Resource Type: file_line

Defined in:


Ensures that a given line is contained within a file.


The implementation matches the full line, including whitespace at the beginning and end. If the line is not contained in the given file, Puppet will append the line to the end of the file to ensure the desired state. Multiple resources may be declared to manage multiple lines in the same file.

  • Ensure Example

“` file_line { 'sudo_rule':

path => '/etc/sudoers',
line => '%sudo ALL=(ALL) ALL',


file_line { 'sudo_rule_nopw':

path => '/etc/sudoers',
line => '%sudonopw ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL',

} “` In this example, Puppet will ensure both of the specified lines are contained in the file /etc/sudoers.

  • Match Example

“` file_line { 'bashrc_proxy':

ensure => present,
path   => '/etc/bashrc',
line   => 'export HTTP_PROXY=http://squid.puppetlabs.vm:3128',
match  => '^export\ HTTP_PROXY\=',

} “`

In this code example match will look for a line beginning with export followed by HTTP_PROXY and replace it with the value in line.

  • Examples With `ensure => absent`:

This type has two behaviors when `ensure => absent` is set.

One possibility is to set `match => …` and `match_for_absence => true`, as in the following example:

“` file_line { 'bashrc_proxy':

ensure            => absent,
path              => '/etc/bashrc',
match             => '^export\ HTTP_PROXY\=',
match_for_absence => true,

} “`

In this code example match will look for a line beginning with export followed by HTTP_PROXY and delete it. If multiple lines match, an error will be raised unless the `multiple => true` parameter is set.

Note that the `line => …` parameter would be accepted BUT IGNORED in the above example.

The second way of using `ensure => absent` is to specify a `line => …`, and no match:

“` file_line { 'bashrc_proxy':

ensure => absent,
path   => '/etc/bashrc',
line   => 'export HTTP_PROXY=http://squid.puppetlabs.vm:3128',

} “`

> Note: When ensuring lines are absent this way, the default behavior this time is to always remove all lines matching, and this behavior can't be disabled.

  • Encoding example:

“` file_line { “XScreenSaver”:

ensure   => present,
path     => '/root/XScreenSaver',
line     => "*lock: 10:00:00",
match    => '^*lock:',
encoding => "iso-8859-1",

} “`

Files with special characters that are not valid UTF-8 will give the error message “invalid byte sequence in UTF-8”. In this case, determine the correct file encoding and specify the correct encoding using the encoding attribute, the value of which needs to be a valid Ruby character encoding.

*Autorequires:* If Puppet is managing the file that will contain the line being managed, the file_line resource will autorequire that file.


  • ensure (defaults to: present)

    Manage the state of this type.

    Supported values:
    • present
    • absent
  • line

    The line to be appended to the file or used to replace matches found by the match attribute.


  • after

    An optional value used to specify the line after which we will add any new lines. (Existing lines are added in place) This is also takes a regex.

  • append_on_no_match (defaults to: true)

    If true, append line if match is not found. If false, do not append line if a match is not found

    Supported values:
    • true
    • false
  • encoding (defaults to: UTF-8)

    For files that are not UTF-8 encoded, specify encoding such as iso-8859-1

  • match

    An optional ruby regular expression to run against existing lines in the file. If a match is found, we replace that line rather than adding a new line. A regex comparison is performed against the line value and if it does not match an exception will be raised.

  • match_for_absence (defaults to: false)

    An optional value to determine if match should be applied when ensure => absent. If set to true and match is set, the line that matches match will be deleted. If set to false (the default), match is ignored when ensure => absent. When `ensure => present`, match_for_absence is ignored.

    Supported values:
    • true
    • false
  • multiple

    An optional value to determine if match can change multiple lines. If set to false, an exception will be raised if more than one line matches

    Supported values:
    • true
    • false
  • name (namevar)

    An arbitrary name used as the identity of the resource.

  • path

    The file Puppet will ensure contains the line specified by the line parameter.

  • provider

    The specific backend to use for this `file_line` resource. You will seldom need to specify this — Puppet will usually discover the appropriate provider for your platform.

  • replace (defaults to: true)

    If true, replace line that matches. If false, do not write line if a match is found

    Supported values:
    • true
    • false
  • replace_all_matches_not_matching_line (defaults to: false)

    Configures the behavior of replacing all lines in a file which match the `match` parameter regular expression, regardless of whether the specified line is already present in the file.

    Supported values:
    • true
    • false