|Initial release||January 15, 2009|
|Stable release||11.4.0 / February 13, 2013|
|Written in||Ruby and Erlang|
|Operating system||GNU/Linux, AT&T Unix, MS Windows|
|Type||Configuration management, System administration, Network management|
Chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby and Erlang. It uses a pure-Ruby, domain-specific language (DSL) for writing system configuration "recipes" or "cookbooks". Chef was written by Opscode and is released as open source under the Apache License 2.0. Chef is a DevOps tool used for configuring cloud services or to streamline the task of configuring a company's internal servers. Chef automatically sets up and tweaks the operating systems and programs that run in massive data centers.
Chef can run using a client/server model, or on a consolidated configuration named "chef-solo". Chef can be integrated with Cloud-based platforms such as Rackspace and Amazon EC2. Traditionally, Chef is used to manage GNU/Linux but later versions support running on Windows as well.
The user writes "recipes" that describe how Chef manages server applications (such as Apache, MySQL, or Hadoop) and how they are to be configured. These recipes describe a series of resources that should be in a particular state – packages that should be installed, services that should be running, or files that should be written. Chef makes sure each resource is properly configured, and automatically discovers data points of the system.
When used in a client/server model, the Chef client sends various attributes about the node to the Chef server. The server uses Solr to index these attributes and provides an API for clients to query this information. Chef recipes can query these attributes and use the resulting data to help configure the node.
Chef can be used to create clones of Quality Assurance environments, pre-production environments, and partner preview environments. Once automated, a blueprint is created for the infrastructure, enabling the user to build, or rebuild, automatically in minutes or hours.
- "Chef Client 11.4.0 + 10.22.0 Released!". Opscode. 13 February 2013.
- "Chef & Puppet", Wired, Oct 2011.
- "Chef", Ops code.
- "Puppet vs Chef battle wages", Script rock.
- Lueninghoener, C (April 2011), "Getting Started with Configuration Management" (PDF), ;login: (Usenix) 36 (2), retrieved 2012‐11‐23
- "Chef 11 Released!". Opscode. 4 February 2013.
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