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ark (70) Versions 5.0.0

Provides a custom resource for installing runtime artifacts in a predictable fashion

cookbook 'ark', '= 5.0.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'ark', '= 5.0.0'
knife supermarket install ark
knife supermarket download ark
Quality 83%

ark cookbook

Build Status Cookbook Version


This cookbook provides ark, a resource for managing software archives. It manages the fetch-unpack-configure-build-install process common to installing software from source, or from binary distributions that are not fully fledged OS packages.

This cookbook started its life as a modified version of Infochimp's install_from cookbook. It has since been heavily refactored and extended to meet different use cases.

Given a simple project archive available at a url:

ark 'pig' do
  url ''

The ark resource will:

  • fetch it to to /var/cache/chef/
  • unpack it to the default path (/usr/local/pig-0.8.0)
  • create a symlink for :home_dir (/usr/local/pig) pointing to path
  • add specified binary commands to the environment PATH variable

By default, the ark will not run again if the :path is not empty. Ark provides many actions to accommodate different use cases, such as :dump, :cherry_pick, :put, and :install_with_make.

For remote files ark supports URLs using the remote_file resource. Local files are accessed with the file:// syntax.



  • Debian/Ubuntu
  • RHEL/CentOS/Scientific/Oracle
  • Fedora
  • FreeBSD
  • SmartOS
  • macOS
  • openSUSE / SUSE Linux Enterprises
  • Windows

Should work on common Unix/Linux systems with typical userland utilities like tar, gzip, etc. May require the installation of build tools for compiling from source, but that installation is outside the scope of this cookbook.


  • Chef 14+


  • seven_zip


Customize the attributes to suit site specific conventions and defaults.

  • node['ark']['apache_mirror'] - if the URL is an apache mirror, use the attribute as the default. default:
  • node['ark']['prefix_root'] - default base location if the prefix_root is not passed into the resource. default: /usr/local
  • node['ark']['prefix_bin'] - default binary location if the prefix_bin is not passed into the resource. default: /usr/local/bin
  • node['ark']['prefix_home'] - default home location if the prefix_home is not passed into the resource. default: /usr/local
  • node['ark']['package_dependencies'] - prerequisite system packages that need to be installed to support ark. default: varies based on platform
  • node['ark']['tar'] - allows overriding the default path to the tar binary, which varies based on platform
  • node['ark']['sevenzip_binary'] - allows overriding the default path to the 7zip binary, which is determined based on registry key value


  • ark - does the extract/build/configure


  • :install: extracts the file and creates a 'friendly' symbolic link to the extracted directory path
  • :configure: configure ahead of the install action
  • :install_with_make: extracts the archive to a path, runs configure, make, and make install.
  • :dump: strips all directories from the archive and dumps the contained files into a specified path
  • :cherry_pick: extract a specified file from an archive and places in specified path
  • :put: extract the archive to a specified path, does not create any symbolic links
  • :remove: removes the extracted directory and related symlink #TODO
  • :setup_py: runs the command "python" in the extracted directory
  • :setup_py_build: runs the command "python build" in the extracted directory
  • :setup_py_install: runs the command "python install" in the extracted directory


Extract a specified file from an archive and places in specified path.

Relevant Attribute Parameters for :cherry_pick

  • path: directory to place file in.
  • creates: specific file to cherry-pick.


Strips all directories from the archive and dumps the contained files into a specified path.

NOTE: This currently only works for zip archives

Attribute Parameters for :dump

  • path: path to dump files to.
  • mode: file mode for app_home, as an integer.

    • Example: 0775
  • creates: if you are appending files to a given directory, ark needs a condition to test whether the file has already been extracted. You can specify with creates, a file whose existence indicates the ark has previously been extracted and does not need to be extracted again.


Extract the archive to a specified path, does not create any symbolic links.

Attribute Parameters for :put

  • path: path to extract to.

    • Default: /usr/local
  • append_env_path: boolean, if true, append the ./bin directory of the extracted directory to the global PATH variable for all users.

Attribute Parameters

  • name: name of the package, defaults to the resource name.
  • url: url for tarball, .tar.gz, .bin (oracle-specific), .war, and .zip currently supported. Also supports special syntax
  • :name:version:apache_mirror: that will auto-magically construct download url from the apache mirrors site.
  • version: software version, defaults to 1.
  • mode: file mode for app_home, is an integer.
  • prefix_root: default prefix_root, for use with :install* actions.
  • prefix_home: default directory prefix for a friendly symlink to the path.

