Chef Open Source Community News – January 2018

Chef has always been built atop a very strong open-source community. However, we’ve heard from many of you that it’s hard to find news about new features being developed in our open-source projects. Thus, we are starting 2018 off by trying something new, which is to summarize open source developments in Chef, Habitat, InSpec, and our other projects on a monthly cadence through our blog.

Here are the highlights from those projects since December 1.

Chef

The Chef team is rapidly rolling towards Chef Client 14, which we will release in April. At that time, Chef Client 12 and ChefDK 1.x will become end-of-life, so if you haven’t started making plans to upgrade your cookbooks (and Chef Client), now is the time to have a look at our end-of-life page and plan accordingly. We’ll have more materials, including a tutorial to help you upgrade, in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Chef Client 13.7 is just around the corner. Major enhancements in 13.7 are the ability to detect AWS’s new C5 instances, UI polish on knife, and some performance improvements. Last but not least, 13.7 will include significant improvements to the windows_task resource to fix a few bugs and things that we were doing incorrectly in the old Windows cookbook from where this resource originated.

The community passed several new RFCs:

As usual, we’d love for you to jump in and contribute to core Chef. Head over to Jump Into Chef Development for some issues you can get started with.

Habitat

In December, just in time for KubeCon in Austin, TX, we announced some exciting integrations between Habitat and Kubernetes. The first of these integrations is a Kubernetes Operator, which we developed in conjunction with our friends at Kinvolk. For those who don’t know what an Operator is, it is a way to extend the Kubernetes API to manage external services such as stateful queues or data stores. The benefit is a unified API and management plane, through Kubernetes, of all your workloads, which dovetails particularly well with Habitat’s build-once, run-anywhere philosophy.

You can also export Habitat packages directly to Kubernetes, which also opens the door for Habitat users to seamlessly export to Google Container Engine (GKE). Read more about all of our Kubernetes integrations on the Habitat blog.

For Habitat on Windows users, the most interesting development is the ability, as of the 0.50.0 release, to export a Windows Habitat package to a Windows Docker container. Docker containers on Windows are still relatively new and this feature makes it easy to build and manage containers on this platform.

Finally, Matt Wrock also wrote a blog post about how you can run Microsoft SQL Server as a Habitat package… which you could export to a Docker container on Windows… which you could run in Kubernetes… and so on.

InSpec

The InSpec team made four stable releases since December 1, and InSpec 1.50 is hot off the press today which includes a valuable feature to allow fetching of attributes in XML files. Major features of the other three releases are:

  • A massive improvement in the speed of profile execution on Windows, which we covered in another blog post
  • Introduction of platform support in the resource DSL, to ensure that resources don’t execute on platforms and operating systems that don’t support the resource
  • Introduction of support for loading custom resources from a profile into the InSpec shell for better debugging and testing

We made bugfixes to nine InSpec resources and enhanced four others since the beginning of December. We’re also rapidly heading towards the InSpec 2.0 milestone and will have much more to say on that soon.

Highlights from other Chef Open Source Projects

Upcoming Open Source Events

Come see us at the following events over the next 4-6 weeks:

Thank You

Thank you for using Chef and for being part of the community. Let us know in the comments if you liked this summary so we know if we should continue putting it together.

Author Julian Dunn

Julian is director of product marketing at Chef. He has been with the company since 2013 in a variety of roles: professional services, engineering, and most recently, product management, where he helped to launch InSpec and Habitat. Before joining Chef, he was a system administrator and software engineer at large and small companies across such diverse sectors as advertising, broadcasting, and Internet security. Julian holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto.