Chef is a configuration management tool designed to bring automation to your entire infrastructure.

The Chef Wiki is the definitive source of user documentation.

This README focuses on developers who want to modify Chef source code. For users who just want to run the latest and greatest Chef development version in their environment, see the Installing Chef from HEAD page on the wiki.


Before working on the code, if you plan to contribute your changes, you need to read the Opscode Contributing document.

You will also need to set up the repository with the appropriate branches. We document the process on the Working with Git page of the Chef wiki.

Once your repository is set up, you can start working on the code. We do use TDD with RSpec, so you'll need to get a development environment running.


Ruby 1.8.7+ (As of 2012-05-25 Ruby 1.8.6 should still work, except for CHEF-2329.)


In order to have a development environment where changes to the Chef code can be tested, we'll need to install a few things after setting up the Git repository.

Non-Gem Dependencies

Install these via your platform's preferred method; for example apt, yum, ports, emerge, etc.

  • Git
  • GCC and C Standard Libraries, header files, etc. (i.e., build-essential on debian/ubuntu)
  • Ruby development package

Runtime Rubygem Dependencies

First you'll need bundler which can be installed with a simple gem install bundler. Afterwords, do the following:

bundle install


We use RSpec for unit/spec tests. It is not necessary to start the development environment to run the specs--they are completely standalone.

rake spec


Chef - A configuration management system

Author: Adam Jacob ([email protected]
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2008-2012 Opscode, Inc.
License: Apache License, Version 2.0

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.