» Chef Client Provisioner

Provisioner name: chef_client

The Vagrant Chef Client provisioner allows you to provision the guest using Chef, specifically by connecting to an existing Chef Server and registering the Vagrant machine as a node within your infrastructure.

If you are just learning Chef for the first time, you probably want to start with the Chef Solo provisioner.

Warning: If you are not familiar with Chef and Vagrant already, it is recommended to start with the shell provisioner.

» Authenticating

The minimum required to use provision using Chef Client is to provide a URL to the Chef Server as well as the path to the validation key so that the node can register with the Chef Server:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.provision "chef_client" do |chef|
    chef.chef_server_url = "http://mychefserver.com"
    chef.validation_key_path = "validation.pem"
  end
end

The node will register with the Chef Server specified, download the proper run list for that node, and provision.

» Specifying a Run List

Normally, the Chef Server is responsible for specifying the run list for the node. However, you can override what the Chef Server sends down by manually specifying a run list:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.provision "chef_client" do |chef|
    # Add a recipe
    chef.add_recipe "apache"

    # Or maybe a role
    chef.add_role "web"
  end
end

Remember, this will override the run list specified on the Chef server itself.

» Environments

You can specify the environment for the node to come up in using the environment configuration option:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.provision "chef_client" do |chef|
    # ...

    chef.environment = "development"
  end
end

» Other Configuration Options

There are a few more configuration options available. These generally do not need to be modified but are available if your Chef Server requires customization of these variables.

In addition to all the options listed above, the Chef Client provisioner supports the common options for all Chef provisioners.

» Cleanup

When you provision your Vagrant virtual machine with Chef Server, it creates a new Chef "node" entry and Chef "client" entry on the Chef Server, using the hostname of the machine. After you tear down your guest machine, Vagrant can be configured to do it automatically with the following settings:

chef.delete_node = true
chef.delete_client = true

If you do not specify it or set it to false, you must explicitly delete these entries from the Chef Server before you provision a new one with Chef Server. For example, using Chef's built-in knife tool:

$ knife node delete precise64
$ knife client delete precise64

If you fail to do so, you will get the following error when Vagrant tries to provision the machine with Chef Client:

HTTP Request Returned 409 Conflict: Client already exists.