Ansible vs Puppet – What is the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

Ansible vs Puppet – What is the Difference? Need some help comparing Ansible and Puppet – the two popular configuration management tools? Well! You have come to the right place. Both open-source tools have gained a lot of popularity in the past few years, which is why it can be difficult to choose one software that will be best for you. Luckily, you are at the right place, and our guide can help you with the final call.

What is Ansible?

ansible vs puppet

In Simple words, Ansible is an IT automation tool used for application deployment, configuration management, intra-service orchestration, cloud provisioning, and other IT requirements. Nowadays, the IT environment has become too complex and needs better solutions to deliver quick results by system administrators and developers. In that case, having an open-source automation tool to simplify complex tasks is a great relief for IT experts. Over time, Ansible has taken a top spot in the world of automation tools, and many companies, including Udemy, LaunchDarkly, and Tokopedia, are currently using it.


The automation tool is free and easy to install. Further, it can resolve some of your highly complex IT workflows. Introduced in 2012, the automation tool is best suitable for IT experts, DevOps engineers, and any other professional who requires a configuration management tool for quick and better results.

In this section, we will show you advantages and disadvantages of Ansible.

Pros and Cons of Ansible

Pros of Ansible

  • Easy to Set up and Install: The setup and installation of Ansible is much easier than other tools like Puppet. Also, its configuration is easy to understand, and you do not require any special system administrator to install. In fact, any non-programmer can also run the tool following the guidelines from any machine.
  • Cost-Effective: Ansible is a free open source tool, but some of its versions work in exchange for money. Yet, some of these versions, like basic or standard, are less costly on comparing the Puppet. For example, the use of 100 nodes in Puppet will cost you double of Ansible.
  • Scalability: Ansible and Puppet both are easily scalable. Yet, ansible stands ahead of puppet in terms of scalability. Ansible can perform operations at a large scale, manage inventory and larger infrastructure, fix any node fluctuation at ease on comparing with the Puppet.
  • Written in Python: Ansible is written in python, best for most machines with Linux distributions. Also, having a common language like Python to run tasks becomes easier for system administration and engineers as people are more likely to know Python rather than any other competing solution such as Ruby.
  • Less Maintenance Overhead Expenses: The best feature about the Ansible module is it does not require an agent to manage the remote systems. Thus, less maintenance overhead expenses and chances of performance degradation.

Cons of Ansible

  • Finds it difficult to handle complex tasks: The Ansible module is indeed simple, easy to use, and mostly praised. But, the fact that it cannot handle complex tasks and functions is also correct. The automation tool is best for beginners and running tasks but fails to manage higher-level tasks.
  • Poor Graphical User Interface (GUI): Ansible’s graphical user interface (GUI) is still in a process that leads to poor quality delivery. The GUI for Ansible often falls out of sync with the command line, which makes it difficult to use.
  • No Notion of State: Ansible executes a sequential series of tasks and has no concept of state. The tool keeps no track of dependencies. As and when a process completes, fails, or encounters an error, the automation tool stops.

What is Puppet?

Puppet is an open-source configuration management and deployment tool in practice since 2005. The CM tool was founded by Luke Kanies and produced by Oregon software development company Puppet. Nowadays, most multinational corporations are decentralized and face critical issues. This is why they look forward to exceeding the team’s resources. Here is when Puppet comes in, to enable small IT teams to achieve tasks by adapting an advanced automation solution. The tool practices Ruby scripts and can ease on-demand server deployments in a short span. The configuration management tool automates the server configurations and can run on operating systems, like Linux, Windows, Unix, Mac OS, and can handle more complex tasks and infrastructures.

Pros and Cons of Puppet

In this section, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of Puppet.

Pros of Puppet

  • Fix Syntax Errors more easily: Puppet DSL makes it quick and easy to fix syntax errors. Typos and errors are common in codes and can be a daunting task to find one if done manually. But with Puppet, things are smooth as it helps highlight the line containing the error and fix it faster.
  • Has a Good Support Community: Puppet has been in practice for a long time and has gained good support and following for the tool. This, in turn, has helped Puppet create a well-established support community to discuss and find answers to the queries.
  • Consistency: Errors and troubleshooting problems in servers are common and time-consuming. Using Puppet makes it easier to find the failed model, fix it and save your time. Also, the tool makes sure you do not have to deal with the same problem again.
  • Easy to Learn: Puppet’s language is easy to learn and write. Even a programmer with limited knowledge can learn the declarative language quickly.

