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Manages Windows environment variables


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Version information

  • 4.0.1 (latest)
  • 4.0.0
  • 3.2.0
  • 3.1.1
  • 3.1.0
  • 3.0.0
  • 2.3.0
released Jun 24th 2020
This version is compatible with:
  • Puppet Enterprise 2019.8.x, 2019.7.x, 2019.5.x, 2019.4.x, 2019.3.x, 2019.2.x, 2019.1.x, 2019.0.x, 2018.1.x
  • Puppet >= 5.5.8 < 7.0.0
  • Windows
This module has been deprecated by its author since Jun 26th 2023.

Start using this module


puppet/windows_env — version 4.0.1 Jun 24th 2020


This module manages (system and user) Windows environment variables.


Install from puppet forge:

puppet module install puppet/windows_env

Install from git (do this in your modulepath):

git clone windows_env



This module is currently tested against Puppet 4.10 and latest Puppet 5 releases. You can see the range of supported Puppet versions in the metadata.json.




Standard ensure, valid values are absent or present. Defaults to present.

variable (namevar)

The name of the environment variable. This will be inferred from the title if not given explicitly. The title can be of either the form {variable}={value} (the fields will be split on the first =) or just {variable}.

value (namevar)

The value of the environment variable. How this will treat existing content depends on mergemode.

user (namevar)

The user whose environment will be modified. Default is undef, i.e. system environment. The user can be local or domain, as long as they have a local profile (typically C:\users\{username} on Vista+). There is no awareness of network profiles in this module; knowing how changes to the local profile will affect a distributed profile is up to you.


How to split entries in environment variables with multiple values (such as PATH or PATHEXT) . Default is ';'.


Specifies how to treat content already in the environment variable, and how to handle deletion of variables. Default is insert.

Valid values:

  • clobber
    • When ensure => present, creates a new variable (if necessary) and sets its value. If the variable already exists, its value will be overwritten.
    • When ensure => absent, the environment variable will be deleted entirely.
  • insert
    • When ensure => present, creates a new variable (if necessary) and sets its value. If the variable already exists, the puppet resource provided content will be merged with the existing content. The puppet provided content will be placed at the end, and separated from existing entries with separator. If the specified value is already somewhere in the variable, no change will occur.
    • When ensure => absent, the value provided by the puppet resource will be removed from the environment variable. Other content will be left unchanged. The environment variable will not be removed, even if its contents are blank.
  • prepend
    • Same as insert, except Puppet will ensure the value appears first. If the specified value is already in the variable, but not at the beginning, it will be moved to the beginning. In the case of multiple resources in prepend mode managing the same variable, the values will be inserted in the order of evaluation (the last to run will be listed first in the variable). Note that with multiple prepends on the same resource, there will be shuffling around on every puppet run, since each resource will place its own value at the front of the list when it is run. Alternatively, an array can be provided to value. The relative ordering of the array items will be maintained when they are inserted into the variable, and the shuffling will be avoided.
  • append
    • Same as prepend, except the new value will be placed at (or be moved to) the end of the variable's existing contents rather than the beginning.


The type of registry value to use. Default is undef for existing keys (i.e. don't change the type) and REG_SZ when creating new keys.

Valid values:

  • REG_SZ
    • This is a regular registry string item with no substitution.
    • Values of this type will expand '%' enclosed strings (e.g. %SystemRoot%) derived from other environment variables. If you're on a 64-bit system and running 32-bit puppet, be careful here; registry writes may be subject to WoW64 registry redirection shenanigans. This module writes keys with the KEY_WOW64_64KEY flag, which on Windows 7+ (Server 2008 R2) systems will disable value rewriting. Older systems will rewrite certain values. The gory details can be found here: .


Specifies how long (in ms) to wait (per window) for refreshes to go through when environment variables change. Default is 100ms. This probably doesn't need changing unless you're having issues with the refreshes taking a long time (they generally happen nearly instantly). Note that this only works for the user that initiated the puppet run; if puppet runs in the background, updates to the environment will not propagate to logged in users until they log out and back in or refresh their environment by some other means.


    # Title type #1. Variable name and value are extracted from title, splitting on '='.
    # Default 'insert' mergemode is selected and default 'present' ensure is selected,
    # so this will add 'C:\code\bin' to PATH, merging it neatly with existing content.
    windows_env { 'PATH=C:\code\bin': }

    # Title type #2. Variable name is derived from the title, but not value (because there is no '=').
    # This will remove the environment variable 'BADVAR' completely.
    windows_env { 'BADVAR':
      ensure    => absent,
      mergemode => clobber,

    # Title type #3. Title doesn't set parameters (because both 'variable' and 'value' have
    # been supplied manually).
    # This will create a new environment variable 'MyVariable' and set its value to 'stuff'.
    # If the variable already exists, its value will be replaced with 'stuff'.
    windows_env {'random_title':
      ensure    => present,
      variable  => 'MyVariable',
      value     => 'stuff',
      mergemode => clobber,

    # Variables with 'type => REG_EXPAND_SZ' allow other environment variables to be used
    # by enclosing them in percent symbols.
    windows_env { 'JAVA_HOME=%ProgramFiles%\Java\jdk1.6.0_02':
      type => REG_EXPAND_SZ,

    # Create an environment variable for 'Administrator':
    windows_env { 'KOOLVAR':
      value => 'hi',
      user  => 'Administrator',

    # Create an environment variable for 'Domain\FunUser':
    windows_env { 'Funvar':
      value => 'Funval',
      user  => 'Domain\FunUser',

    # Creates (if needed) an enviroment variable 'VAR', and sticks 'VAL:VAL2' at
    # the beginning. Separates with : instead of ;. The broadcast_timeout change
    # probably won't make any difference.
    windows_env { 'title':
      ensure            => present,
      mergemode         => prepend,
      variable          => 'VAR',
      value             => ['VAL', 'VAL2'],
      separator         => ':',
      broadcast_timeout => 2000,

    # Exec doStuff.bat whenever environment variable KOOLVAR changes.
    # Note that if you have multiple windows_env resources managing one
    # variable, you'll need to either subscribe to all of them or combine
    # the windows_env resources into one (by passing an array to 'value')
    # and subscribing to that one resource.
    exec { 'C:\doStuff.bat':
      subscribe   => Windows_env['KOOLVAR'],
      refreshonly => true,



A structured fact which lists the following Windows environment variables

  • HOME
  • TEMP
  • TMP

Note that the names will appear as uppercase in the fact, for example the windir environment variable will appears as WINDIR in the fact


    $app_data = $facts['windows_env']['APPDATA']

    # Output the AppData path in the puppet log
    notify { $app_data: }


The puppet-windows-path module by Bastian Krol was the starting point for this module. puppet-windows_env got migrated from badgerious to Vox Pupuli.