My puppet agents fail randomly with the following errors:

err Could not retrieve catalog from remote server: execution expired Puppet 2014-09-11 22:25 UTC

err Could not retrieve catalog; skipping run Puppet 2014-09-11 22:25 UTC

notice Using cached catalog Puppet 2014-09-11 22:25 UTC

1 Answer 1


This can be caused when the load on the Puppet Master server is too high to send compiled catalogs to the agents.

Start by checking if any services are using all the available resources, or if the server is under-powered for the requests it is getting. If all agents run at the same time, edit the cron job that controls their run time to spread it out.

If all else fails, allowing the agents to take longer to receive the catalog may work. This can be done by adding the configtimeout setting to the puppet.conf file (/etc/puppet/puppet.conf) and increasing the value. It defaults to "2m", meaning two minutes.

  • I notice you answer most of your questions yourself - immediately. Are you using SO as your tech blog? Is this valid? (I'm not policing here, just got curious.) Sep 12, 2014 at 14:16
  • 1
    @FelixFrank yes, this is encouraged! They want us to use this site to document problems. You can read more about why here: stackoverflow.com/help/self-answer Sep 17, 2014 at 20:35

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