This is a page dedicated to useful JQ commands for querying a compiled Puppet catalog.

General note about Puppet 3 v Puppet 4/5 catalogs

In Puppet 4 the catalog structure changed a little, and it is important to be aware that the crucial resources key is in the top level in Puppet 4/5, whereas it’s nested under the data key in Puppet 3.

All commands below are for Puppet 4/5.

List all file resources by title

$ jq '.resources[] | select(.type == "File") | .title' < catalog.json

Select a file resource based on title

$ jq '.resources[] | select((.type == "File") and (.title=="sources.list.d"))' < catalog.json

Select all files resource based on title that contains a string

$ jq '.resources[] | select((.title | contains("/home")) and (.type == "File")) | .title' < catalog.json

List all the classes in a catalog

Similar to listing resources:

$ jq '.resources[] | select(.type=="Class") | .title' < catalog.json

List all defined types in a catalog

$ jq -r '.resources[] | select(.type | contains("::")) | [.type, .title] | @csv' < catalog.json 

List all resource types in a catalog

$ jq '.resources[] | .type' < catalog.json | sort -u

Debugging a catalog dependency issue

Example error message
  1) rspec should compile into a catalogue without dependency cycles
     Failure/Error: compile.with_all_deps
       error during compilation: Could not retrieve dependency 'File[/etc/apt/sources.list.d]' of Exec[apt_update]
     # ./spec/hosts/role_default_spec.rb:25:in `block (2 levels) in <top (required)>'

Rspec doesn’t tell us which resources are involved so we need some magic to figure this out.

Change the Rspec to generate the catalog file

Comment out this so writing out of the catalog file proceeds:

  it 'should compile and write out a catalog file' do
    # compile.with_all_deps
Find these resources in the catalogs along with their locations in the manifests

Find the File resource
$ jq 'resources[] | 
>       select((.type == "File") and (.title=="sources.list.d")) | 
>       {"type": .type, "title": .title, "parameters": .parameters}' < catalog.json 
  "type": "File",
  "title": "sources.list.d",
  "parameters": {
    "path": "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/",
    "ensure": "directory",
    "owner": "root",
    "group": "root",
    "purge": false,
    "recurse": false,
    "notify": "Exec[apt_update]"
Now find the Exec resource
$ jq '.resources[] | 
>    select((.type == "Exec") and (.title=="apt_update")) | 
>    {"type": .type, "title": .title, "file": .file, "line": .line, "parameters": .parameters}' \
>      < catalog.json 
  "type": "Exec",
  "title": "apt_update",
  "file": "/path/to/manifests/apt.pp",
  "line": 30,
  "parameters": {
    "command": "/usr/local/sbin/apt_update",
    "logoutput": "on_failure",
    "refreshonly": false,
    "subscribe": "File[/etc/apt/sources.list.d]",
    "require": [

So we can see the bug and know which file to edit to fix it.