Cons of Puppet

  • Expensive: There are only two versions of this platform, and is more costly than Ansible’s standard version, which works as a setback for those who run a budget.
  • Difficult to Instal and Setup: Puppet was designed to process more complex functions and tasks for system administrators. Unlike Ansible, they are difficult to set up by common users.
  • Difficult to Use: Not every programmer can run a puppet to fix complex tasks. It is vital to have a programming background and knowledge of Puppet DSL for the smooth running of the tool.

Ansible vs Puppet - Head to Head Comparison

Ease of Setup and Use

The puppet was designed keeping only system administrators in mind to solve complex tasks, whereas Ansible was designed for common users as well. Thus, Ansible is much easy to install and set up. Both the tools have different modes of installation. For instance, in Puppet, you have to firstly install the Puppet server and then Puppet Agent to manage all the nodes. Usually, the whole process takes 10 to 30 minutes for installation based on the company’s needs and environment. Also, it exercises its own declarative language.


Ansible requires no agent as all the functions are managed and performed over SSH protocol. Also, it is written in python, which is common in
most deployments – Unix and Linux. Thus, the installation process is much easier and faster.


Despite the setback, the puppet is more advantageous than Ansible in other ways. For example, the puppet can find and fix syntax errors faster even before you run the task. While, in Ansible, it is difficult to find the error and check if the specific task will fail until fully executed. Also, YAML syntax used by Ansible is not an easy language to debug.

Management and Scheduling

Management of Ansible vs Puppet: For instantaneous deployment, the Puppet client has to write configurations in its own declarative language and pull it from the server. Whereas, in the case of Ansible Server, the server pushes configurations to all the nodes and uses YAML syntax.


Scheduling of Ansible vs. Puppet: After every 30 minutes the puppet agent checks all the nodes, whereas Ansible being a free tool requires Ansible Tower, an enterprise version for that.


Overall, the free version of Ansible does not include advanced features on comparing with Puppet.


In case of task failure, both the tools will always be available with their backup systems. Ansible uses its secondary node if the active node fails. And the puppets have multiple masters to cover up the failure.


Both the configuration management tools are highly scalable. However, Scalability is easier in Ansible on comparing with the puppet.


Both the tools have their individual repository/library – Puppet Forge for the Puppet tool and Ansible Galaxy for the other tool. Puppet Forge includes approximately 6,000 modules supported and approved by Puppet. Hence, no need to invest your time with the ones that have not been approved for work. Ansible Galaxy does not include this feature which is why one needs to invest time and effort manually.


Puppet has a better graphical user interface (GUI) and is more developed than Ansible. The feature is great for managing, monitoring, and viewing tasks. One can also go for command-line interface CLI to monitor some of the highly complex tasks. In the case of Ansible, one can use the UI feature only if you have paid for the enterprise version.


Puppet has been in the market since 2005, whereas Ansible got introduced in the year 2012. Thus, more and more people know about Puppet and have been in support and use it for several years. Also, they have a larger community to discuss and get answers. Puppet community includes two support portals – Standard and Premium. Another way to learn about the tool and trends is to become a part of the events or join different channels. Also, every year puppet releases a report “State of DevOps” to guide people more about the latest DevOps trends.


Ansible, on the other hand, provides professional support for the enterprise version, conducts annual gatherings for users and contributors, offers mailing lists by topic.


Concluding, Ansible has a smaller support community and troubleshooting resources on the web in comparison to Puppet.

Ansible vs Puppet, Which One is Better?

You cannot pick up one in this case as it depends on the company’s requirement. Both have their pros and cons. If you are looking for an automation tool that offers quick and temporary deployments, you must go for Ansible. Whereas, if you have to deal with highly complex and longer-term deployments, then Puppet is the right choice. Similarly, in the case of machines, if you maintain a fixed set of machines, practice Ansible, whereas puppet if your machines often get reprovisioned. Hence, the choice of the tool completely depends on your company’s needs and environment.

Ansible vs Puppet Final Thoughts

Now let’s wrap up the blog as by now you would have made a decision as to which tool is best for your company. Both the configuration management tools are popular in the market and have their own ways and tricks to complete the tasks. Go through the above Ansible vs Puppet pros and cons, differences, and similarities before making a final call.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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