Puppet rspec tests with Hiera data

Editor’s note: Please check out the much newer article Configuring Travis CI on a Puppet Module Repo for the new “best practices” around setting up rspec-puppet. You are encouraged to use the newer setup, though everything on this page will still work!

I’ve covered puppet unit tests with rspec and beyond before. What if you need to go even further and test data from hiera? There’s a way to do that with rspec as well, and it only requires a few extra lines to your spec config – plus the hiera data, of course.

Use hiera in your class

We’ve covered a number of ways to use hiera in your class. You can use hiera lookups (hiera(), hiera_hash(), etc.) and automatic parameter lookups with classes. We’ll look specifically at hiera_hash() and the create_resources() it is commonly paired with. You cannot simply test that create_resources() was called because you need to know the resulting title of the generated resource. Here’s a simple DHCP profile class I created:

class profile::dhcp {
  # DHCP service and host reservations
  include dhcp::server
  $dhcp_server_subnets = hiera_hash('dhcp_server_subnets', undef)
  if ($dhcp_server_subnets) {
    create_resources('dhcp::server::subnet', $dhcp_server_subnets)

  $dhcp_server_hosts = hiera_hash('dhcp_server_hosts', undef)
  if ($dhcp_server_hosts) {
    create_resources('dhcp::server::host', $dhcp_server_hosts)

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