Puppet Server Configuration Files: Migrating to the HOCON auth.conf Format

This version of Puppet Server is not included in Puppet Enterprise. The latest version of PE includes Puppet Server 2.7. A newer version is available; see the version menu above for details.

Puppet Server 2.2.0 introduced a significant change in how it manages authentication to API endpoints. The older Puppet auth.conf file and whitelist-based authorization method are deprecated. Puppet Server’s new auth.conf file, illustrated below in examples, also uses a different format for authorization rules.

Use the following examples and methods to convert your authorization rules when upgrading to Puppet Server 2.2.0 and newer. For detailed information about using the new or deprecated auth.conf rules with Puppet Server, see the Puppet Server auth.conf documentation.

Note: To continue using the deprecated Puppet auth.conf file and authorization rule format, see the Deprecated Ruby Parameters section of the auth.conf documentation. To support both Puppet 3 and Puppet 4 agents connecting to Puppet Server, see Backward Compatibility with Puppet 3 Agents.

Managing rules with Puppet modules

You can reimplement and manage your authorization rules in the new HOCON format and auth.conf file by using the puppetlabs-puppet_authorization Puppet module. See the module’s documentation for details.

Converting rules directly

Most of the deprecated authorization rules and settings are available in the new format.

Unavailable rules, settings, or values

The following rules, settings, and values have no direct equivalent in the new HOCON format. If you require them, you must reimplement them differently in the new format.

  • on value of auth: The deprecated auth parameter’s on value results in a match only when a request provides a client certificate. There is no equivalent behavior in the HOCON format.
  • allow_ip or deny_ip parameters
  • method parameter’s search indirector: While there is no direct equivalent to the deprecated search indirector, you can create an equivalent HOCON rule. See below for an example.

Note: Puppet Server considers the state of a request’s authentication differently depending on whether the authorization rules use the older Puppet auth.conf or newer HOCON formats. An authorization rule that uses the deprecated format evaluates the auth parameter as part of rule-matching process. A HOCON authorization rule first determines whether the request matches other parameters of the rule, and then considers the request’s authentication state (using the rule’s allow, deny, or allow-authenticated values) after a successful match only.

Basic HOCON structure

The HOCON auth.conf file has some fundamental structural requirements:

  • An authorization section, which contains:
    • A version setting.
    • A rules array of map values, each representing an authorization rule. Each rule must contain:
      • A match-request section.
        • Each match-request section must contain at least one path and type.
      • A numeric sort-order value.
        • If the value is between 1 and 399, the rule supersedes Puppet Server’s default authorization rules.
        • If the value is between 601 and 998, the rule can be overridden by Puppet Server’s default authorization rules.
      • A string name value.
      • At least one of the following:
        • An allow value, a deny value, or both. The allow or deny values can contain:
          • A single string, representing the request’s “name” derived from the Common Name (CN) attribute within an X.509 certificate’s Subject Distinguished Name (DN). This string can be an exact name, a glob, or a regular expression.
          • A single map value containing an extension key.
          • A single map value containing a certname key.
          • An array of values, including string and map values.
        • An allow-unauthenticated value, but if present, there cannot also be an allow value.

For an full example of a HOCON auth.conf file, see the HOCON auth.conf documentation.

Converting a simple rule

Let’s convert this simple deprecated auth.conf authorization rule:

path /puppet/v3/environments
method find
allow *

We’ll start with a skeletal, incomplete HOCON auth.conf file:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
            match-request: {
                path:
                type:
            }
            allow:
            sort-order: 1
            name:
        },
    ]
}

Next, let’s convert each component of the deprecated rule to the new HOCON format.

  1. Add the path to the new rule’s path setting in its match-request section.

    ...
            match-request: {
                path: /puppet/v3/environments
                type:
            }
            allow:
            sort-order: 1
            name:
        },
    ...
    
  2. Next, add its type to the section’s type setting. Since this is a literal string path, the type is path.

    ...
            match-request: {
                path: /puppet/v3/environments
                type: path
            }
            allow:
            sort-order: 1
            name:
        },
    ...
    
  3. The legacy rule has a method setting, with an indirector value of find that’s equivalent to the GET and POST HTTP methods. We can implement these by adding an optional HOCON method setting in the rule’s match-request section and specifying GET and POST as an array.