    • Example: /usr/local/maven -> /usr/local/maven-2.2.1
  • prefix_bin: default directory to place a symlink to a binary command.

    • Example: /opt/bin/mvn -> /opt/maven-2.2.1/bin/mvn, where the prefix_bin is /opt/bin
  • path: path to extract the ark to. The :install* actions overwrite any user-provided values for :path.

    • Default: /usr/local/<name>-<version> for the :install, :install_with_make actions
  • home_dir: symbolic link to the path :prefix_root/:name-:version, does not apply to :dump, :put, or :cherry_pick actions.

    • Default: :prefix_root/:name
  • has_binaries: array of binary commands to symlink into /usr/local/bin/, you must specify the relative path.

    • Example: [ 'bin/java', 'bin/javaws' ]
  • append_env_path: boolean, similar to has_binaries but less granular. If true, append the ./bin directory of the extracted directory to. the PATH environment variable for all users, by placing a file in /etc/profile.d/. The commands are symbolically linked into /usr/bin/*. This option provides more granularity than the boolean option.

    • Example: mvn, java, javac, etc.
  • environment: hash of environment variables to pass to invoked shell commands like tar, unzip, configure, and make.

  • strip_components: number of components in path to strip when extracting archive. With default value of 1, ark strips the leading directory from an archive, which is the default for both unzip and tar commands.

  • autoconf_opts: an array of command line options for use with the GNU autoconf script.

    • Example: [ '--include=/opt/local/include', '--force' ]
  • make_opts: an array of command line options for use with make.

    • Example: [ '--warn-undefined-variables', '--load-average=2' ]
  • owner: owner of extracted directory.

    • Default: root
  • group: group of extracted directory.

    • Default: root
  • backup: The number of backups to be kept in /var/chef/backup (for UNIX- and Linux-based platforms) or C:/chef/backup (for the Microsoft Windows platform). Set to false to prevent backups from being kept.

    • Default: 5


This example copies ivy.tar.gz to /var/cache/chef/ivy-2.2.0.tar.gz, unpacks its contents to /usr/local/ivy-2.2.0/ -- stripping the leading directory, and symlinks /usr/local/ivy to /usr/local/ivy-2.2.0

 # install Apache Ivy dependency resolution tool
 ark "ivy" do
   url ''
   version '2.2.0'
   checksum '89ba5fde0c596db388c3bbd265b63007a9cc3df3a8e6d79a46780c1a39408cb5'
   action :install

This example copies jdk-7u2-linux-x64.tar.gz to /var/cache/chef/jdk-7.2.tar.gz, unpacks its contents to /usr/local/jvm/jdk-7.2/ -- stripping the leading directory, symlinks /usr/local/jvm/default to /usr/local/jvm/jdk-7.2, and adds /usr/local/jvm/jdk-7.2/bin/ to the global PATH for all users. The user 'foobar' is the owner of the /usr/local/jvm/jdk-7.2 directory:

 ark 'jdk' do
   url ''
   version '7.2'
   path "/usr/local/jvm/"
   home_dir "/usr/local/jvm/default"
   checksum  '89ba5fde0c596db388c3bbd265b63007a9cc3df3a8e6d79a46780c1a39408cb5'
   append_env_path true
   owner 'foobar'

Install Apache Ivy dependency resolution tool in /resource_name in this case /usr/local/ivy, do not symlink, and strip any leading directory if one exists in the tarball:

 ark "ivy" do
    url ''
    checksum '89ba5fde0c596db388c3bbd265b63007a9cc3df3a8e6d79a46780c1a39408cb5'
    action :put

Install Apache Ivy dependency resolution tool in /home/foobar/ivy, strip any leading directory if one exists, don't keep backup copies of ivy.tar.gz:

 ark "ivy" do
   path "/home/foobar"
   url ''
   checksum '89ba5fde0c596db388c3bbd265b63007a9cc3df3a8e6d79a46780c1a39408cb5'
   action :put
   backup false

Strip all directories and dump files into path specified by the path attribute. You must specify the creates attribute in order to keep the extraction from running every time. The directory path will be created if it doesn't already exist:

 ark "my_jars" do
   url  ""
   path "/usr/local/tomcat/lib"
   creates "mysql.jar"
   owner "tomcat"
   action :dump

Extract specific files from a tarball (currently only handles one named file):

 ark 'mysql-connector-java' do
   url ''
   creates 'mysql-connector-java-5.0.8-bin.jar'
   path '/usr/local/tomcat/lib'
   action :cherry_pick

