Dropping Tarballs with Puppet

I frequently find myself using Puppet to expand tarballs in various locations, sometimes fiddling with a directory name here or there. In fact, I do it so often, that I created a “define” for it earlier this week. This could be a little more polished, but in the spirit of sharing first drafts, here goes:

# Small define to expand a tarball at a location; assumes File[$title]
# definition of tarball and installation of pax:

define baselayout::drop_tarball($dest, $dir_name, $dir_sub='') {

  # $dest: cwd in which expansion is done
  # $dir_name: name of top level directory created in $dest
  # $dir_sub: regexp to -s for pax - not supported for .zip archives

  if ($dir_sub) {
    $regexp = "-s $dir_sub"
  } else {
    $regexp = ''

  # CentOS' pax doesn't support "-j" flag; therefore, run pax after
  # bzcat in a pipeline. Twiddle path to bzcat as distro-appropriate:
  case $operatingsystem {
    CentOS: {
      $bzcat = "/usr/bin/bzcat"
    Ubuntu: {
      $bzcat = "/bin/bzcat"
  # Choose expansion method based on file suffix:
  if (($title =~ /.tar.gz$/) or ($title =~ /.tgz$/)) {
    $expand = "/usr/bin/pax -rz $regexp < $title"
  } elsif (($title =~ /.tar.bz2$/) or ($title =~ /.tbz$/)) {
    $expand = "$bzcat $title | /usr/bin/pax -r $regexp"
  } elsif ( $title =~ /.zip$/ ) {
    $expand = "/usr/bin/unzip $title"
  exec { "drop_tarball $title":
    command => $expand,
    cwd => $dest,
    creates => "${dest}/${dir_name}",
    require => File[$title],

The definition is written for Ubuntu and CentOS, assumes pax is installed on the system, and that a file resource for the tarball is defined before the definition is called. Pax is used instead of tar to facilitate renaming the top-level directory of the tarball. Zipped directories are also support, but without rename functionality.

I’ll update a gist as I develop the definition.

Comments welcome.