Progress Chef

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Progress Chef
Progress Chef Primary Logo.svg
Initial releaseJanuary 2009; 13 years ago (2009-01)[1]
Stable release(s)
Server14.4.4 / May 20, 2021; 16 months ago (2021-05-20)[2]
Client17.1.35 / May 11, 2021; 16 months ago (2021-05-11)[3]
Written inClient: Ruby
Server: Ruby, Erlang
Operating systemLinux, MS Windows, FreeBSD, macOS, IBM AIX, Solaris
TypeConfiguration management, System administration, Network management, Cloud management, Continuous delivery, DevOps, Infrastructure as Code
LicenseApache License 2.0

Progress Chef (formerly Chef)[4] is a configuration management tool written in Ruby and Erlang. It uses a pure-Ruby, domain-specific language (DSL) for writing system configuration "recipes". Chef is used to streamline the task of configuring and maintaining a company's servers, and can integrate with cloud-based platforms such as Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, OpenStack, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace to automatically provision and configure new machines. Chef contains solutions for both small and large scale systems.


The user writes "recipes" that describe how Chef manages server applications and utilities (such as Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, or Hadoop) and how they are to be configured. These recipes (which can be grouped together as a "cookbook" for easier management) 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. These various resources can be configured to specific versions of software to run and can ensure that software is installed in the correct order based on dependencies. Chef makes sure each resource is properly configured and corrects any resources that are not in the desired state.[5]

Chef can run in client/server mode, or in a standalone configuration named "chef-solo". In client/server mode, the Chef client sends various attributes about the node to the Chef server. The server uses Elasticsearch 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.[citation needed]

Traditionally, Chef was used to manage Linux but later versions add support for Microsoft Windows.[6]

It is one of the major configuration management systems on Linux, along with CFEngine, Ansible and Puppet.[7][8] More than a configuration management tool, Chef, along with Puppet and Ansible, is one of the industry's most notable Infrastructure as Code (IAC) tools.[9]


Chef was created by Adam Jacob as a tool for his consulting company, whose business model was to build end-to-end server/deployment tools. Jacob showed Chef to Jesse Robbins, who saw its potential after running operations at Amazon. They founded a new company with Barry Steinglass, Nathen Haneysmith, and Joshua Timberman to turn Chef into a product.[10]

The project was originally named "marionette", but the word was too long and cumbersome to type; naming the format modules were prepared in "recipe" led to the project being renamed "Chef".[10]

In February 2013, Opscode released version 11 of Chef. Changes in this release included a complete rewrite of the core API server in Erlang.[11]

On April 2, 2019, the company announced that all their products are now open source under the Apache 2.0 license.[12]

On September 8, 2020, Progress announced the acquisition of Chef.[13]

Platform support[edit]

Chef is supported on multiple platforms according to a supported platforms matrix for client and server products.[14] Major platform support for clients includes AIX, Amazon Linux, Debian, CentOS/RHEL, FreeBSD, macOS, Solaris, SUSE Linux, Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu. Additional client platforms include Arch Linux and Fedora. Chef Server is supported on RHEL/CentOS, Oracle Linux, SUSE Linux and Ubuntu.


Chef is used by Facebook,[15] AWS OpsWorks, Prezi,[16] and BlackLine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Announcing Chef". 15 January 2009. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  2. ^ "Chef Infra Server 14.4.4 Released! - Chef Release Announcements - Chef Questions". 20 May 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  3. ^ "Chef Infra Client 17.1 Released! - Chef Release Announcements - Chef Questions". 11 May 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  4. ^ A new look for Progress Chef - Chef Blog, 7 December 2021, retrieved 2022-01-22
  5. ^ Chef - Code Can | Chef, retrieved 2015-07-04
  6. ^ Cade Metz (2011-10-26), "The Chef, the Puppet, and the Sexy IT Admin", Wired, retrieved 2015-07-04
  7. ^ Alan Sharp-Paul (2013-03-04), Puppet vs. Chef - The Battle Wages On, retrieved 2015-07-04.
  8. ^ Lueninghoener, Cory (2011-03-28), "Getting Started with Configuration Management" (PDF), ;login:, Usenix, 36 (2), retrieved 2015-07-04
  9. ^ Keiser, John (14 November 2016). "Chef Provisioning: Infrastructure As Code".
  10. ^ a b History of Chef: What's in a Name? on YouTube
  11. ^ Bryan McLellan (2013-02-04). "Chef 11 Released!". Chef (company). Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  12. ^ Introducing the New Chef: 100% Open, Always - Chef Blog
  13. ^ Corporation, Progress Software (2020-09-08). "Progress Announces Acquisition of Chef". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  14. ^ "Platforms — Chef Docs". Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Facebook uses a seasoned Chef to keep servers simmering". Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  16. ^ How Chef Enables the DevOps Culture at Prezi - Zsolt Dollenstein on YouTube

External links[edit]