4.10.1. My Services Are Dying!

The following section describes how to mitigate issues relating to destructive reasoning and avoiding destruction of the SIMP system. Destructive Reasoning with svckill

Most security guides that have been published on the Internet strongly suggest disabling all services that are not necessary for system operation. However, to list every possible service that may be controlled by the chkconfig or systemctl on a given system in a manifest would not be useful and would bloat the memory space of the running Puppet process.

As an alternative solution, the SIMP Team implemented the svckill module that runs with every Puppet run.

The svckill module:

  • Collects a list of all services on the system. These are the same services that the user sees after typing chkconfig --list on EL6 or systemctl list-unit-files --type=service --state=enabled on EL > 6.
  • Ignores certain critical services, including those for Puppet, IPtables/firewalld, and the network.
  • Collects a list of all services that are defined in the manifests and modules.
  • Ensures that every service that is defined in the manifests and modules is excluded from the list of services to kill.
  • Kills and disables everything else. Avoiding Destruction

If certain services should not be killed, you have two options:

  1. Add the service names to the svckill::ignore array in Hiera.

    - keepmealive1
    - keepmealive2
  2. Declare the services in the node manifest space:

# Preventing these services from being killed by svckill
service { "keepmealive1": }
service { "keepmealive2": }


The key to declaring the services in manifests is to use the service resource without setting any other options.