Bootstrapping a node- where is the identity file?

I am bootstrapping my first node. Woohoo! Except, I do not know where to locate the identity file. I've tried connecting to the ssh keys on my node, and even copying and pasting the AWS .pem file but still, nothing.

This is the command I'm using (following everything on

sudo knife bootstrap --ssh-user USER --sudo --identity-file IDENTITY-FILE --node-name nodel-name --run-list 'recipe[learn_chef_apache2]'

I am getting the error invalid option: --identity-file

Hey fortiz303,

Try using the flag --ssh-identity-file instead of --identity-file. I suspect that the authors of Chef Rally forgot to update that bit of instruction. ^^

Generally SSH file should be located in /home/$USER/.ssh/ directory. The private ssh key should have chmod 400 permissions...

Also, is the user in your AWS EC2 node named 'USER'?


First off happy birthday! Thank you so much for the swift response. I will update my machine tonight. The user is named ec2-user as well.

So I tried the above and I still got an error message(Load key "Keypair2pem.pem": invalid format Permission denied (publickey), and so what I did was scp my private .pem from my local machine, followed my @pknomad's instructions and it worked!