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Beginning to learn Puppet Enterprise

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Beginning to learn Puppet Enterprise

What exactly is Puppet Enterprise, and how can I use it?

One new initiative I’ve decided to take on at work is beginning to learnt Puppet Enterprise. To be transparent upfront, I know literally nothing about Puppet Enterprise outside of it’s general capabilities to facilitate scale-able solutions for automation, enforce desired states, provide real-time reporting, and orchestrate workflows.

Part of the reason I’m taking a proactive approach in learning this new technology is to mitigate repetitive deployment tasks, increase code deployment efficiencies, and gain insights via real-time reporting to analyze for further systems’ optimizations.

With Puppet Enterprise, you can efficiently move workloads to any modern infrastructure (cloud, containers, hybrid cloud) in a matter of days, and deploy within hours, all with lower risk and greater flexibility. Puppet helps erase the differences across your heterogeneous environments so you can focus on innovation, not maintenance.

How does this apply in a practical sense, what use cases are there, and how can I use it in my company? Well…I don’t know yet myself. That’s what I’m going to figure out.


So where to start?

Well, without sounding too obvious I started with the official documentation provided by Puppet. I was happy to find that Puppet Enterprise has multiple tracks available for training:

  • Learning VM
    • Take Puppet for a test drive in a free downloadable virtual machine
  • Instructor-led training
    • Instructor-led training in professional in-person and virtual classroom environments.
  • Private training
    • Training available for the entire team at your office or online.
  • Self-paced training
    • Learn at your pace — anytime, anywhere. Just log in and go. Available for all Puppet products.

  • Puppet Enterprise Certification
    • As you’re learning Puppet, work towards a professional certification.

I decided to simply jump in and get my hands dirty right away, just to get a general sense of everything. I dove into the ‘Learning VM’ path. By doing it this way, I can setup a dedicated Puppet Enterprise environment and can begin testing use cases.

To begin, I downloaded VirtualBox and configured it to import the Puppet Enterprise Learning VM. If you’re unfamiliar with VirtualBox it’s a free Open Source virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use.

Once I finished installing VirtualBox, I imported the Puppet Enterprise Learning VM file which automatically configured the overall Virtual Machine.

Virtual Box Desktop Application with Puppet Learning VM Installed

This is where I hit my first barrier. When I launch the Puppet Enterprise Learning VM I am prompted with the following welcome message:

Puppet Enterprise Learning VM Welcome Message

What I found is that when attempting to connect via PuTTY the connection isn’t being made:

Putty Connection

I get a basic time-out error:

putty error message

I started this project late in the evening, so before hanging this up I do some basic troubleshooting before going down a rabbit hole for hours. Per the welcome splash-screen on the Puppet Enterprise Learning VM, I logged in with the credentials provided.

After I authenticated, I ran the command: facter ipaddress to verify the IP Address listed is my actual IP Address.

IP Address verification

At this point I’m going to stop and resume this later in the week. I suspect this is an issue with configuring the VM and PuTTY to talk together correctly.

Update to follow later in the week. Until then, I’ll be chipping away at other projects.


A believer in the pursuit of genuine ideas, the power of numbers and all that is the internet. Michael has been a full stack web systems engineer for 10 years. Focusing specifically on WordPress based systems, usability, UX/UI, and delivering Human Solutions in a digital world.

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