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Manage OS patch baselines with Puppet


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Version information

  • 1.0.0 (latest)
  • 0.9.1
  • 0.9.0
  • 0.8.0
  • 0.7.4
  • 0.7.3
  • 0.7.2
  • 0.7.1
  • 0.7.0
released Aug 31st 2020
This version is compatible with:
  • Puppet Enterprise 2019.8.x, 2019.7.x, 2019.5.x, 2019.4.x, 2019.3.x, 2019.2.x, 2019.1.x, 2019.0.x, 2018.1.x, 2017.3.x, 2017.2.x, 2017.1.x, 2016.5.x, 2016.4.x
  • Puppet >= 4.7.0 < 7.0.0
  • , , , ,
  • do_update
  • list_repos
  • purge_repos
  • check_update

Start using this module

  • r10k or Code Manager
  • Bolt
  • Manual installation
  • Direct download

Add this module to your Puppetfile:

mod 'qtechnologies-osbaseline', '1.0.0'
Learn more about managing modules with a Puppetfile

Add this module to your Bolt project:

bolt module add qtechnologies-osbaseline
Learn more about using this module with an existing project

Manually install this module globally with Puppet module tool:

puppet module install qtechnologies-osbaseline --version 1.0.0

Direct download is not typically how you would use a Puppet module to manage your infrastructure, but you may want to download the module in order to inspect the code.



qtechnologies/osbaseline — version 1.0.0 Aug 31st 2020


Table of Contents


This module provides the ability to easily manage Operating System baseline levels. It does this by setting up the package repositories (YUM for RedHat/AIX and Zypper for Suse). It can be used to manage any repositories, but it's designed to work smoothly with (the Linux OS Baseline Maker) - which basically uses symbolic links to snapshot repositories by date, ensuring all systems have exacting the same patches (package versions) installed for each baseline.


What osbaseline affects

The client component manages the package repositories a client is pointing to. The server component installs scripts on the requested servers.

Setup Requirements

It requires hiera data to drive the configuration and a set of groups in the classifier (setting an appropriate variable). The groups in the classifier are populated with scripts to make it easier to bulk move clients from one baseline to another.

Beginning with osbaseline

Simply include or call the class:

include osbaseline


class { 'osbaseline': }

If called on an unsupported OS, it will be ignored.

The purge_repos option will force all unmanaged repositories to be removed.

Usage - For Repository Users

Repositories only

If you just want to use it to manage generic repositories (i.e. not date based), set enforce_baseline to false in heira or when calling the class:

class { 'osbaseline':
  enforce_baseline = false

Or, in hiera, e.g. data/os/AIX.yaml:

osbaseline::enforce_baseline: false

Inside your Hiera you need to define the location of the repositories to be managed, e.g.:

osbaseline::repos::file_mode: '0444'
    descr: 'Common Linux Utilities Repo'
    name: 'LinuxUtil'
    baseurl: "http://%{::yum_server}/apps/linuxutil/%{::operatingsystem}/%{::operatingsystemmajrelease}"
    enabled: 1
    sslverify: 0

    descr: "%{::operatingsystem} %{::operatingsystemmajrelease} Baseline %{::osbaseline_date}"
    name: "%{::operatingsystem}_baseline_%{::osbaseline_date}"
    baseurl: "http://%{::yum_server}/baselines/%{::operatingsystem}%{::operatingsystemmajrelease}_%{::osbaseline_date}"
    sslverify: 0

    descr: "%{::operatingsystem} %{::operatingsystemmajrelease} Baseline %{::osbaseline_date}"
    name: "%{::operatingsystem}_baseline_%{::osbaseline_date}"
    baseurl: "http://%{::yum_server}/baselines/%{::operatingsystem}%{::operatingsystemmajrelease}_%{::osbaseline_date}"
    sslverify: 0

Note: the repository that corresponds to the OS baseline must be labeled: osbaseline for the automated upgrading to work.

