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21 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but more would be better...
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...
Published on December 18, 2008 by P. Boin

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent First Edition...But...
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...
Published on June 18, 2010 by Anthony M. Parrillo


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but more would be better..., December 18, 2008
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...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent First Edition...But..., June 18, 2010
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This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (Paperback)
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).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars learning quickly with Puppet, August 6, 2008
This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT 'physical' resource for Puppet, February 10, 2010
This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (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!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Must Have for Puppet admins, July 20, 2008
By 
A. Martinez (Southwestern USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good book from James Turnbull, April 6, 2008
This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (Paperback)
Pulling Strings with Puppet is my third book from James Turnbull, and much like the others, this delivered.

Writing a book on puppet at this stage is certainly a challenge. Puppet is growing and changing much faster than even the online documentation can keep up with. The author decided to worry about concepts and include future directions where possible. It was a good decision. The book gives a give overview of the puppet configuration tool and a few in-depth reviews of some concepts. I learned a number of things to improve my setup, even though I had been using puppet for over 6 months.

Best practices and use cases are the areas I was most interested in. There are several small use-cases which build a nice foundation for using puppet including, using a version control system, using mongrel as the web server, writing your own modules, and external node storage. I would have liked to have then seen a wrap-up use case incorporating all of these ideas into an enterprise-type deployment, but it may have meant a lot of repeated material.

If you're looking into puppet, I would recommend this book. It's rather inexpensive and gives a rookie a decent handle on where and how to start. The book also does a good job at providing links and direction toward the puppet community, which is needed, due to the speed at which puppet is currently changing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent E-Book Rushed to Print, March 4, 2011
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This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (Paperback)
This feels like a decent e-book that Apress rushed to market too early. It's not only hampered by the lack of an index, but the page formatting in terms of the headers and footers feels like something a high schooler put together in order to pad out the page count. I own one of Mr. Turnbull's other books on linux hardening which I think is excellent, this book falls short of that standard.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No index? In a technical book? Really?, February 6, 2009
By 
p z (Bay Area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (Paperback)
It's nice to have the puppet documentation in book form, but if you want to look something up, you're still left with Google: this book has no index.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK book, but it needs complete examples or source code to download, May 18, 2010
By 
Simon Reavely (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (Paperback)
Its a short book but given the light level of documentation around the puppet opensource project I found this book useful to get you started automating machine administration. However, I realize now that I am using puppet more and more what holds it back is that its such a thin book it lacks complete examples. This is really a critical flaw. Maybe if it came with source code on a website this hole could be plugged. In the end I got a lot out of online tutorials and then used this book for reference/reminders.
Another annoyance is the lack of an index so I recommend the ebook.
Final comment: Puppet is based on Ruby, so a light understanding of Ruby does help (especially if you need to patch puppet).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must-read' for administrators starting with Puppet, May 10, 2010
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This review is from: Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress) (Paperback)
Hi,
I started using puppet about 2 months ago and had spent quit some time googling around. It worked, but I had many questions where I could not find a clear answer.
By just reading this book, I got all my answers and now I understand much better on how to implement puppet in a clean and manageable way. I writes about all aspects of puppet without covering them all in depth (I like this). It enabled me to search more efficient on the web, if I'm looking for some aspect in depth.
I would recommend it to everyone who is rather new to puppet and who does not understand fully it's potential.
Best Regards
Alex
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Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress)
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