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Hieratic allows Puppet Resources to be created directly in Hiera.


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Version information

  • 0.6.1 (latest)
  • 0.6.0
  • 0.5.2
  • 0.5.1
  • 0.5.0 (deleted)
released Apr 1st 2015
This version is compatible with:
  • Puppet Enterprise 3.x
  • Puppet 3.x
  • RedHat, CentOS, OracleLinux, Scientific, SLES, Debian, Ubuntu, AIX, Mac, Windows

Start using this module

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

Add this module to your Puppetfile:

mod 'tedivm-hieratic', '0.6.1'
Learn more about managing modules with a Puppetfile

Add this module to your Bolt project:

bolt module add tedivm-hieratic
Learn more about using this module with an existing project

Manually install this module globally with Puppet module tool:

puppet module install tedivm-hieratic --version 0.6.1

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.

Tags: meta, hiera


tedivm/hieratic — version 0.6.1 Apr 1st 2015


Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Module Description - What the module does and why it is useful
  3. Supported Resources - What resources are supported by this module
  4. Setup - The basics of getting started with hieratic
  5. Usage - Configuration options and additional functionality
  6. Reference - An under-the-hood peek at what the module is doing and how
  7. Limitations - OS compatibility, etc.
  8. Development - Guide for contributing to the module


Hieratic allows Puppet Resources to be created directly in Hiera.

Module Description

This incredibly meta module allows for the direct creation of resources using Hiera.

This module does not, by itself, add any resources or change your systems. What it does is add a new way to configure systems by defining resources inside of Hiera. This makes it possible to define all site configuration in Hiera. This means that all of the site data can be kept in Hiera, allowing both a separation of data and implementation as well as the ability to store all configurations in a consistant format (yaml, json, or a custom provider).

Supported Resources

In addition to the build in resources, Hieratic supports the resource types from these modules:


What hieratic affects

  • Any supported resource can be modified with this module.
  • Most modules can be used by this module through the class resource.

Setup Requirements

It's recommended that you enable deeper merge in Hiera and define a proper hierarchy.

Although Hiera supports some non-native modules, such as Firewalls, it does not include them. Any modules that are used as part of a site should be added as dependencies of that site.

Beginning with hieratic

Make sure to include hieratic in your main manifest.

include hieratic

At this point you can move away manifests and over to Hiera.

If you want to add custom options you can include Hieratic as a class.

class {'hieratic':}


Define Resources in Hiera

Without this module packages have to be defined in manifests-

$packages = [ "git", "subversion", "p7zip", "nmap", "ethstatus", "iptraf" ]
package { $packages: ensure => "installed" }

With Hieratic packages are listed as data in Hiera-

  git: {}
  subversion: {}
  p7zip: {}
  nmap: {}
  ethstatus: {}
  iptraf: {}

This also works for other types such as groups-

Group { "sudo":
  name => "sudo"
  ensure => "present"

Group { "admin":
  name => "admin"
  ensure => "present"

The above gets replaced by-

    name: 'sudo'
    ensure: 'present'
    name: 'admin'
    ensure: 'present'

Using Hierarchies with Hiera and Hieratic

Hiera uses an ordered hierarchy to look up data. This allows you to have a large amount of common data and override smaller amounts of it wherever necessary.

The beauty of Hiera is in how it allows for default behaviors while allowing small changes for machines that need it. For example, if you want to have a base ssh configuration with some additional options for running on VirtualBox with Vagrant.

For this example make sure your hiera.yaml file has a hierarchy using the virtual fact-

- "%{::virtual}"
- "common"

Then define the general definition in a common.yaml file:

      Protocol: '2'
      PermitRootLogin: 'no'
      PubkeyAuthentication: 'yes'
      PasswordAuthentication: 'no'
      UsePAM: 'no'
        - 5022
        - admin

Finally add the custom information to virtualbox.yaml:

    storeconfigs_enabled: false
        - 22
        - vagrant

Differences Between Hieratic and Automatic Parameter Lookup

Hieratic allows for the full merging of hierarchies, which is what allows the behavior from the example above to take place. The Automatic Parameter Lookup system has a severe limitation in that it can not merge values from multiple hierarchy levels- you will only get the highest priority value and nothing else.

Automatic Parameter Lookup Compatibility

When using Hieratic there is no reason to use APL, and it can in the default configuration cause some potential issues.

If APL is a requirement then use the prefix option in hieratic to namespace the hieratic objects. This will prevent any overlap in names between APL and Hieratic keys.

class { 'hieratic':
  prefix => 'hieratic_',

Alternatively APL can be disabled in the puppet master's puppet.conf file.

data_binding_terminus = none

Change the Labels (or names) of Hiera Resources

Each resource type has an associated label parameter that can be used to change how resources are grouped in Hiera. To refer to class resources as "classes" then change the "class_label" to "classes".

class { 'hieratic':
  class_label => 'classes',
  package_label => 'packages',  
  git: {}
  subversion: {}
  p7zip: {}
  p7zip-full: {}
  nmap: {}
  ethstatus: {}
  iptraf: {}

Setting Default Values for Resources

Hieratic allows you to override the default values of any resource on a global level.

To set a default shell for all hieratic created users.-

class { 'hieratic':
  user_defaults => {
    'shell' => '/bin/zsh'

Enabling Some Resources and Not Others

By default Hieratic enables all resource types. Turning off "global_enable" lets resources get enabled on an individual basis. They are all disabled by default, and can be turned on by their respective "type_enable" parameters.

To turn off all resources types and enable class and files-

class { 'hieratic':
  global_enable => false,
  class_enable => true,
  file_enable => true,

Defining Firewall Rules

With Hieratics all of your firewall rules can easily be defined in your Hiera configuration. You can use the firewall_pre and firewall_post rules to enforce the order which rules are added by Puppet to the system to prevent accidental lockouts.

  '000 accept all icmp':
    proto: 'icmp'
    action: 'accept'
  '001 accept all to lo interface':
    proto: 'all'
    iniface: 'lo'
    action: 'accept'
  '002 accept established related rules':
    proto: 'all'
      - 'RELATED'
    action: 'accept'

  '022 accept ssh traffic':
    proto: 'tcp'
    dport: '22'
    action: 'accept'

  '910 drop remaining inputs':
    chain: 'INPUT'
    action: 'drop'
    proto: 'all'
  '910 drop remaining inputs ipv6':
    chain: 'INPUT'
    action: 'drop'
    proto: 'all'
    provider: 'ip6tables'
  '910 drop remaining forwards':
    chain: 'FORWARD'
    action: 'drop'
    proto: 'all'
  '910 drop remaining forwards ipv6':
    chain: 'FORWARD'
    action: 'drop'
    proto: 'all'
    provider: 'ip6tables'


The only public facing class is "hieratic".


  • [global_enable] Defaults to true. With this on all resources are exposed through Hiera. For granular control set this to false and manually enable specific resource types.

  • [prefix] Defaults to ''. This string gets added to all of the various TYPE_label keys in hiera.

  • [TYPE_enable] Defaults to true. With this on all resources are exposed through Hiera.

  • [TYPE_label] Defaults to the name of the type. This defines the top level hiera variable name to use when defining values of this type.

  • [TYPE_defaults] Defaults to and empty array. This allows default values to be set for each resource type.


This module works with any version of Puppet that has Hiera installed, on any operating system.


Contributions are always welcome. Please read the Contributing Guide to get started.