Automating Infrastructure with DSC

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OctopusDSC is an in-house and open source PowerShell module with DSC resource designed to reduce the overhead when automating the installation and configuration of your Octopus infrastructure.

We have the following documentation pages regarding OctopusDSC:

Installing the OctopusDSC PowerShell module.

It is recommended that you use PowerShell 5 alongside PowerShellGet.

Quick Installation:

  1. Install PowerShellGet from PowerShell Gallery.
  2. Install DSC module via PowerShellGet\Install-Module -Name OctopusDSC

Manual Installation:

  1. Download the latest release.
  2. If required, unblock the zip file.
  3. Extract the zip file to a folder called OctopusDSC under your modules folder (usually %USERPROFILE%\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules)
  4. To confirm it's installed correctly, in a new PowerShell session run Get-Module -ListAvailable -Name OctopusDSC

The community has also submitted a few other options.

OctopusDSC management.

DSC can be applied in various ways, such as Group Policy, a DSC Pull Server, Azure Automation, or even via configuration management tools such as Chef or Puppet. A good resource to learn more about DSC is the Microsoft Virtual Academy training course.

Contributing to the OctopusDSC Open-Source repository.

There are two main code repositories associated with this module, the below links will direct you to our open source GitHub page for the Server and Tentacle agent repositories respectively.

cOctopusServer is used to install and configure the Octopus Server.

cTentacleAgent is used to install and configure the Octopus Tentacle agent.

As OctopusDSC is an Open Source project, we encourage everyone to contribute their custom scripts to help build a formidable OctopusDSC script repository. Below are instructions on how to contribute to the OctopusDSC repository.

This project is setup to use Vagrant to provide a dev/test environment. Once you've installed Vagrant, you can use to spin up a local virtual machine using VirtualBox and run the test scenarios (NOTE: The first time you run vagrant up it has to download the octopusdeploy/dsc-test-server box and this can take some time depending on your internet speed, so be patient and go grab a coffee while it downloads). On a build server, you most likely want to use to spin up a virtual machine on AWS to run the tests.

Configuration is handled by environment variables. The shell scripts will show a message letting you know what variables need to be set.

As there are no Windows specific build scripts at present, if you want to run the tests against AWS on Windows:

  1. Install Vagrant from
  2. Install VirtualBox from
  3. If you are on a Mac or Linux you need to install PowerShell.
  4. If you want to test locally using virtualbox
    • Run vagrant plugin install vagrant-dsc
    • Run vagrant plugin install vagrant-winrm
    • Run vagrant plugin install vagrant-winrm-syncedfolders
    • Run vagrant up -- provider virtualbox. This will run all the scenarios under the Tests folder.
  5. If you want to test using AWS
    • Run vagrant plugin install vagrant-aws
    • Run vagrant plugin install vagrant-aws-winrm
    • Set an environment variable AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID to a valid value
    • Set an environment variable AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY to a valid value
    • Set an environment variable AWS_SUBNET_ID to a valid subnet where you want the instance launched
    • Set an environment variable AWS_SECURITY_GROUP_ID to a valid security group you want to assign to the instance
    • Run vagrant up --provider aws. This will run all the scenarios under the Tests folder.
  6. Run vagrant destroy -f once you have finished to kill the virtual machine.

Tests are written in ServerSpec, which is an infrastructure oriented layer over RSpec.

When creating a PR, please ensure that all existing tests run successfully against VirtualBox, and please include a new scenario where possible. Before you start, please raise an issue to discuss your plans so we can make sure it fits with the goals of the project.