Build and install haproxy and use alternative values for prefix_root, prefix_home, and prefix_bin:

 ark "haproxy" do
   url  ""
   version "1.5"
   checksum 'ba0424bf7d23b3a607ee24bbb855bb0ea347d7ffde0bec0cb12a89623cbaf911'
   make_opts [ 'TARGET=linux26' ]
   prefix_root '/opt'
   prefix_home '/opt'
   prefix_bin  '/opt/bin'
   action :install_with_make

You can also supply the file extension in case the file extension can not be determined by the URL:

 ark "test_autogen" do
   url ''
   extension "tar.gz"
   action :install_with_make

License & Authors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Dependent cookbooks

seven_zip >= 0.0.0

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ark Cookbook CHANGELOG

This file is used to list changes made in each version of the ark cookbook.

5.0.0 (2020-01-02)

  • Require Chef Infra Client 14+ and remove the need for the build_essential dependency - @tas50
  • Use Ruby classes in resource properties - @tas50
  • Simplify the platform check logic - @tas50
  • Remove the .foocritic file - @tas50
  • Remove long_description and recipe metadata - @tas50
  • Expand testing - @tas50
  • Remove Ubuntu 14.04 testing - @tas50

4.0.0 (2018-07-25)

  • Support append_env_path property on Windows, which increases the minimum required Chef release to Chef 13.4

3.1.1 (2018-07-24)

  • Remove ChefSpec matchers since these are autogenerated now
  • Update specs to the latest platform versions
  • Remove template out of defaults directory
  • Remove dependency on the Windows cookbook

3.1.0 (2017-05-06)

  • Ensure the dependencies get installed on Chef 13 Amazon Linux systems
  • Require Chef 12.7+ and remove action_class.class_eval usage

3.0.0 (2017-04-05)

  • Rewrite of resource to custom resources.
  • Remove EOL platforms from testing.

- Update zlib URL

2.2.1 (2016-12-16)

  • Use Ohai root_group attribute to avoid trying to set the group to root on BSD/macOS.
  • Add missing accessor for owner property

2.2.0 (2016-12-14)

  • Add detection of .7z file extensions
  • Fix 7zip extraction using strip_components >= 1 to properly extract to the path instead of the user's home_dir
  • Always quote the path to the 7zip and xcopy binaries as they may have spaces
  • Clarified in the readme that the install_with_make action includes the configure action
  • Fix files with very long paths failing to extract on Windows
  • Fix default owner of 'root' failing on Windows
  • Fix 7-zip extraction with long paths when strip_components is >= 1
  • Add the group attribute parameter to README
  • Fix package installation failure on macOS systems
  • Use x to extract with 7-zip, not e. Use e only for dump, which strips directories.

2.1.0 (2016-11-15)

  • Move tar/7zip path logic out of attributes and into helpers to prevent failures when 7zip is not installed before the chef run starts
  • Improve platform testing in Test Kitchen
  • Recognize Windows as a supported platform in the readme
  • Introduce a new attribute for overriding the 7-zip location: node['ark']['sevenzip_binary']

2.0.2 (2016-11-03)

  • Fix suse support and centos < 6

2.1.0 (2016-11-01)

  • Use multipackage installs to speed up installation
  • Avoid installation package dependencies on Windows entirely
  • Remove the testing bin stubs

2.0.0 (2016-09-15)

  • Add CentOS 7.2, Fedora 23, and Suse specs
  • Add centos 5, debian, and opensuse travis testing
  • Add a contributing doc
  • Fix cookstyle warnings
  • Require Chef 12.1+

v1.2.0 (2016-07-03)

Full Changelog

  • Create seven_zip unpack command when strip_components is 0 #155 (terkill)
  • Get 7zip path from the windows registry. #153 (buri17)
  • Use fullpath for xcopy and icacls. #152 (buri17)
  • Define custom matcher helper for notification testing, fixes #139 #144 (szymonpk)

v1.1.0 (2016-05-19)

  • Add support for RHEL 7
  • Fixes to the readme to clarify actions / properties
  • Expose the backup property in remote file to the ark resource
  • Transfer the cookbook back to Chef
  • Resolve all rubocop warnings
  • Add maintainers files and Chef contributing docs
  • Test on the latest platforms in .kitchen.yml and update Travis to use kitchen-dokken with additional platforms

v1.0.1 (2016-02-16)