    ...
            match-request: {
                path: /puppet/v3/environments
                type: path
                method: [get, post]
            }
            allow:
            sort-order: 1
            name:
        },
    ...
    
  4. Next, set the allow setting. The legacy rule used a * glob, which is also supported in HOCON.

    ...
            match-request: {
                path: /puppet/v3/environments
                type: path
                method: [get, post]
            }
            allow: "*"
            sort-order: 1
            name:
        },
    ...
    
  5. Finally, give the rule a unique name value. Remember that the rule will appear in logs and in the body of error responses to unauthorized clients.

    ...
            match-request: {
                path: /puppet/v3/environments
                type: path
                method: [get, post]
            }
            allow: "*"
            sort-order: 1
            name: "environments"
        },
    ...
    

Our HOCON auth.conf file should now allow all authenticated clients to make GET and POST requests to the /puppet/v3/environments endpoint, and should look like this:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
            match-request: {
                path: /puppet/v3/environments
                type: path
                method: [get, post]
            }
            allow: "*"
            sort-order: 1
            name: "environments"
        },
    ]
}

Converting more complex rules

Paths set by regular expressions

To convert a regular expression path, enclose it in double quotation marks and solidus characters (/), and set the type to regex.

Note: You must escape regular expressions to conform to HOCON standards, which are the same as JSON’s and differ from the deprecated format’s regular expressions. For instance, the digit-matching regular expression \d must be escaped with a second backslash, as \\d.

Deprecated:

path ~ ^/puppet/v3/catalog/([^/]+)$

HOCON:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
        match-request: {
            path: "^/puppet/v3/catalog/([^/]+)$"
            type: regex
...

Note: You must escape regular expressions to conform to HOCON standards, which are the same as JSON’s and differ from the deprecated format’s regular expressions. For instance, the digit-matching regular expression \d must be escaped with a second backslash, as \\d.

Backreferencing works the same way it does in the deprecated format.

Deprecated:

path ~ ^/puppet/v3/catalog/([^/]+)$
allow $1

HOCON:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
        match-request: {
            path: "^/puppet/v3/catalog/([^/]+)$"
            type: regex
        }
        allow: "$1"
...

Allowing unauthenticated requests

To have a rule match any request regardless of its authentication state, including unauthenticated requests, a deprecated rule would assign the any value to the auth parameter. In a HOCON rule, set the allow-unauthenticated parameter to true. This overrides the allow and deny parameters and is an insecure configuration that should be used with caution.

Deprecated:

auth: any

HOCON:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
        match-request: {
            ...
        }
        allow-unauthenticated: true
...

Multiple method indirectors

If a deprecated rule has multiple method indirectors, combine all of the related HTTP methods to the HOCON method array.

Deprecated:

method find, save

The deprecated find indirector corresponds to the GET and POST methods, and the save indirector corresponds to the PUT method. In the HOCON format, simply combine these methods in an array.

HOCON:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
        match-request: {
            ...
            method: [get, post, put]
        }
...

Environment URL parameters

In deprecated rules, the environment parameter adds a comma-separated list of query parameters as a suffix to the base URL. HOCON rules allow you to pass them as an array environment value inside the query-params setting. Rules in both the deprecated and HOCON formats match any environment value.

Deprecated:

environment: production,test

HOCON:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
        match-request: {
            ...
            query-params: {
                environment: [ production, test ]
            }
        }
...

Note: The query-params approach above replaces environment-specific rules for both Puppet 3 and Puppet 4. If you’re supporting agents running both Puppet 3 and Puppet 4, see Backward Compatibility with Puppet 3 Agents for more information.

Search indirector for method

There’s no direct equivalent to the search indirector for the deprecated method setting. Create the equivalent rule by passing GET and POST to method and specifying endpoint paths using the path parameter.

Deprecated:

path ~ ^/puppet/v3/file_metadata/user_files/
method search

HOCON:

authorization: {
    version: 1
    rules: [
        {
        match-request: {
            path: "^/puppet/v3/file_metadatas?/user_files/"
            type: regex
            method: [get, post]
        }
...

↑ Back to top