Introducing Chef Workstation

We’re excited to announce the release of Chef Workstation, providing everything you need to get started with Chef with a simple one-click installation.

Ad-Hoc Configuration Management with chef-run

Chef Workstation comes with the new chef-run utility, which can be used to execute chef code on any remote system accessible via SSH or WinRM. This provides a quick way to apply config changes to the systems you manage whether or not they’re being actively managed by Chef, without requiring any pre-installed software. With chef-run, you can execute individual resources, or pre-existing Chef recipes on any number of servers with a single, simple command.

In the simple example above, we see chef-run used in tandem with InSpec, Chef’s compliance automation framework. First, InSpec is checking to see whether our host is configured with the ntp package installed, which is responsible for ensuring server clocks are kept in sync. Since our InSpec profile is reporting a failure, we then use chef-run to install ntp using Chef’s package resource, like so:

chef-run -i ~/path/to/sshkey user@host package ntp action=install

Finally, we re-run the previously failing InSpec profile for immediate validation that our update was successfully applied.

NOTE: The inspec exec command in the above example is executing 
a local InSpec profile to evaluate whether NTP is installed. 
To learn more about creating InSpec profiles, check out the 
Compliance Automation track in Learn Chef Rally.

Robust Testing & Development Tools

Chef Workstation also includes everything already packaged within the ChefDK. Development tools for testing, dependency resolution, and cookbook generation are all included alongside chef-run, ensuring that whether you’re consuming existing chef policies, or creating your own, you have everything you need to get up and running quickly.

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Author Nick Rycar

Nick is a Technical Product Marketing Manager working out of Chef HQ in Seattle. When he's not busy preparing product demos, he's torturing his colleagues with terrible puns and needlessly esoteric pop-culture trivia. Mostly he's just another confused New York transplant in the Pacific Northwest.