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chef-server (28) Versions 4.0.0

Installs and configures Chef Server 12

cookbook 'chef-server', '= 4.0.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'chef-server', '= 4.0.0'
knife supermarket install chef-server
knife supermarket download chef-server
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chef-server README

This cookbook configures a system to be a standalone Chef Server. It
will install the appropriate platform-specific chef-server Omnibus
package from Package Cloud and perform the initial configuration.

It is not in the scope of this cookbook to handle more complex Chef
Server topologies like 'tiered' or 'ha'. Nor is it in the scope of
this cookbook to install and configure premium features or other
add-ons. For clustered Chef Server deployments, see
For primitives for installing chef-server-core or other Chef Server
add-ons, see

It is also not in the scope of this cookbook to handle older versions
of Chef Server, such as 11 or 10. For Chef Server 11, see version
2.1.x of this cookbook on Supermarket, or the chef11 branch of this


This cookbook is tested with Chef (client) 12. It may work with or
without modification on earlier versions of Chef, but Chef 12 is


  • chef-server-ingredient cookbook


This cookbook is tested on the following platforms using the
Test Kitchen .kitchen.yml in the repository.

  • RHEL/CentOS 5 64-bit
  • RHEL/CentOS 6 64-bit
  • Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10 64-bit
  • Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10 64-bit
  • Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 64-bit

Unlisted platforms in the same family, of similar or equivalent
versions may work with or without modification to this cookbook. For a
list of supported platforms for Chef Server, see the
Chef documentation.


The attributes used by this cookbook are under the chef-server name

Attribute Description Type Default
api_fqdn Fully qualified domain name that you want to use for accessing the Web UI and API. If set to nil or empty string (""), the IP address will be used as hostname. String node['fqdn']
configuration Configuration to pass down to the underlying server config file (i.e. /etc/chef-server/chef-server.rb). String ""

version | Chef Server version to install. If nil, the
latest version is installed | String | nil

addons | Array of addon packages | Array |

Previous versions of this cookbook had several other attributes used
to control the version of the Chef Server package to install. This is

Previous versions of this cookbook used configuration as a Hash. This is now deprecated and the configuration should be specified as a String. This must include newlines for each of the configuration items.


This section describes the recipes in the cookbook and how to use them
in your environment.


This recipe:

  • Installs the appropriate platform-specific chef-server Omnibus package from our Package Cloud repository
  • Creates the initial /etc/chef-server/chef-server.rb file.
  • Performs initial system configuration via chef-server-ctl reconfigure.
  • Updates the /etc/hosts file with the api_fqdn if that FQDN cannot be resolved.


Chef addons are premium features that can be installed on the Chef
Server with the
appropriate license. If
there are < 25 nodes managed, or a paid subscription license, addons
can be installed.

This recipe iterates through the node['chef-server']['addons']
attribute and installs and reconfigures all the packages listed.

Install Methods

Bootstrap Chef (server) with Chef (solo)

The easiest way to get a Chef Server up and running is to install
chef-solo (via the chef-client Omnibus packages) and bootstrap the
system using this cookbook:

# install chef-solo
curl -L | sudo bash
# create required bootstrap dirs/files
sudo mkdir -p /var/chef/cache /var/chef/cookbooks
# pull down this chef-server cookbook
wget -qO- | sudo tar xvzC /var/chef/cookbooks
# pull down dependency cookbooks
for dep in chef-ingredient yum-chef yum apt-chef apt packagecloud
  wget -qO-${dep}/download | sudo tar xvzC /var/chef/cookbooks
# GO GO GO!!!
sudo chef-solo -o 'recipe[chef-server::default]'

Be sure to download and untar the chef-ingredient, yum-chef, yum, apt-chef, apt, and packagecloud cookbooks. They're dependencies of this cookbook.

If you need more control over the final configuration of your Chef Server instance you can create a JSON attributes file and set underlying configuration via the node['chef-server']['configuration'] attribute. See the [attributes/default.rb](attributes/default.rb)

Then pass this file to the initial chef-solo command:

chef-solo -j /tmp/dna.json

Configuring Chef Server

You can read all about Chef Server's configuration options on the Chef Documentation site.

Specify configuration using the node['chef-server']['configuration'] attribute as a string. Each configuration item should be separated by newlines. This string will be rendered exactly as written in the configuration file, /etc/opscode/chef-server.rb. For example, if we want to change the notification email, we could do this in a wrapper cookbook:

node.default['chef-server']['configuration'] = "notification_email ''"

Or in a dna.json file:

  "chef-server": {
    "configuration": "notification_email ''"

Or, for multiple configuration settings, such as the notification email and the cache size for nginx, this uses a heredoc:

node.default['chef-server']['configuration'] = <<-EOS
notification_email ''
nginx['cache_max_size'] = '3500m'

In a dna.json file, we need to insert a \n newline character.

