Forge Home


Manage debconf database items on Debian based systems.

Stefan Möding



6,967 latest version

5.0 quality score

Version information

  • 3.3.1 (latest)
  • 3.3.0
  • 3.2.0
  • 3.1.0 (deleted)
  • 3.0.0
  • 2.3.0
  • 2.2.1
  • 2.2.0
  • 2.1.0
  • 2.0.0
  • 1.0.1
  • 1.0.0
released Mar 4th 2021
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, 2018.1.x, 2017.3.x
  • Puppet >= 5.0.0 < 8.0.0
  • Debian

Start using this module

Tags: debconf


stm/debconf — version 3.3.1 Mar 4th 2021


Build Status Puppet Forge License

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Module Description - What does the module do?
  3. Setup - The basics of getting started with debconf
  4. Usage - Configuration options and additional functionality
  5. Reference - An under-the-hood peek at what the module is doing and how
  6. Limitations - OS compatibility, etc.
  7. Development - Guide for contributing to the module


Manage entries in the Debian debconf database.

Module Description

Debian based systems use the debconf database to record configuration choices the user made during the installation of a package. The system uses the stored answers and therefore does not need to query the user again when the package is upgraded or reinstalled at a later time.

The debconf type allows preseeding the database with given answers to allow an unattended package installation or modification of package defaults. The type can optionally also manage the seen flag for an item.

The standard package type uses the responsefile parameter to provide a file with preseeded answers during installation. The debconf type is a more general solution as it allows to update settings without the need to install the package at the same time.


What debconf affects

The debconf type modifies entries in the Debian debconf database.

Setup Requirements

This module uses programs provided by the Debian/Ubuntu debconf package. Debian assigns the required priority to this package so it should already be installed everywhere.


Use debconf-show or debconf-get-selections to find out about valid debconf entries for an installed package.

Example: Use dash as replacement for the bourne shell

This entry will ensure a symlink from /bin/sh to /bin/dash if dpkg-reconfigure dash is run the next time. It will also mark the question as seen to prevent the installer from asking this question during the installation.

debconf { 'dash/sh':
  type  => 'boolean',
  value => 'true',
  seen  => true,

Note: Although this code is perfectly legal Puppet code, the string 'true' (not the boolean true) will trigger the puppet-lint warning quoted_booleans. But we really want to use the string 'true' and not the boolean truth value here. So in this case we can easily suppress the warning with a control comment:

debconf { 'dash/sh':
  type  => 'boolean',
  value => 'true',      # lint:ignore:quoted_booleans
  seen  => true,

Example: Automatically set a root password for MySQL during installation

These two resources preseed the installation of the mysql-server-5.5 package with the password for the MySQL root user to use. The password has to be set twice because the installation dialog asks two times for the password to detect typos. This password is used if the package is installed after these resources have been created.

debconf { 'mysql-root-passwd':
  package => 'mysql-server-5.5',
  item    => 'mysql-server/root_password',
  type    => 'password',
  value   => 'secret',
  seen    => true,

debconf { 'mysql-root-passwd-again':
  package => 'mysql-server-5.5',
  item    => 'mysql-server/root_password_again',
  type    => 'password',
  value   => 'secret',
  seen    => true,



Type: debconf

Ensures presence or absence of a debconf database entry on Debian based systems.

Parameters for the debconf type:


Ensures whether the resource is present. Valid options: present, absent. Default value: present


The configuration item to manage. This is normally a string with at least one slash character. Valid options: String. Default: the title of the debconf resource.


The name of the package that owns the item. Valid options: String. Default: the prefix of the item parameter up to the first slash character.


The data type of the item. Valid options: 'string', 'boolean', 'select', 'multiselect', 'note', 'text', 'password', 'title'. This parameter is mandatory if ensure is present. Default: Undefined.


The value to set. Valid options: String. Default: Undefined.


Optionally set the seen flag for item. The seen flag is used by the packaging system to decide if the associated configuration question should be asked during an installation. This parameter can be left undefined if the seen flag should not be managed. The packaging system normally sets this flag to true if an item is modified.

The parameter can be a boolean value and the flag is set to the specified value. Valid options: true, false or undefined. Default value: Undefined.


This module is only useful on Debian based systems where the debconf database is used.

A control comment may be needed to suppress puppet-lint warnings when you set boolean values. See the Usage section for an example.

The value of the type parameter is only used when an item is created. It is not updated if the value of the item is changed later.


Feel free to send pull requests for new features.