  • Remove a large number of zero byte archives that snuck into the repository
  • Remove a Chef 10 compatibility check in the custom resource

v1.0.0 (2016-02-09)

  • Added the pkg-config package to the debian platform family
  • Added tar, xz-lzma-compat, and bzip2 packages to the RHEL and fedora platform families
  • Updated FreeBSD to install gmake instead of make
  • Added OS X, SmartOS, and FreeBSD to the tar path attributes to support those platforms
  • Removed the has_binaries attribute from put action documentation in the readme file since this isn't supported there
  • Moved the libraries module locations to no longer be under Opscode:: and broke out libraries into more logical units
  • Fixed issues with spaces in Windows paths that could cause failures
  • Fixed a bad attribute for the 7zip home on windows. Instead of using a node attribute use the value directly to avoid computed attribute overiding issues
  • Switched from the 7-zip cookbook to seven_zip since the 7-zip cookbook is now deprecated
  • Changed unzip commands to not use -u so that a newer archive can overwrite an existing directory
  • Added support for actions py_setup, py_setup_install, py_setup_build
  • Fixed setting home_dir attribute
  • Added source_url and issues_url to the metadata.rb
  • Expanded the supported platforms in metadata.rb
  • Removed all references to Opscode
  • Improved error logging when an unknown extension is encountered
  • Added support for .tar files
  • Improved overall testing:

    • Removed the file and gem dependencies
    • Added integration testing in Travis with Kitchen-Docker and Travis tests now run using the nightly build of ChefDK
    • Expanded platforms tested in the .kitchen.yml file
    • Updated the Gemfile with the latest testing dependencies
    • Added full Chefspec coverage
    • Greatly expanded the ark_spec test cookbook
    • Removed the original minitests
  • Added standard Chef .gitignore and chefignore files

  • Resolved a large number of rubocop warnings

  • Removed old Opscode contributing and testing docs

  • Added a cookbook version badge to the readme

  • Removed the Toftfile

v0.9.0 (2014-06-06)

  • [COOK-3642] Add Windows support

v0.8.2 (2014-04-23)

  • [COOK-4514] - Support for SLES with the Ark cookbook

v0.8.0 (2014-04-10)

  • [COOK-2771] - Add support for XZ compression

v0.7.2 (2014-03-28)

  • [COOK-4477] - Fix failing test suite
  • [COOK-4484] - Replace strip_leading_dir attribute with more general strip_components

v0.7.0 (2014-03-18)

  • [COOK-4437] - configure and install_with_make should chown after unpack

v0.6.0 (2014-02-27)

[COOK-3786] - Unable to install multiple versions of archive without duplication

v0.5.0 (2014-02-21)



  • COOK-4264 - Add node['ark']['package_dependencies'] to allow tuning packages.



  • COOK-3854 - Capability with mac_os_x: '/bin/chown' - No such file or directory
  • Cleaning up some style for rubucop
  • Updating test harness



  • COOK-3539 - Allow dumping of bz2 and gzip files






  • [COOK-3087]: Can't use ark with chef < 11


  • [COOK-3064]: only_if statements in ark's install_with_make and configure actions are not testing for file existence correctly.
  • [COOK-3067]: ark kitchen test for cherry_pick is expecting the binary to be in the same parent folder as in the archive.



  • [COOK-3048]: Ark provider contains a ruby_block resource without a block attribute
  • [COOK-3063]: Ark cookbook cherry_pick action's unzip command does not close if statement
  • [COOK-3065]: Ark install action does not symlink binaries correctly


  • Update the README to reflect the requirement for Chef 11 to use the ark resource (use_inline_resources).
  • Making this a release so it will also appear on the community site page.



  • [COOK-2772]: Ark cookbook has foodcritic failures in provides/default.rb


  • [COOK-2520]: Refactor ark providers to use the 'use_inline_resources' LWRP DSL feature


  • [COOK-2335] - ark resource broken on Chef 11


  • [COOK-2026] - Allow cherry_pick action to be used for directories as well as files


  • [COOK-1593] - README formatting updates for better display on Community Site



  • dangling "unless"


  • add setup_py_* actions
  • add vagrantfile
  • add foodcritic test
  • support

v0.0.10 (May 23, 2012



Collaborator Number Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric

Contributing File Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric

Foodcritic Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric

No Binaries Metric

5.0.0 failed this metric

Failure: Cookbook should not contain binaries. Found:

Testing File Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric

Version Tag Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric