Server automation


This page describes how to perform changes to server(s). Target audience is system administrators. You should know the basics about system administration and puppet.

We use Puppet to manage our servers. Ideally all changes are done in puppet, so that when we move or upgrade servers, we retain those changes. Manual activities should be limited to copying data from old server to the new server.


We are currently using Puppet 6 on a Debian Linux. Other versions and operating systems are not tested and may or, more likely, may not work.

How to make a configuration change

Clone the translatewiki repository per instructions in Puppet is in the puppet sub-directory. Configuration values can be changed under data directory. The puppet configuration currently supports setup of two different environments:

  • production (web2)
  • development (dev)

Our custom modules are in the modules sub-directory. We use librarian-puppet to manage dependencies.

Once you have made changes, use make test to check for mistakes. These are not run automatically in Gerrit.

Submit changes to Gerrit for review.

How to deploy a configuration change

Preparation for first time:

  • On the target server, make your own clone of translatewiki repository.
  • You must have +2 right in the translatewiki repository in Gerrit.
  • You must be in the sysadmin group (configured in users module)

To deploy changes:

  1. Give +2 in gerrit for the patch(es)
  2. Wait for them to be merged
  3. Update your local clone to the latest version (git pull)
  4. Make a dry-run by executing make noop in the puppet directory
  5. Check that there are no unexpected changes or errors
  6. Apply the changes using make apply

Note: do not use sudo. The Makefile uses sudo when necessary.