Chef Infra Client 15.0.293 Released!


Hey Everyone,

I'm happy to announce that today we released our first release of Chef Infra Client 15. This release includes a large number of new features and resources so be sure to check it out.

What's New

Chef Client is now Chef Infra Client

Chef Client has a new name, but don't worry it's the same Chef Client you've grown used to. You'll notice new branding throughout the application, help, and docs but the command line name of chef-client remains the same.


Chef Infra Client now requires a EULA to be accepted by users before it can run. Users can accept the EULA in a variety of ways:

  • chef-client --chef-license accept
  • chef-client --chef-license accept-no-persist
  • CHEF_LICENSE="accept" chef-client
  • CHEF_LICENSE="accept-no-persist" chef-client

Finally, if users run chef-client without any of these options, they will receive an interactive prompt asking for license acceptance. If the license is accepted, a marker file will be written to the filesystem (unless accept-no-persist is specified). Once this marker file is persisted, users no longer need to set any of these flags.

See our FAQ for more information on the EULA and license acceptance.

New Features / Functionality

Target Mode Prototype

Chef Infra Client 15 adds a prototype of a new method of executing resources we call Target Mode. Target Mode allows a Chef Infra Client run to manage a remote system over ssh or another protocol supported by the Train library. This includes both platforms we build for today like Ubuntu Linux, but also allows for configuring other architectures and platforms such as switches that don't have native builds of Chef Infra Client. Target Mode maintains a separate node object for each target, allowing you to manage that node using existing patterns that you use today.

As of this release only the execute resource and guards are supported, but modifying existing resources or writing new ones to support target mode is relatively easy. Using target mode is as easy as chef-client --target hostname. The authentication credentials should be stored in your local ~/.chef/credentials file with the hostname of the target node as the profile name. Each key/value pair is passed to Train for authentication.

Data Collection Ground-Up Refactor

Chef Infra Client's Data Collection subystem is used to report node changes during client runs to Automate or other reporting systems. For Chef 15 we performed a ground up rewrite of this subsystem, which greatly improves the data reported to Automate and ensures data is delivered even in the toughest of failure conditions.

copy_properties_from in Custom Resources

A new copy_properties_from method for custom resources allows you copy properties from your custom resource into other resources you're calling so you can avoid unnecessarily repeating code.

To inherit all the properties of another resource:

resource_name :my_resource

property :mode, String, default: '777'
property :owner, String, default: 'app_user'
property :group, String, default: 'admins'

directory '/etc/myapp' do
  copy_properties_from new_resource
  recursive true

To selectivly inherit certain properties from a resource:

resource_name :my_resource

property :mode, String, default: '777'
property :owner, String, default: 'app_user'
property :group, String, default: 'admins'

directory '/etc/myapp' do
  copy_properties_from(new_resource, :owner, :group, :mode)
  mode '755'
  recursive true

ed25519 SSH key support

Our underlying SSH implementation has been updated to support the new ed25519 SSH key format. This means you'll be able to use knife bootstrap and knife ssh on hosts that only support this new key format.

Allow Using --delete-entire-chef-repo in Chef Local Mode

Chef Solo's --delete-entire-chef-repo option has been extended to work in Local Mode as well. Be warned that this flag does exactly what it states and when used incorrectly can result in loss of work.

New Resources

archive_file resource

Use the archive_file resource decompress multiple archive formats without the need for compression tools on the host.

See the archive_file documentation for more information.

windows_uac resource

Use the windows_uac resource to configure UAC settings on Windows hosts.

See the windows_uac documentation for more information.

windows_dfs_folder resource

Use the windows_dfs_folder resource to create and delete Windows DFS folders.

See the windows_dfs_folder documentation for more information.

windows_dfs_namespace resources

Use the windows_dfs_namespace resource to create and delete Windows DFS namespaces.

See the windows_dfs_namespace documentation for more information.

windows_dfs_server resources

Use the windows_dfs_server resource to configure Windows DFS server settings.

See the windows_dfs_server documentation for more information.

windows_dns_record resource

Use the windows_dns_record resource to create or delete DNS records.

See the windows_dns_record documentation for more information.

windows_dns_zone resource

Use the windows_dns_zone resource to create or delete DNS zones.

See the windows_dns_zone documentation for more information.

snap_package resource

Use the snap_package resource to install snap packages on Ubuntu hosts.

See the snap_package documentation for more information.

Resource Improvements


windows_task now supports the Start When Available option with a new start_when_available property.


The locale resource now allows setting all possible LC_* environmental variables.