The all_yum data goes to all Linux systems that understand yum (e.g. RHEL, Centos, OEL and AIX (if configured)). The redhat_yum data only goes onto redhat branded systems, likewise for centos_yum. This data is found by the module by looking in Heira for a key matching the $facts['os']['name'] + _yum. This provides the ability to direct the correct repos to the different vendors of Enterprise Linux - i.e., so you don't put Red Hat patches onto Centos or vice versa.

The module does a deep merge when looking for the repository data, so that different roles or nodes can add to the repository list without having to redefine them all each time.

The baseurl of the repository must match whatever URLs you are serving the baselines as on your YUM server. The osbaseline_date date is set according in the node classifier (described in the next section) - again, this date needs to align to the YUM repo baselines.

Manage OS Baseline

If you want to enforce an OS Baseline as well as manage the repositories, you will need to set up some Node Classifer groups (or otherwise set a global variable with the baseline version). If this variable is not set it will fail a Puppet run saying the baseline variable is not set.

If using the Node Classifer, create a group that matches all the nodes you want to manage and set up a variable with the date of the baseline, e.g.: osbaseline_date = 2018-09-30. This can also be achieved by setting a fact, but is harder to manage.

Create additional groups with different dates and move hosts between them as desired. The repository URIs will be updated accordingly on the next Puppet runs.

If osbaseline::repos::do_update is set to true in Hiera, the yum distro-sync operation will be run against the baseline repo only.

If osbaseline::repos::do_reboot is set to true in Hiera, the system will be rebooted after the puppet run has completed.

Included Scripts to Manage Groups

There are included scripts to manage the creation of the groups and to make it easier to move nodes between the groups. The scripts are managed through hiera.

# The following hiera are the defaults and can be overridden
osbaseline::scripts::selection_script_path: /usr/local/bin/baseline_selection
osbaseline::scripts::selection_config_path: /usr/local/etc/baseline_selection.yaml
  puppet_classify_host: puppet
  puppet_classify_port: 4433
  puppet_classify_cert: api_access
  puppet_ssl_path: /etc/puppetlabs/puppet/ssl
  puppetdb_host: localhost
  puppetdb_port: 8080
  group_names_prefix: OS Baseline
# The following are more site specific and must be set up in the environment hiera
osbaseline::scripts::install: true
  default_osbaseline_date: '2017-08-31'
  default_group_rule: [ 'and', [ '~', ['facts','os', 'release', 'major'], '^[67]$'], [ '=', ['facts','os', 'family'], 'RedHat'] ]

It reality, this needs to be run on the Puppet master due to access to certificates. If you want to run on another host, you can copy the access cert and the CA to another host. Use puppetserver ca generate --certname api_access (or puppet cert generate api_access in older installations) to create a cert, add it to /etc/puppetlabs/console-services/rbac-certificate-whitelist and restart the console services.

Note: There is no mechanism to stop a node being pinned to two groups. If this happens, Puppet will fail, and you'll need to make sure each node is only in one group.


In order to get these scripts installed using Puppet, you will need to turn off enforcae baseline to as the Puppet run will fail if the groups do not exist in the Classifier. Set this in hiera in the puppet master scope:

osbaseline::enforce_baseline: false

Script to Manage OS Baseline groups

baseline_selection -a action -g group [-f] [node1] [node2] [node3]
  • -a, the script actions:
    • init_soe - create the default group. All nodes matched by the default_group_rule will go into this group and receive the default_osbaseline_date. They will receive a different date by being in a new baseline group.
    • add_group - add a new baseline group
    • remove_group - remove the specified group
    • add_to_group - pin a node to a group
    • remove_from_group - remove the specified nodes from a group
    • empty_group - empty a group of the nodes pinned to it
    • list_group - list the nodes pinned to a group
    • list_groups - list all the sub groups in parent baseline group
    • purge_old_nodes - remove all the nodes not found in the PuppetDB
    • show_membership_of_nodes - show which groups nodes are members of (all nodes will be show if none are specified)
  • -g, specify a group name
  • -f, force, e.g force the removal of a group even if nodes are pinned to it
  • the list of nodes are required when adding/removing from a group
Initialize the groups in the Classifier
baseline_selection -a init_soe
Add a couple of baseline groups
baseline_selection -a add_group -g 2018-09-30
baseline_selection -a add_group -g 2018-10-31
Move nodes from one baseline to another

