Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Say I have a manifest that has a different action for each version of Debian

case $lsbdistcodename{
'lenny' : {//stuff}
default : die

I want the manifest to throw a fatal error. I guess the question is, how do I die(if you will)?
Puppet agent/master version 0.24.6.

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can use the fail function for that. I usually do something like this:

class postfix::params {
  case $::operatingsystem {
    Debian, Ubuntu: {
      $postfix_package_name       = 'postfix'
      $postfix_postmap_command    = '/usr/sbin/postmap'
      $postfix_service_name       = 'postfix'
    default: { fail("${::hostname}: Module ${::module_name} does not support operatingsystem ${::operatingsystem}") }

This makes the module fail on Puppet nodes that are not running Debian or Ubuntu.

Oh, and please, for the love of all that is good and holy, upgrade your Puppet installation. 0.24 is ancient and I don't think it is even supported any more. Puppetlabs provide up-to-date stable packages (see, or you can use the ones from

share|improve this answer
We are in the process of updating to 2.6.* We are a little behind the curve. – NickP Apr 10 '12 at 18:28

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.