The directory resource now property supports passing deny_rights :write on Windows nodes.


The windows_service resource has been improved to prevent accidentally reverting a service back to default settings in a subsequent definition.

This example will no longer result in the MyApp service reverting to default RunAsUser:

windows_service 'MyApp' do
  run_as_user 'MyAppsUser'
  run_as_password 'MyAppsUserPassword'
  startup_type :automatic
  delayed_start true
  action [:configure, :start]


windows_service 'MyApp' do
  startup_type :automatic
  action [:configure, :start]

Ruby 2.6.3

Chef now ships with Ruby 2.6.3. This new version of Ruby improves performance and includes many new features to make more advanced Chef usage easier. See for a list of some of the new functionality.

Ohai Improvements

Improved Linux Platform / Platform Family Detection

Platform and plaform_family detection on Linux has been rewritten to utilize the latest config files on modern Linux distributions before falling back to slower and fragile legacy detection methods. Ohai will now begin by parsing the contents of /etc/os-release for OS information if available. This improves the reliability of detection on modern distros and allows detection of new distros as they're released.

With this change we now detect sles_sap as a member of the suse platform_family. Additionally this change corrects our detection of the platform_version on Cisco Nexus switches where we previously incorrectly appended the build number to the version string.

Improved Virtualization Detection

Hypervisor detection on multiple platforms has been updated to use DMI data and a single set of hypervisors. This greatly improves the detection of hypervisors on Windows, BSD and Solaris platforms. It also means that as new hypervisors detection is added in the future we will automatically support the majority of platforms.

Fix Windows 2016 FQDN Detection

Ohai 14 incorrectly detected a Windows 2016 node's fqdn as the node's hostname. Ohai 15 now correctly reports the FQDN value.

Improved Memory Usage

Ohai now uses less memory due to internal optimizations of how we track plugin information.

FIPS Detection Improvements

The FIPS plugin now uses the built-in FIPS detection in Ruby for improved detection.

New Deprecations

knife cookbook site deprecated in favor of knife supermarket

The knife cookbook site command has been deprecated in favor of the knife supermarket command. Knife cookbook site will now product a warning message and in Chef 16 we will remove the knife cookbook site command entirely.

locale LC_ALL property

The LC_ALL property in the locale resource has been deprecated as the usage of this environmental variable is not recommended by distribution maintainers.

Breaking Changes

Knife Bootstrap

Knife bootstrap has been entirely rewritten with native support for Windows bootstrapping now part of the main knife bootstrap command. This marks the deprecation of the knife-windows plugin's bootstrap behavior. This change also addresses CVE-2015-8559: The knife bootstrap command in chef leaks the validator.pem private RSA key to /var/log/messages.

Important: knife bootstrap can bootstrap all supported versions of Chef Infra Client. Older versions may continue to work as far back as 12.20.

In order to accommodate a combined bootstrap that supports both SSH and WinRM, some CLI flags have been added, removed, or changed. Using the changed options will result in deprecation warnings, but knife bootstrap will accept those options unless otherwise noted. Using removed options will cause the command to fail.

New Flags

Flag Description
--max-wait SECONDS Maximum time to wait for initial connection to be established.
--winrm-basic-auth-only Perform only Basic Authentication to the target WinRM node.
--connection-protocol PROTOCOL Connection protocol to use. Valid values are 'winrm' and 'ssh'. Default is 'ssh'.
--connection-user user to authenticate as, regardless of protocol
--connection-password Password to authenticate as, regardless of protocol
--connection-port port to connect to, regardless of protocol
--ssh-verify-host-key VALUE Verify host key. Default is 'always'. Valid values are 'accept', 'accept_new', 'accept_new_or_local_tunnel', and 'never'.

