Chef: Suck on my chocolate salty balls

Posted by ezmobius Thu, 15 Jan 2009 21:35:00 GMT

Yesterday we announced http://engineyard.com/solo which is our new engine yard on AWS platform. If you haven’t yet watched the screencast then you should check it out:

Engine Yard Solo Screencast

I’m using a really sweet configuration management engine called Chef that is being open sourced today. My good friends at OpsCode are responsible for the project.

If you have ever used or thought about using a system like Puppet then you owe it to your self to give Chef a try. Chef is a state based, declarative configuration management engine. You define recipes of how you want your system to look and then chef makes it so.

The big advantage chef has over puppet is that the codebase is 1/10th the size and it is pure ruby, including the recipe DSL. Puppet’s biggest flaw is its configuration language that is not quite ruby and not quite turing complete. So you end up wrestling with it to get it to do anything.

Chef is just pure ruby so anything you can do in ruby you can do in your recipes. It also uses a simple merb-core/couchdb server for centralized storage of node configs and each server you manage gets an openid for identity.

If you have a hand in building or configuring any servers, you need to learn chef now.

You need two repos to get chef running, chef and ohai:

chef ohai

Ohai is a gem that interrogates your system and gathers facts about it. Chef is the gem that runs your recipes and actually does the work of configuring the system.

Here are the docs to get started with:

Chef Wiki

I believe that chef will play a very important role in the future of building and managing servers in the ruby community as well as anyone else who needs repeatable server build outs.

We will expose a way to have your own custom chef recipes applied via our management app so that anything we haven’t already written recipes for you can write yourself and get applied as part of a server build.

Put em in your mouth and suck em.

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A hint of what's to come...

Posted by ezmobius Tue, 28 Feb 2006 00:46:00 GMT

Here are a few screens of what’s next ;-)

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The book is a go!

Posted by ezmobius Wed, 14 Dec 2005 18:12:00 GMT


So I have great news! I am going to be writing a book for the Pragmatic Programmers. This is such a great chance for me that there was no way I could pass on it.

Thank you for all the support and people who commented that they would like to have this book written. Its definitely one area where the rails docs are not sufficient as well as being very fragmented and hard to decipher which way is the way to go.

Now I must buckle down and write the thing! But I am totally looking forward to this book and I have some great people working on it with me. It looks like there will be 3 people writing a chapter on two on things they know a lot about. I can’t say just yet who they are but when the time comes I will let on.

I am so honored that the Pragmatic Programmers are giving me this opportunity. And I will be working on the book with some of the rails devs that I most respect.

So check back often and i will give updates as things get closer to beta. Thanks for all the support. I hope that this book will be an valuable asset to rails programmers that are ready to step things up to the next level.

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