HOWTO: install puppet-dashboard on Debian Squeeze

This should apply to Ubuntu Server as well (10.10, 11.04) but it’s tested to work 100% on Debian Squeeze 6.0.
Puppet Dashboard is a neat piece of software really useful if you ara managing a good number of hosts without Puppet.

First of all, install the required deps:

# aptitude install ruby rake dbconfig-common libdbd-mysql-ruby mysql-client rubygems libhttpclient-ruby1.8

you’ll probably have lots of them already installed if you are running Puppet master on the same host (which by the way is not mandatory).
Then, download and install the deb package:

# wget http://downloads.puppetlabs.com/dashboard/puppet-dashboard_1.2.0-1_all.deb
# dpkg -i puppet-dashboard_1.2.0-1_all.deb

Enable the daemon editing the default file /etc/default/puppet-dashboard and then customize your database definition by editing /etc/puppet-dashboard/database.yml which should looks something like this:

production:
database: puppet_dashboard
host: your.database.host
username: puppet_dashboard
password: secret_password
encoding: utf8
adapter: mysql

if you plan to use MySQL as a backend. Remember to create the database and grant the appropriate privileges to the user

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON puppet_dashboard.* TO 'puppet_dashboard'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'secret_password';

Now we have to populate the database, Rails way

# cd /usr/share/puppet-dashboard/
# rake RAILS_ENV=production db:migrate

Now you can start /etc/init.d/puppet-dashboard and /etc/init.d/puppet-dashboard-workers and you should be already able to access http://your-host.yourdomain.tld:3000 and see the Puppet Dashboard.
You just have to do two thing more before you can see any actual data in it: enable report sending in the Puppet clients and tell Puppet Master to pull those reports to the Dashboard via HTTP.

So, edit /etc/puppet.pupept.conf on the clients (I suggest you to do it via puppet if you do not already have this setting in it) and add

[agent]
# ... whatever you already have
report=true

and on the Master side

[master]
# ... whatever you already have
reports = store, http
reporturl = http://your-host.yourdomain.tld:3000/reports/upload

That’s it!

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5 thoughts on “HOWTO: install puppet-dashboard on Debian Squeeze

  1. I had trouble starting the puppet-dashboard daemon, and not finding any useful debug information.

    I had to run ‘ rake gems:refresh_specs’ before i could succefully execute ‘rake RAILS_ENV=production db:migrate’

    (rake actually warned me about this, but i read over it…)
    Hope it helps

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