Changed Flags

Flag New Option Notes
--[no-]host-key-verify --ssh-verify-host-key VALUE See above for valid values.
--forward-agent --ssh-forward-agent
--session-timeout MINUTES --session-timeout SECONDS New for ssh, existing for winrm. The unit has changed from MINUTES to SECONDS for consistency with other timeouts.
--ssh-password --connection-password
--ssh-port --connection-port knife[:ssh_port] config setting remains available.
--ssh-user --connection-user knife[:ssh_user] config setting remains available.
--ssl-peer-fingerprint --winrm-ssl-peer-fingerprint
--prerelease --channel CHANNEL This now allows you to specify the channel that Chef Infra Client gets installed from. Valid values are stable, current, and unstable. 'current' has the same effect as using the old --prerelease.
--winrm-authentication-protocol=PROTO --winrm-auth-method=AUTH-METHOD Valid values: plaintext, kerberos, ssl, negotiate
--winrm-password --connection-password
--winrm-port --connection-port knife[:winrm_port] config setting remains available.
--winrm-ssl-verify-mode MODE --winrm-no-verify-cert [1] Mode is not accepted. When flag is present, SSL cert will not be verified. Same as original mode of 'verify_none'.
--winrm-transport TRANSPORT --winrm-ssl [1] Use this flag if the target host is accepts WinRM connections over SSL.
--winrm-user --connection-user knife[:winrm_user] config setting remains available.
--winrm-session-timeout --session-timeout Now available for bootstrapping over SSH as well
  1. These flags do not have an automatic mapping of old flag -> new flag. The
    new flag must be used.

Removed Flags

Flag Notes
--kerberos-keytab-file This option existed but was not implemented.
--winrm-codepage This was used under knife-windows because bootstrapping was performed over a cmd shell. It is now invoked from powershell, so this option is no longer used.
--winrm-shell This option was ignored for bootstrap.
--install-as-service Installing Chef client as a service is not supported

Usage Changes

Instead of specifying protocol with -o, it's also possible to prefix the target hostname with the protocol in URL format. For example:

  knife bootstrap -o ssh
  knife bootstrap ssh://
  knife bootstrap -o winrm
  knife bootstrap winrm://

Chef Infra Client packages remove /opt/chef before installation

Upon upgrading Chef Infra Client packages the /opt/chef directory is removed. This ensures any chef_gem installed gem versions and other modifications to /opt/chef will removed to prevent upgrade issues. Due to technical details with rpm script execution order the way this was implemented was that a pre-installation script wipes /opt/chef before every install (done consistently this way on every package manager).

Users who are properly managing customizations to /opt/chef through Chef recipes won't be affected, because their customizations will still be installed by the new package.

You'll see a warning that the /opt/chef directory will be removed during the package installation process.

powershell_script now allows overriding the default flags

We now append powershell_script user flags to the default flags, rather than the other way around, making user flags override the defaults. This is the correct behavior, but it may cause scripts to execute differently than in previous Chef releases.

Package provider allow_downgrade is now true by default

We reversed the default behavior to allow_downgrade true for our package providers. To override this setting to prevent downgrades, use the allow_downgrade false flag. This behavior change will mostly affect users of the rpm and zypper package providers.

package "foo" do
  version "1.2.3"

That code should now be read as asserting that the package foo must be version 1.2.3 after that resource is run.

package "foo" do
  allow_downgrade false
  version "1.2.3"

That code is now what is necessary to specify that foo must be version 1.2.3 or higher. Note that the yum provider supports syntax like package "foo > 1.2.3" which should be used and is preferred over using allow_downgrade.

Node Attributes deep merge nil values

Writing a nil to a precedence level in the node object now acts like any other value and can be used to override values back to nil.

For example:

chef (15.0.293)> node.default["foo"] = "bar"
 => "bar"
chef (15.0.293)> node.override["foo"] = nil
 => nil
chef (15.0.293)> node["foo"]
 => nil

In prior versions of chef-client the nil set in the override level would be completely ignored and the value of node["foo"] would have
been "bar".

http_disable_auth_on_redirect now enabled

The Chef config http_disable_auth_on_redirect has been changed from false to true. In Chef 16 this config option will be removed altogether and Chef will always disable auth on redirect.

knife cookbook test removal

The knife cookbook test command has been removed. This command would often report non-functional cookbook as functional and has been superseded by functionality in other testing tools such as cookstyle, foodcritic, and chefspec.

ohai resource's ohai_name property removal

The ohai resource contained a non-functional ohai_name property, which has been removed.

knife status --hide-healthy flag removal

The knife status --hide-healthy flag has been removed. Users should run knife status --hide-by-mins MINS instead.

Cookbook shadowing in Chef Solo Legacy Mode Removed

Previously if a user provided multiple cookbook path's to Chef Solo that contained cookbooks with the same name, Chef would combine these into a single cookbook. This merging of two cookbooks often caused unexpected outcomes and has been removed.

Removal of unused route resource properties

The route resource contained multiple unused properties that have been removed. If you previously set networking, networking_ipv6, hostname, domainname, or domain they would be ignored. In Chef 15 setting these properties will throw an error.

