Installing Chef 0.8 alpha on Ubuntu Karmic

Theres push to get Chef 0.8 out the door because we’re all anxious for its awesome list of features and fixes, so we’re all hunkering down on fixing bugs. Scott Likens has similar notes and theres some more to be found in Dan Deleo’s 08boot bootstrap recipe. This should help get you going.

On a fresh Ubuntu Karmic install (a VM makes this easy of course):
# Add the Canonical Ubuntu ‘multiverse’ repository for Java.
sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list # add multiverse to your ‘deb’ lines if it is not there
sudo apt-get update

# Start Chef Gem bootstrap with some notes
# note that I don’t like to install rubygems from source and use the packages instead. this adds a step or two.
sudo apt-get install ruby ruby1.8-dev libopenssl-ruby1.8 rdoc ri irb build-essential wget ssl-cert rubygems git-core -y
sudo gem sources -a
sudo gem sources -a # for nanite
sudo gem install ohai chef json –no-ri –no-rdoc

We now have enough chef to bootstrap ourselves
# Create ~/chef.json:

  "bootstrap": {
    "chef": {
      "url_type": "http",
      "init_style": "runit",
      "path": "/srv/chef",
      "serve_path": "/srv/chef",
      "server_fqdn": "localhost"
  "recipes": "bootstrap::server"
# End of file

# Create ~/solo.rb:

file_cache_path "/tmp/chef-solo"
cookbook_path "/tmp/chef-solo/cookbooks"
# End of file

mkdir /tmp/chef-solo
cd /tmp/chef-solo
# Get kallistec’s 08boot bootstrap cookbook
git clone git://
cd cookbooks
git checkout 08boot
# Bootstrap chef
sudo /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/chef-solo -j ~/chef.json -c ~/solo.rb
# If the bootstrap hangs for more than a minute after “Installing package[couchdb] version 0.10.0-0ubuntu3” then hit ctrl+c and run again

Now prepare to install the development versions
# install some development tools
sudo apt-get install rake librspec-ruby -y
sudo gem install cucumber merb-core nanite jeweler uuidtools
# install missing dependencies
sudo apt-get install libxml-ruby thin -y
# get chef from the repository
mkdir ~/src
cd ~/src
git clone git://
cd chef
rake install
# remove the old version of chef
sudo gem uninstall chef -v0.7.14
# patch up some runit paths
sudo sed -i s_chef-_/var/lib/gems/1.8/gems/chef-solr-0.8.0/bin/chef-_ /etc/sv/chef-solr*/run
# allow access to futon for development purposes (http://IPADDRESS:5984/_utils)
sudo sed -i ‘s/;bind_address = =’ /etc/couchdb/local.ini
sudo apt-get install psmisc # for killall
sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb stop
sudo killall -15 couchdb # stubborn
sudo killall -15 beam.smp # yup
# shut it all down
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-solr stop
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-solr-indexer stop
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-solr-client stop
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-client stop
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-server stop
sudo killall -15 chef-server

Build some data and start up Chef
# start up the integration environment
cd ~/src/chef
sudo rake dev:features
# this will create a database
# now hit ctrl+c
sudo mv /var/lib/couchdb/0.10.0/chef_integration.couch /var/lib/couchdb/0.10.0/chef.couch
sudo chown couchdb:couchdb /var/lib/couchdb/0.10.0/chef.couch
# start it all up
sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb start
sudo /etc/init.d/rabbitmq-server start
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-solr start
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-solr-indexer start
sudo /etc/init.d/chef-server start

Start the web server
# the web server is now a separate application and uses the API to reach the server
sudo cp /tmp/chef_integration/webui.pem /etc/chef
cd ~/src/chef/chef-server-webui
sudo /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/slice -p 4002

Using knife
From the user interface you can create a client keypair to use knife from the web interface. I recommend using ‘view source’ to copy the private key, and remember to save it without any leading whitespace and run knife like so:

OPSCODE_USER=’btm’ OPSCODE_KEY=’/home/btm/btm.key’ /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/knife

If you can’t get it to work, you can always use the webui’s key:

sudo OPSCODE_USER=’chef-webui’ OPSCODE_KEY=’/etc/chef/webui.pem’ /var/lib/gems/1.8/bin/knife

Hopefully that is enough to get you going. Jump on #chef on or join the chef list if you have any problems. Tickets/bugs/features are tracked in JIRA, and all sorts of other useful information is in the wiki.

2 thoughts on “Installing Chef 0.8 alpha on Ubuntu Karmic

  1. Pingback: Chef 0.7.16wt1 fork and more 0.8 alpha notes at btm.geek

  2. Pingback: Cognizant Transmutaion » Creating an Amazon AMI for Chef 0.8

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