3 Resources for Getting Started with Chef

Chef logo We already took a look at some resources for getting started with Puppet. Now it’s time to take a look at getting started with Chef, one of the other major configuration management tools.

Chef is available as both free open source software and in a commercially supported enterprise edition and as a hosted service. Chef uses Ruby scripts called “recipes” to guide installations. Collections of recipes are called “cookbooks.” Its command line is called “knife.”

There’s always the official documentation, but many users report having a hard time knowing where to start. Sometimes it’s easier to dive in and start doing stuff, or look through some specific uses.

Getting started with Chef tutorial

Mischa has written a tutorial for small IT shops with 5-10 servers, but should also work for a team experimenting with Chef in a lab environment. It collects several resources for getting started, along with a tutorial aimed at helping absolute Chef beginners avoid common pitfalls.

Automating Web App Deployments with Opscode Chef and iControl

This tutorial covers installing Chef and configuring it for use with Apache, a classic usecase for configuration management. The tutorial also walks you through integrating Chef with the iControl API. It introduces Chef, cookbooks, recipes and knife.

Integrating Amazon Web Services CloudFormation with Opscode Chef

Here’s another scenario: you have a collection of Amazon Web Services resources that you need to manage. AWS offers a solution called CloudFormation to create and provision collections of related resources. AWS also provides documentation for integrating both Puppet and Chef with CloudFormation.

About Klint Finley

Klint Finley is a Senior Writer at SiliconAngle. His specialties include IT services, enterprise technology and software development. Prior to SiliconAngle he was a writer for ReadWriteWeb. He's also a former IT practicioner, and has written about technology for over a decade. He can be contacted at angle@klintfinley.com.