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I see that I can install puppet as an Debian/Ubuntu package to automate deployment.

But can I also bootstrap a full (non-virtual) server including partitioning the hard drives and so on using puppet?

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As toquonce says, typically you use an automated install process and then hand off to puppet after install. –  Sirex Oct 18 '12 at 1:24

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You could partition hard drives using exec, but this isn't a good idea, and you would need puppet already installed on the server anyway. Your best bet for automated installing and deployment of bare metal servers would be PXE boot with Cobbler and Puppet together.

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