It will automatically unpin from any previous groups the nodes were in.

cat > host.list
baseline_selection -a add_to_group -g 2018-10-31 `cat host.list`
See which groups certain nodes are in
baseline_selection -a show_membership_of_nodes
--- 'OS Baseline : 2018-10-31' Not pinned to any group
Remove a group even if nodes are pinned to it
baseline_selection -a remove_group -f

Deploy OS Baseline

Here is an example workflow for upgrading nodes from one baseline to another:


  • Create the new baseline on the YUM server (assuming the latest packages are already downloaded): lobm -c /etc/lobm/baselines/RedHat6_201811 -o 2018-12-10
  • Create the corresponding group in the Puppet console: baseline_selection -a add_group -g 2018-12-10


  • Identify machines to upgrade (or downgrade)
  • Add nodes to OS Baseline group in Puppet: baseline_selection -a add_to_group -g 2018-12-10,
  • Run puppet on nodes: puppet job run -n,
  • Preview the package changes (optional): puppet task run osbaseline::check_update -n,
  • Perform update: puppet task run osbaseline::do_update -n,
  • Run puppet on nodes: puppet job run -n,
  • Reboot: puppet task run reboot -n,

Alternatively, if you have specified in hiera:

osbaseline::repos::do_update: true
osbaseline::repos::do_reboot: true

These tasks:

  • Identify machines to upgrade (or downgrade)
  • Add nodes to OS Baseline group in Puppet: baseline_selection -a add_to_group -g 2018-12-10,
  • Run puppet on nodes: puppet job run -n,

Usage - For Repository Servers

Include the osbaseline::server class in the profile of your repository server:

  class { 'osbaseline::server': }

Create Hiera data along these lines for the server of the repositories:

  baseline_dir: "/repository/baselines/"
  http_served_from: "/repository"
  http_server_uri: ""
  createrepo_cmd: "/usr/bin/createrepo"
  workers: 2

    description: Centos 7 as at the end of August 2017
    target: centos
    versions: 1 
        dir: /repository/os/CentOS/7/base/x86_64/Packages/
        date: "2017-08-31"
        dir: /repository/os/CentOS/7/updates/x86_64/Packages/
        date: "2017-08-31"
    description: OracleLinux 7 as at the end of August 2017
    target: rhel
    versions: 1 
        dir: /repository/os/OracleLinux/7/base/x86_64/Packages/
        date: "2017-08-31"
        dir: /repository/os/OracleLinux/7/updates/x86_64/Packages/
        date: "2017-08-31"

We assume the relevant directories are exported via the Web. NGINX config might look like this:

    listen_port: 80
    server_name: [""]
    access_log: '/var/log/nginx/yum_repo.access.log'
    error_log: '/var/log/nginx/yum_repo.error.log'
    use_default_location: false
        location: '/repo/'
        autoindex: 'on'
        www_root: '/repository/'

A cron entry could be created along these lines (depending on the module you are using):

    command: '/usr/bin/lobm -c /etc/lobm/baselines/CentOS_7_2017-08-31.yaml -o $(date -d yesterday +''\%Y-\%m-\%d'')'
    user: 'yumrepo'
    hour: '0'
    minute: '0'
    monthday: '1'


Only tested on AIX, EL and Suse systems. It is not designed for Debian based systems.


If you would like to contribute to or comment on this module, please do so at it's Github repository. Thanks.