Cooking on Windows without the Windows Cookbook – Adam Edwards

Writing recipes for Windows typically involves taking a dependency on the platform-specific Windows cookbook, an artifact that has no real analog when authoring content for Unix-like systems. This requirement is changing starting with Chef 11, as more functionality and resources such as the registry resource formerly tied to the Windows cookbook are available in the core chef-client itself, thus reducing or eliminating the need to use the Windows cookbook. Additionally, the new implementations of the resources provide additional features that make recipes more predictable and robust on the Windows platform.

We’ll see some of this new capability in action, describe the motivation and what gets better, and look forward to additional Windows functionality that can be folded into chef-client.


  • All of us, Windows and non-Windows users alike, benefit when we rely less on the Windows cookbook
  • New resources for registry, powershell, and batch scripting are available without the Windows cookbook
  • These resources enable predictability for 32-bit / 64-bit (Wow64) difficulties
  • We should start changing our cookbooks to use the new resources
  • Chef-client as a Windows service is now robust and reliable, no Windows cookbook needed
  • This is just the beginning–let us know what should jump into core Chef next!