  "chef-server": {
    "configuration": "notification_email ''\nnginx['cache_max_size'] = '3500m'"

Applying configuration changes

The chef-server-ctl command is the administrative interface to the Chef Server. It has its own documentation. Various administrative functions provided by chef-server-ctl are not in the scope of this cookbook. Special/customized needs should be managed in your own cookbook.

As this cookbook uses the chef-ingredient cookbook, its resources can be used to manage the Chef Server installation. The default recipe in this cookbook exposes chef_ingredient[chef-server] as a resource that can be sent a :reconfigure action from your own cookbooks. The omnibus_service resource can be used to manage the underlying services for the Chef Server. See the chef-ingredient cookbook for more information.

License and 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

Dependent cookbooks

chef-ingredient >= 0.8.0

Contingent cookbooks

boilerplate Applicable Versions
chef Applicable Versions
chef-server-populator Applicable Versions
chef-server-webapp Applicable Versions
chef-server-with-letsencrypt Applicable Versions
chefsrv Applicable Versions
managed-chef-server Applicable Versions
managed_chef_server Applicable Versions

chef-server cookbook README

v4.0.0 (2015-06-30)

Major version update, breaking changes ahead

  • #84: Add ability to set the package source with an attribute for local package installation
  • #90: Breaking Use chef-ingredient cookbook. The breaking change is that of the configuration file. Users who are modifying the configuration with the node['chef-server']['configuration'] attribute as a hash will need to convert it to a string. See the README for more detail.
  • #93: Add a topology attribute. Finally you can use this cookbook for non-standalone installs.

v3.1.1 (2015-04-09)

  • various cleanup
  • rubocop -a
  • adding
  • minor readability refactoring

v3.1.0 (2015-03-16)

  • Add a recipe and attribute to support installing addons. These are Chef premium features, see the README for more information about the addons recipe.

v3.0.1 (2015-03-02)

  • Issue #74, use :reconfigure action instead of notification so other configuration can happen after the Server is up within the same Chef run.

v3.0.0 (2015-02-24)

Major Version Update

Version 3.0.0 supports Chef Server 12. For background and rationale, see the mailing list post. Changes are from commit 0f2d123.

  • Remove the omnitruck API client library and related attributes
  • Use packagecloud repository for packages through the chef_server_ingredient resource
  • Remove the dev recipe
  • Remove the dependency on the git cookbook
  • Remove the Vagrantfile - we use test-kitchen now
  • Update the Berksfile accordingly
  • Add ServerSpec tests

Other changes

  • Fixes #46/COOK-4691, use IP address as hostname. This is only recommended for testing purposes.

v2.1.6 (2014-05-22)

  • COOK-4660 - Adds a OS version and image updates to the testing harness

v2.1.4 (2014-03-29)

  • Dropping dependency on git

v2.1.2 (2014-03-18)

  • [COOK-4386] - 'package_options' attribute added

v2.1.0 (2014-02-24)

  • Updating test harness, adding amazon support to omnitruck library
  • '[COOK-4176] - Ensure creation of :file_cache_path'
  • '[COOK-4178] - update Bento boxes used in chef-server cookbook'


Documentation update to reflect Vagrant version dependency


  • Complete re-write for Chef Server 11+. Chef Server is now installed using "fat" Omnibus package.


  • [COOK-1637] - Directory creation in chef-server should be recursive
  • [COOK-1638] - chef-server: Minor foodcritic fixups needed
  • [COOK-1643] - Chef Server Cookbook Missing Erlang in Metadata Depends
  • [COOK-1767] - use platform_family in chef-server cookbook


  • [COOK-801] - add amazon linux
  • [COOK-886] - use bin path consistently
  • [COOK-1034] - expander bluepill doesn't have default value for node count


  • [COOK-757] - compact all the views
  • [COOK-969] - server_name and server_aliases as configurable attributes on chef_server::nginx-proxy and chef_server::apache-proxy

Foodcritic Metric

4.0.0 failed this metric

FC031: Cookbook without metadata file: /tmp/cook/4a3717062072d810e5bf9580/chef-server/metadata.rb:1
FC045: Consider setting cookbook name in metadata: /tmp/cook/4a3717062072d810e5bf9580/chef-server/metadata.rb:1