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 type 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
  • Ignores certain critical services, including Puppet, IPtables, 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, declare them in the node manifest space or in the svckill::ignore array in Hiera.


The key is to declare the services and not set them to any other option. By adding them to the manifest, the svckill module will ignore them.

The example below demonstrates this in a manifest, assuming that the keepmealive service is added to the chkconfig.

#Preventing a service from being killed by svckill
service { "keepmealive": }