across during the interview process. In Puppet, the cache directory is also known as ‘vardir.’ It refers to the location which contains growing and dynamic data that the Puppet tool creates in the course of the typical and normal operational activities.

Some of the data that is stored in the cache directory can be mined so that interesting analysis can be carried out. It can also be used for integrating other tools with the Puppet tool. Cache directory acts as an indispensable component of the Puppet tool.

39. What are ‘Divided Infrastructure’ in Puppet?

In case, specific parts of the infrastructure are managed and handled by different teams that do not need to coordinate and align their code; they can be categorized into varying environments. This refers to divided infrastructure in Puppet. The splitting of the different parts of the infrastructure in Puppet is known as “Divided Infrastructur”.

It is one of the key types of “Environments” in Puppet. The other categories of the environment include permanent test environments and temporary test environments. There is no interdependence between the teams that work on the infrastructure, so the splitting of the environment seems to be a feasible option.

40. What do you understand by “Environments” in Puppet?

It is one of the latest puppet interview questions that are asked to interview candidates. In Puppets, the term “Environments” refers to the isolated groups of Puppet agent nodes. An environment is a branch that converts into a directory in the master.

A Puppet master is responsible for serving every environment with its central manifest as well as a module path. This enables to utilize varying versions of the same modules for different categories of nodes. Thus, it is considered to be extremely useful for making testing changes to the Puppet code before their implementation of the production equipment and machines.

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So, the discussion provides a clear outline of important interview questions related to the puppet. The various important questions are classified for freshers and experienced candidates. The puppet interview questions can help candidates prepare effectively for their responses in an actual interview. Based on the responses provided in this discussion, candidates could improve their preparation level.

Furthermore, practicing the interview questions can also help in improving confidence to appear for an interview. The interview questions are also perfect instruments for revising your learning outcomes and inferences effectively. You can also add a puppet certification in your resume to increase the chances of being selected. You can start your preparation to become a Certified Puppet professional with our puppet certification online training.

Finally, the different interview questions in this discussion can also provide insights into some new questions. So, prepare well and attend your interviews with confidence!

About Dharmalingam N

Dharmalingam.N holds a master degree in Business Administration and writes on a wide range of topics ranging from technology to business analysis. He has a background in Relationship Management. Some of the topics he has written about and that have been published include; project management, business analysis and customer engagement.

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