DevOps Tools Introduction #11: Other Configuration Management Tools

In addition to Ansible, which is covered in great detail in the DevOps Tools Engineer exam, several other configuration management tools exist. Objective 704.2 expects you to know the architecture and basic features of Chef and Puppet.

The Chef documentation contains two introductory tutorials; Learn the basics guides you through the general principles of Chef while Manage a node shows how Chef interacts with remote systems. At the beginning of each tutorial, you have to pick an operating system and an operating environment. For the basic tutorial, you can choose “Free virtual machine” to get access to a remote virtual machine. Alternatively, you could use Vagrant and Virtualbox. The latter option is also recommended for the “Manage a node” tutorial, which does not provide free access to a remote virtual machine. Spend the time to work through both tutorials. Per usual, also skim over the table of contents of the remaining documentation to see if you find anything interesting there. If you want to see another comprehensive example for a Chef configuration, check out the Create a web app cookbook tutorial.

The Puppet documentation is pretty comprehensive, but a little harder when getting started. Start by learning about the language basics. Then, learn about Puppet’s commands and finally you might want to recap what you’ve learned so far by taking a look at the Puppet architecture.

Once you’re familiar with these basics concepts, you might want to give the quick start guide a try. Finally, the second part of the quick start guide provides several configuration examples which are worth a look. Please note that all these links contain a version number. Please, check if a new version is available when you follow these links. Finally, the Learn Puppet website offers several free self-paced training lessons. As well as cheat sheets for Puppet core types and modules.

Compared to the last weeks, this week’s posting is relatively short. Take the time to recap the configuration management topics of the DevOps Tools Engineer exam. Next week we will move on to the last topic of the exam and start to learn about service operations.

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About Fabian Thorns:

Fabian Thorns is the Director of Product Development at Linux Professional Institute, LPI. He is M.Sc. Business Information Systems, a regular speaker at open source events and the author of numerous articles and books. Fabian has been part of the exam development team since 2010. Connect with him on LinkedIn, XING or via email (fthorns at


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