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Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) Paperback – 30 Jan 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (30 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590599780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590599785
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

James Turnbull is the author of six technical books about open source software and a long-time member of the open source community. James authored the first (and second!) books about Puppet and works for Venmo as VP of Engineering. He was previously at Puppet Labs running Operations and Professional Services.

James speaks regularly at conferences including OSCON, Linux.conf.au, FOSDEM, OpenSourceBridge, DevOpsDays and a number of others. He is a past president of Linux Australia, a former committee member of Linux Victoria, was Treasurer for Linux.conf.au 2008, and serves on the program committee of Linux.conf.au and OSCON.

In his spare time his interests include cooking, wine, political theory, photojournalism, philosophy, poetry, and cats.

Product Description

About the Author

James Turnbull is an IT&T Security Consultant at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He is an experienced infrastructure architect with a background in Linux/Unix, AS/400, Windows, and Storage systems. He has been involved in security consulting, infrastructure security design, SLA & support services design, and business application support.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aglet on 11 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A useful introduction to the Puppet framework, with some practical, well-explained examples. More appropriate for reading in the bath than the copious Internet-based documentation. Ironically, I think it would be better bought as an ebook - this book is let down by very low-quality production:
* Typography is poor
* There is only one diagram in the book, on page 66, and it is so poorly reproduced as to be nearly illegible
* Criminally, there is no index. This is the single worst failing, unforgivable in a technical book

This puts me off buying books from this publisher in future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Rixon on 8 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the kindest thing one could possibly say about this book is that it leaves the way clear for a much more comprehensive tome. That is not to disparage Turnbull's effort; Puppet is still young, although developing quickly, and those new to it will benefit from having a workable hard copy reference like this in front of them.

That said, its qualities as a reference would be much enhanced had it only included an index. This glaring omission costs it at least one star.

Pulling Strings With Puppet covers a lot of ground (albeit perhaps not in sufficient depth), includes plenty of code fragments and is clearly written. Unfortunately, Puppet has already moved on a lot from the release described in this book. That is to be expected. What we're still missing is detailed coverage of some real world scenarios and complete modules, particularly where Puppet has been used to manage a large number of nodes from deployment onwards. Hopefully we won't have to wait long for more Puppet books, because there's a clear need.
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By ctxr40 on 23 May 2011
Format: Paperback
The book is good for a start point however it is sadly terribly out of date with the current stage of the product.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We are starting to use Puppet internally at work and this book gives the basics adequately.

There is now a need for a higher level book that really gets into the real use cases in a meaningful way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A good book, but more would be better... 18 Dec 2008
By P. Boin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I liked what was in this book. It's a good overview of what puppet can do, with examples.

The one thing that's missing, and it's driving me crazy is that it doesn't have an index! That's maddening for a reference book. In a perfect world, I'd like to see some more best practices and some suggestions for how to transition running machines on to puppet.

Overall, a 'buy', but bring your own sticky notes to mark important pages...
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Decent First Edition...But... 18 Jun 2010
By Anthony M. Parrillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are completely new to Puppet, you should definitely buy this book. It does a good job of walking through the basics of automating your data center. I would have liked to see some more in-depth examples, but the topics covered were fleshed out enough that I could figure it out on my own.

I have a major complaint about this edition, however: when it comes to technical books, published code should ALWAYS be tested. It should be taken as absolute fact that the code published in a reference manual will function correctly and do what the author claims it will do. That's not the case here. For example:

On pg. 116, the author creates a resource of type

"apache::apache_files"

But in the definition for "apache:apache_files" ON THE VERY NEXT PAGE it reads:

define appache::apache_files ...

with two 'p's. It's clear that this code could never have been tested, because it wouldn't work!

But the author does demonstrate a thorough understanding of the subject matter, and I will probably buy "Pro Puppet" when it is released. But I sincerely hope the code is tested (or the editing is improved).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
learning quickly with Puppet 7 Aug 2008
By Kathleen Fitzgerald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just began using Puppet about 3 weeks ago to administer 20 systems. Although the online docs are good, it is always hit or miss. I found the book and ordered it immediately. I got it 2 days ago and spent all day going through it. I have already picked up more tips than I could have from all the online docs and examples - it is HUGELY worth the money just from that! One thing that I have learned, that is going to be a huge win - is the customization capabilities. We use ESM to manage/monitor security aspects of systems, and being able to write recipes with Puppet to match ESM security rules is going to be a huge plus for us.

Thanks for a great resource and I am hoping that as Puppet matures, that the 2nd Edition is not far off.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
EXCELLENT 'physical' resource for Puppet 11 Feb 2010
By Gary Larizza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book walks you through everything Puppet-related - from setting up the puppetmaster, to creating your first class, to scaling and tuning puppet. I've got tons of sticky notes in my copy that I refer to at least a couple of times a month (now 8 months into a district-wide puppet rollout). Yes, there's not an index - but the sheer content/info in the book makes it a must-buy for anyone who wants to begin with Puppet.

Puppet is now well into version 0.25.4, but the information in this book is still pertinent in many ways. I would love to see an updated version, though!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is a Must Have for Puppet admins 21 July 2008
By A. Martinez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely a vital reference for anyone who's working with puppet; I picked it up after becoming frustrated with the current state of available information on puppet, and it turned my perspective around completely.

I'm not sure that I would have managed to learn everything I needed to about puppet using only the docs on the website; often I got the familiar feeling when reading through the wiki that some crucial bit of information was being assumed, but this book always backed up its information with examples that I could use to grasp the idea being presented.

On thing to note about the book -- It's really not structured to be a quick-start guide, but rather each chapter lays a foundation of knowledge that the next chapter builds upon. As such, I'd recommend setting aside a couple of afternoons to read through the book, ideally before you even begin to set up your puppet environment.
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