Introducing Chef Infra Client 16

Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Chef Infra Client 16, a smaller, faster version that is chock full of new resources, features, and supported platforms. What makes this release particularly exciting, however, is an unprecedented focus on streamlining the user experience for newcomers and seasoned veterans alike. 

With Chef Infra 16, your automation is only as complex as the problems you need to solve!

Infrastructure Automation Just Got Easier

In Chef Infra Client 16 we’ve put an emphasis on ensuring that our community and customers can create, customize, and update their Chef policy with as little friction as possible. Whatever your proficiency level or use case, we’re dedicated to ensuring you have the tools you need to get up and running quickly. To that end, here are some of the features that make Chef Infra 16 the most robust release to date:

YAML Recipe Support

Chef Infra features a robust library of declarative resources for configuring a wide variety of infrastructure components. Chef recipes can now be written in YAML, providing a simplified, low-code entry point to writing Chef Infra policy.

Custom Resource Unified Mode

One of Chef Infra’s key strengths is its extensibility. In particular, custom resources allow you to define reusable logic for tasks unique to your organization or use case. Unified Mode allows resource authors to opt-in to a single phase of execution for Chef resources and Ruby code, streamlining the customization process for Ruby newbies and experienced pros alike.

Massive Cookstyle Improvements

Last fall we announced that Cookstyle had officially supplanted Foodcritic as the de facto linting tool for Chef Infra code. Since then we’ve kept up the momentum, adding nearly 200 new cops custom-tailored for Chef cookbooks. This includes automatic detection and correction of many common deprecations, and facilities for targeting specific client versions. The Chef Infra extension for Visual Studio Code includes built-in cookstyle linting as well!

Additional Features in Chef Infra 16

As with every major release, we’ve also added a ton of performance and functionality enhancements to Chef Infra 16, and we’ve collected some of the highlights here.

  • Additional Platform Support We now support multiple Linux flavors on ARM (aarch64) including Ubuntu 20.04, Amazon Linux 2, RHEL 8, and SLES 15! Our full list of supported platforms is available here
  • Smaller, Better, Faster The client is up to 30% smaller on disk with this release, with performance optimizations to significantly speed up client runs on Microsoft Windows
  • Custom Resource Improvements In addition to unified mode, functionality has been added to reduce code duplication, control resource state, and define compile-time logic
  • New Resources Including OS-specific enhancements like plist, windows_security_policy, alternatives, and user_ulimit and improved Infra Client scheduling with chef_client_windows_task, chef_client_cron, and chef_client_systemd_timer

For a full list of features & enhancements, see the full release notes available on docs.chef.io.

Support and Upgrades

Chef provides support, bug fixes, and security patches for the latest two major releases of Chef Infra Client. That means that Chef Infra 15 will continue to be supported, but Chef Infra 14 is officially End of Life as of this release. Further information can be found in this blog post, and a full list of software Chef supports can be found in our documentation.

In addition to the improvements to Cookstyle mentioned above, we’ll be continuing to focus on how best to upgrade your Chef Infra policy and clients in the coming weeks and months. Be on the lookout for a new blog series devoted to providing insights on how best to prepare for and execute Chef Infra upgrades. If you could use a hand upgrading, Chef is offering discounted professional services on eligible upgrade engagements through June 30, 2020!

Update: Solaris Builds Temporarily Delayed

We do not yet have Solaris builds available for Chef Infra Client 16. Our build infrastructure needs an upgrade that will require physical access to our datacenter to complete. Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, we are not presently able to make the necessary changes.

While Solaris builds will be delayed until we can physically access the data center, they are and will remain available on Chef Infra Client 15. Thank you for your patience while we address this issue, and we will begin building for Chef Infra Client 16 as soon as we responsibly can. 

Learn More

There’s far too much new to cover in a single blog post! Be sure to check out our release notes for the full list of updates.

Looking to upgrade to the latest Chef Infra, but don’t know where to start? We’ll be dedicating a blog series to this very topic in coming weeks, and in the meantime, our professional service team wants to help! Through June 30th, we’re even offering 25% off eligible engagements.

If you want to get hands-on with Chef Infra, or any of the latest & greatest Chef has to offer, be sure to check out our quickstart track on Learn Chef Rally for tons of self-guided tutorials and learning resources.

If you missed last week’s launch preview webinar, be sure to join our global digital meetup tomorrow, April 29th, at 10:00AM Pacific,  where I’ll be covering launch details, and answering your questions. 

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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.