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I'm interested in learning to use Puppet. One example I see over and over again is user management. According the the Puppet website, "Configuration management – User accounts" is a feature that only exists on Puppet Enterprise. Yet the examples that I am seeing make no mention of requiring the enterprise version.

The FAQ states, in part:

We only have one, open source version of Puppet.

So does one need to pay for Puppet Enterprise if one wishes to manage users on more than 10 nodes at once? I'm guessing that there model might be akin to Red Hat? Are the packages in distrobutions like Ubuntu actually distrobutions of Puppet Enterprise?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It depends on your authentication and user management infrastructure. Puppet Enterprise can do user management in LDAP, AD and apparently Google. See here: http://puppetlabs.com/blog/puppet-enterprise-2-6-is-now-available/

If you use none of that and just want to manage /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow, i.e. local users, or if you are proficient enough to implement your own Puppet module to manage your LDAP/AD users, then you certainly don't need Puppet Enterprise. Puppet has built-in support for users and groups, see here: http://docs.puppetlabs.com/references/stable/type.html#user and here: http://docs.puppetlabs.com/references/stable/type.html#group

This blog post is also interesting for efficiently managing local user accounts: http://www.craigdunn.org/2011/03/puppet-working-with-define-based-virtuals/

You can always install the latest Puppet packages from the official Puppetlabs repos: http://yum.puppetlabs.com/ and http://apt.puppetlabs.com/. And no, Puppet packages in Ubuntu are not based on Puppet Enterprise.

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Your first paragraphs link clearly states that the "support" for AD/LDAP is for allowing LDAP users to login to the web interface, and not for managing users in AD/LDAP. Quote: "Now, users of Puppet Enterprise can be managed and authenticated leveraging their existing authentication solution. - " You other paragraphs and links are accurate. –  Not Now Sep 18 '13 at 2:29

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