Manage Operating System Packages

Choria Orchestrator



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Version information

  • 5.3.0 (latest)
  • 5.2.0
  • 5.1.0
  • 5.0.1
  • 5.0.0
  • 4.7.0
  • 4.5.0
released Jul 7th 2020
This version is compatible with:
  • Puppet Enterprise 2021.2.x, 2021.1.x, 2021.0.x, 2019.8.x, 2019.7.x, 2019.5.x, 2019.4.x, 2019.3.x, 2019.2.x, 2019.1.x, 2019.0.x
  • Puppet >= 6.0.0

Start using this module


choria/mcollective_agent_package — version 5.3.0 Jul 7th 2020

Choria Package Agent

The package agent that lets you install, uninstall, update, purge and query the status of packages on your system.

This agent can be extended to support different Package managers, by default it uses Puppet. See the section later in this document about extendibility.


This agent provides the following actions, for details about each please run mco plugin doc agent/package

  • apt_checkupdates - Check for APT updates
  • apt_update - Update the apt cache
  • checkupdates - Check for updates
  • count - Get number of packages installed
  • install - Install a package
  • md5 - Get md5 digest of list of packages installed
  • purge - Purge a package
  • refresh - Update the available packages cache
  • search - Search package manager for package availability
  • status - Get the status of a package
  • uninstall - Uninstall a package
  • update - Update a package
  • yum_checkupdates - Check for YUM updates
  • yum_clean - Clean the YUM cache


This agent is installed by default as part of the Choria Orchestrator.


There is one plugin configuration setting for the package agent.

  • provider - The Util class that implements the install, uninstall, purge, update and status behavior. Defaults to 'puppet'

General provider configuration options can then also be set in the config file.

  provider: puppet
  puppet.allowcdrom: true


By default the Action Policy system is configured to only allow status and count and md5 actions from all users. These are read only and does not expose secrets.

Follow the Choria documentation to configure your own policies either site wide or per agent.

If you do configure any Policies specific to this module these defaults will be overriden when done using Hiera.

An example policy can be seen here:

  - action: "allow"
    callers: "choria=manager.mcollective"
    actions: "install update uninstall purge"
    facts: "*"
    classes: "*"


% mco rpc package install package=nano

 * [ ============================================================> ] 4 / 4

Summary of Ensure:

   2.0.9-7.el6 = 4

Finished processing 4 / 4 hosts in 18176.83 ms
% mco package nano uninstall

 * [ ============================================================> ] 4 / 4

Summary of Ensure:

   absent = 4

Finished processing 4 / 4 hosts in 393.68 ms
% mco rpc package install package=openssl version=0.9.8k-7ubuntu8

 * [ ============================================================> ] 4 / 4

Summary of Ensure:

   0.9.8k-7ubuntu8 = 4

Finished processing 4 / 4 hosts in 18176.83 ms

Data Plugin

The Package agent also supplies a data plugin which uses the Package agent to check the current status of a package. The data plugin will set installed to true/false if the package is not installed or not, and will set status to the currently installed version if it is present and can be used during discovery or any other place where the MCollective discovery language is used.

mco rpc rpcutil ping -S "package('mypackage').installed=false"

mco rpc rpcutil ping -S "package('mypackage').status=3.2-1"


The default package agent achieves platform portability by using the Puppet provider system to support package managers on all platforms that Puppet supports.

If however you are not a Puppet user or simply want to implement some new method of package management you can do so by providing your own backend provider for this agent.

The logic for the Puppet version of this agent is implemented in Util::Package::PuppetPackage, you can create a custom package implementation that overrides #install, #uninstall, #update, #purge and #status.

This agent defaults to Util::Package::PuppetPackage but if you have your own you can configure it in the config file using:

  provider: puppet

There is an example YumPackage that manages YUM based systems without Puppet that you can look to for an example.