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Which books would your recommend for learning Puppet?

asked 2013-05-22 10:54:47 -0600

ramindk gravatar image

updated 2013-05-23 13:02:30 -0600

Many new users ask which book should they buy. Which book(s) would you recommend and why?

EDIT: I think my original question was too subtle. If you're going to answer the question, post an actual review of the book you are recommending. What was good. What was bad. What technologies it covers or perhaps doesn't. Any answer without such information is useless as everyone is perfectly capable of searching for "puppet config management book".

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answered 2013-05-23 19:27:30 -0600

stahnma gravatar image

I would have a look at the learning VM (the VM and tutorial). The tutorial is completely amazing. I've used Puppet since 2007 and learn something every time I run through it. is where I'd start. The Pro Puppet book would be my second choice.

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answered 2013-05-23 02:32:03 -0600

updated 2013-05-29 09:13:59 -0600

If you're perhaps still at Puppet 2.7:

Puppet 2.7 Cookbook by John Arundel

Quite interesting.

If you want to move to Puppet 3.x, that is at some places completely different: no clue.

Link provided.

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answered 2014-08-28 07:18:07 -0600

lvidler gravatar image

updated 2014-08-28 17:21:40 -0600

There is worthwhile stuff in all of the current Puppet Books, depending on how you use Puppet and what level of experience your at. Pro Puppet (2nd edition mentioned above) seems to be the bible and is the one I keep referring back to, but the best book I have looked at so far is probably Extending Puppet. Here is a recommended reading order and my casual opinion:

Puppet 3 Beginners Guide: John Arundel - Well written and great content but the formatting is a bit annoying, particularly if your on an e-reader. Great introduction to Open Source Puppet.

Puppet 3 Cookbook: John Arundel - The cookbook style works really well for Puppet, this book has a lot of practical examples, key concepts and best practice

Puppet Types and Providers: Dan Bode and Nan Liu - Dev oriented but essential

Pro Puppet (2nd edition) - Dense and authoritative, the 'if you only buy one puppet book' book

Extending Puppet - Alessandro Franceschi - Would consider this the 'best' puppet book currently available, not for beginners

Mastering Puppet - Thomas Uphill - Not for beginners, lots of wow factor and pushing puppets capabilities.

Haven't read Puppet Reporting yet but its supposed to be good, and the book on MCollective also good on first impression.

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answered 2013-08-06 20:08:36 -0600

nibalizer gravatar image

I'm going to give a plug for my own book here. Myself, Willlam Van Hevelingen, and Ben Kero, are writing the second edition of the Pro Puppet book. It will be out around the end of October, and hopefully we will have an alpha-ebook of some kind in time for Puppet Conf.

We are planning to update the book to include Puppet 3 best practices, Hiera, and other tooling and practices that have emerged since James Turnbull and Jeff McCune wrote the first edition.

If you have any thoughts on what you'd like to see in the second ... (more)

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answered 2013-05-22 11:03:43 -0600

ramindk gravatar image

updated 2014-10-09 12:54:13 -0600

I found Pro Puppet (first edition) useful in learning Puppet. It also helped me fix a number of older modules during an 0.24.x to 0.25.x upgrade.


  • Git workflow chapters still very relevant
  • Explains CA and certs well
  • Solid introduction to modules, environments, and other basics


  • Doesn't cover feature that appears in 2.7+ like Hiera or parametrized classes
  • Module design looks dated compared to current thinking
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answered 2013-05-23 06:57:19 -0600

There's not such a big choice (5 books - not that much). The later book was published, the more actual information it will contain.

I personally, finished reading Pro Puppet, few months ago. And it was kinda ok to get general knowledge on puppet 2.7 features. But for now, to get familiar with Puppet 3 features - have to browse online documentation.

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Asked: 2013-05-22 10:54:47 -0600

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Last updated: Oct 09 '14