FreeBSD pkg provider removal

Support for the FreeBSD pkg package system in the freebsd_package resource has been removed. FreeBSD 10 replaced the pkg system with pkg-ng system so this only impacts users of EOL FreeBSD releases.

require_recipe removal

The legacy require_recipe method in recipes has been removed. This method was replaced with include_recipe in the Chef 10 era, and a Foodcritic rule has been warning to update cookbooks for multiple years.

Legacy shell_out methods removed

In Chef 14 many of the more obscure shell_out methods used in LWRPs and custom resources were combined into the standard shell_out and shell_out! methods. The legacy methods were infrequently used and Chef 14/Foodcritic both contained deprecation warnings for these methods. The following methods will now throw an error: shell_out_compact, shell_out_compact!, shell_out_compact_timeout, shell_out_compact_timeout!, shell_out_with_systems_locale, shell_out_with_systems_locale!,

knife bootstrap --identity_file removal

The knife bootstrap --identity_file flag has been removed. This flag was deprecated in Chef 12 and users should now use the --ssh-identity-file flag instead.

knife user support for Chef Server < 12 removed

The knife user command no longer supports open source Chef Server version prior to 12.

attributes in metadata.rb

Chef no longer processes attributes in the metadata.rb file. Attributes could be defined in the metadata.rb file as a form of documentation, which would be shown when running knife cookbook show COOKBOOK_NAME, but these attributes often became out of sync with attributes in the actual attributes files. Chef 15 will no longer show these attributes when running knife cookbook show COOKBOOK_NAME and will instead throw a warning message upon upload. Foodcritic has warned against the use of attributes in the metadata.rb file since April 2017.

Node attributes array bugfix

Chef 15 includes a bugfix for incorrect node attribute behavior with a rare usage of arrays that may impact users that depended on the incorrect behavior.

Previous setting an attribute like this:

node.default["foo"] = []
node.default["foo"] << { "bar" => "baz }

Would result in a Hash instead of a VividMash inserted into the
AttrArray, so that:

node.default["foo"][0]["bar"] # gives the correct result
node.default["foo"][0][:bar]  # does not work due to the sub-Hash not
                              # converting keys

The new behavior uses a Mash so that the attributes will work as expected.

Ohai's system_profile plugin for macOS removed

We removed the system_profile plugin because it incorrectly returned data on modern Mac systems. If you relied on this plugin, you'll want to update recipes to use node['hardware'] instead, which correctly returns the same data, but in a more easily consumed format. Removing this plugin speeds up Ohai (and Chef) by ~3 seconds and dramatically reduces the size of the node object on the Chef server.

Ohai's Ohai::Util::Win32::GroupHelper class has been removed

We removed the Ohai::Util::Win32::GroupHelper helper class from Ohai. This class was intended for use internally in several Windows plugins, but it was never marked private in the codebase. If any of your Ohai plugins rely on this helper class, you will need to update your plugins for Ohai 15.

Audit Mode

Chef's Audit mode was introduced in 2015 as a beta that needed to be enabled via client.rb. Its functionality has been superseded by InSpec and has been removed.

Ohai system_profiler plugin removal

The system_profiler plugin which ran on macOS systems has been removed. This plugin took longer to run than all other plugins on macOS combined and no longer produced usable information on modern macOS releases. If you're looking for similar information it can now be found in the hardware plugin.

Ohai::Util::Win32::GroupHelper helper removal

The deprecated Ohai::Util::Win32::GroupHelper helper has been removed from Ohai. Any custom Ohai plugins using this helper will need to be updated.

Ohai::System.refresh_plugins method removal

The refresh_plugins method in the Ohai::System class has been removed as it has been unused for multiple major Ohai releases. If you are programmatically using Ohai in your own Ruby application you will need to update your code to use the load_plugins method instead.

Ohai Microsoft VirtualPC / VirtualServer detection removal

The Virtualization plugin will no longer detect systems running on the circa ~2005 VirtualPC or VirtualServer hypervisors. These hypervisors were long ago deprecated by Microsoft and support can no longer be tested.

Get the Build

As always, you can download binaries directly from or by using the mixlib-install command line utility:

$ mixlib-install download chef -v 15.0.293

Alternatively, you can install Chef using one of the following command options:

# In Shell
$ curl | sudo bash -s -- -P chef -v 15.0.293

# In Windows Powershell
. { iwr -useb } | iex; install -project chef -version 15.0.293

If you want to give this version a spin in Test Kitchen (Test Kitchen 2.2+ required for Chef 15), create or add the following to your kitchen.yml file:

  product_name: chef
  product_version: 15.0.293


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