Learning VM Troubleshooting

For the most up-to-date version of this troubleshooting information, check the GitHub repository.

The cowsay package won't install

The Learning VM version 2.29 has an error in the instructions for this quest. The cowsay package declaration should include provider => 'gem', rather than ensure => 'gem'.

If you continue to get puppet run failures related to the gem, you can install the cached version manually: gem install /var/cache/rubygems/gems/cowsay-0.2.0.gem

I completed a task, but the quest tool doesn't show it as complete

The quest tool uses a series of Serverspec tests for each quest to track task progress. Certain tasks simply check your bash history for an entered command, so it's possible that you entered a valid alternate version of the command that simply wasn't recognized by the check.

It is also possible that we have written the test for a task in a way that is too restrictive and doesn't correctly capture a valid syntactical variation in your Puppet code or another relevant file. You can check the specific matchers by looking at a quest's spec file in the /usr/src/puppet-quest-guide/tests directory. If you find an issue here, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected]

If you're willing to do a little archaeology, you can find the tests we use to validate that quests can be completed in the /usr/src/puppet-quest-guide/tests/test_tests directory. These aren't written for legibility and use alternate methods such as sed and the PE API to complete tasks, but they might offer some inspiration if you're stuck on a task. (Note that the test script for the Application Orchestrator quest is currently incomplete.)

Password Required for the Quest Guide

The Learning VM's Quest Guide is accessible at http://<VM's IP Address>. Note that this is http and not https which is reserved for the PE console. The PE console will prompt you for a password, while no password is required for the Quest Guide. (The Quest Guide includes a password for the PE console in the Power of Puppet quest: admin/puppetlabs)

I can't find the VM password

The password to log in to the VM is generated randomly and will be displayed on the splash page displayed on the terminal of your virtualization software when you start the VM.

If you are already logged in via your virtualization software's terminal, you can use the following command to view the password: cat /var/local/password.

If the password is not displayed on the splash page on startup, it is possible that some error occured during the startup process. Restarting the VM should regenerate this page with a valid password.

Does the Learning VM work on vSphere, ESXi, etc.?

Possibly, but we don't currently have the resources to test or support the Learning VM on these platforms.

I cannot connect to the PE console

It may take some time after the VM is started before all the Puppet services are fully started. If you recently started or restarted the VM, or restarted any services in the PE stack, please wait a few minutes before you try to access the PE console.

Because the Learning VM's puppet services are configured to run in an environment with restricted resources, they are more prone to crashes than a production PE installation.

You can check the status of puppet services with the following command:

systemctl --all | grep pe-

If you notice any stopped puppet-related services (e.g. pe-console-services), double check that you have sufficient memory allocated to the VM and available on your host, then use the following script to restart these services in the correct order:


My Puppet run fails!

There are several common reasons for a Puppet run to fail.

If a syntax error is indicated, please correct the specified file. Note that due to the way syntax is parsed, an error may not always be on the line indicated. If you can't locate an error on the line indicated in the error message, check preceeding lines for missing commas or unmatched delimiters such as parentheses, brackets, or quotation marks.

If you get an error along the lines of Error 400 on SERVER: Unknown function union... it is likely because the puppetlabs-stdlib module has not been installed. This module is a dependency for many modules, and provides a set of common functions. If you are running the Learning VM offline, you cannot rely on the Puppet Forge's dependency resolution. We have this module and all other modules required for the Learning VM cached, with instructions to install them in the Power of Puppet quest. If that installation fails, you may try adding the --force flag after the --ignore-dependencies flag.

If you see an issue including connect(2) for "learning.puppetlabs.vm" port 8140 this generally indicates that the pe-puppetserver service is down. See the section above for instructions on checking and restarting PE services.

Similarly, an error including Failed to find facts from PuppetDB at learning.puppetlabs.vm:8140 generally indicates that the pe-puppetdb service is down. Again, refer to the section above for instructions on checking and restarting PE services.

I can't import the OVA

Ensure that you have an up-to-date version of your virtualization software installed. Note that the "check for updates" feature of VirtualBox may not always work as expected, so check the website for the most recent version. If you are sure that your virtualization software is up to date and your host system is 64 bit and has virtualization extensions enabled in the BIOS, please let us know if you still cannot import the OVA.

The Learning VM has no IP address or the IP address will not respond.

If your network connection has changed since you loaded the VM, it's possible that your IP address is different from that displayed on the Learning VM splash screen. Log in to the VM via the virtualization directly (rather than SSH) and use the facter ipaddress command the check the current address. If you continue to get an no IP address or an invalid IP address, restarting the VM is generally the quickest way to ensure that the network services are correctly reset. (Unfortunately restarting the network service directly isn't always reliable.)

Some network configurations may still prevent you from accessing the Learning VM. If this is the case, we recommend that you speak to your site network administrator to see if there are any firewall rules, proxies, or DHCP server setting that might be preventing you from accessing the VM.

If networking continues to cause trouble, you can connect to the Learning VM via port forwarding. Change your VM's network adapter to NAT, and configure port forwarding as follows:

Name   -   Protocol - HostIP -   HostPort - GuestIP - GuestPort
SSH        TCP  2222                 22
HTTP       TCP  8080                 80
HTTPS      TCP  8443                 443
GRAPHITE   TCP  8090                 90

Once you have set up port forwarding, you can use those ports to access the VM via ssh (ssh -p 2222 [email protected]) and access the Quest Guide and PE console by entering http://localhost:8080 and https://localhost:8443 in your browser address bar.

I can't scroll up in my terminal

The Learning VM uses a tool called tmux to allow us to display the quest status. You can scroll in tmux by first hitting control-b, then [ (left bracket). You will then be able to use the arrow keys to scroll. Press q to exit scrolling.

Running the VM in VirtualBox, I encounter a series of "Rejecting I/O input from offline devices"

You may try reducing the VM's processors to 1 and disabling the "I/O APIC" option in the system section of the settings menu. Be aware, however, that this might result in very slow start times for services in the PE stack.

Still need help?

If your puppet runs still fail after trying the steps above, check the Puppet Enterprise Known Issues page or feel free to contact us at [email protected] Please include details of your host OS, virtualization software and version, and any details of the site network configuration where you're running the VM (for example, whether there is a proxy or restrictive firewall rules). If there are logs relevant to the issue, you can use scp from your host machine to copy them to a local directory:

scp [email protected]<IPADDRESS>:/var/log/messages messages

On a Windows system wtih PuTTY PSCP installed, you can use pscp from a command prompt:

pscp [email protected]<IPADDRESS>:/var/log/messages messages

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