Chef runs very slow on a windows machine


I am running the command knife -h on my windows laptop, which has decent specs.

It takes 1 minute and 32 seconds to complete. Some things I tried:
-Adding the verbose command, but there is not any output.
-Knife rehash

What could it possibly be doing for 1 minute and 30 seconds while it brings up the help which is basically a text file?

Does anyone have any troubleshooting tips that they could give me here?


Ruby isn't optimized to run on windows, so even commands that don't leave your machine will end up taking longer to run like chef generate cookbook takes about a minute to run on windows as opposed to almost instant on my Linux workstations. I have been looking into it and everything I have found on the topic basically says that is just how it works.


Can you install "Linux for Windows" and see how it operates inside that quasi-virtualized environment? I actually wanted to do that and did not get the opportunity.


Which version of Chef & knife are you using?



I’ve actually tried that, and running Ubuntu inside of Linux for Windows I saw no performance improvement when running knife/chef commands. Yet spinning up an actual Hyper-V guest actually running Linux performs as expected.

So in short the quasi Linux option isn’t a viable workaround.


I haven't tried this myself, so I'm guessing here, but... When running in Windows Subsystem for Linux, check your path - make sure you're executing Linux versions of knife/ruby/etc and not the existing Windows ones.

If you're hitting the Windows executables, then yes, they'll be just as slow.

Great podcast episode on Hanselminutes that cleared up some misconceptions I had about WSL: