Chef Workstation 20.7.81 Released!

We are delighted to announce the availability of version 20.7.81 of Chef Workstation.


Chef CLI

The Chef CLI's chef generate cookbook command has been updated to generate a more complete chefignore file.


ChefSpec was updated from 9.1 to 9.2 which now supports cookbooks that include Ohai plugins in the ohai directory. It also adds support for Chef Infra 16's after_resource.


Cookstyle has been updated from 6.7 to 6.9 with an updated RuboCop engine and additional Chef Infra cops.

RuboCop 0.86

RuboCop has been updated to 0.86 which includes several bug fixes to prevent false positives and includes new auto-correction capabilities.

Improvements for Chef Infra Client 16.2

Chef Infra Client 16.2 contains additional changes to the way that resource names are specified in order to avoid edge cases in resource naming. When setting the name of a custom resource, provides should now be used instead of resource_name. When writing cookbooks that support Chef Infra Client earlier than version 16, you'll want to use both provides and resource_name to support all releases.

To support these changes we've made several updates to existing cops. The ChefDeprecations/ResourceUsesOnlyResourceName cop has been updated to add provides in addition to resoure_name instead of replacing resource_name with provides. This change ensures that cookbooks will continue to function on versions of Chef Infra Client prior to version 16. The ChefDeprecations/ResourceWithoutNameOrProvides cop has also been renamed to ChefDeprecations/HWRPWithoutProvides and improves detection of resources without provides. Both cops now better validate the contents of existing provides calls.


InSpec was updated from 4.19 to 4.21. This new release includes the following improvements:

  • Certain substrings within a .toml file no longer cause unexpected crashes.
  • Accurate InSpec CLI input parsing for numeric values and structured data, which were previously treated as strings. Numeric values are cast to an integer or float and YAML or JSON structures are converted to a hash or an array.
  • Suppress deprecation warnings on inspec exec with the --silence-deprecations option.

knife bootstrap

The knife bootstrap command has been updated with several fixes and improvements

  • knife bootstrap will now warn when bootstrapping a system using a validation key. Users should instead use validatorless bootstrapping with knife bootstrap which generates node and client keys using the client key of the user bootstrapping the node. This method is far more secure as an organization-wide validation key does not need to be distributed or rotated. Users can switch to validatorless bootstrapping by removing any validation_key entries in their config.rb (knife.rb) file.
  • Resolved an error bootstrapping Linux nodes from Windows hosts
  • Improved information messages during the bootstrap process
  • Bootstrapping will now be done using a single SSH connection improving bootstrap times on high latency network connection.

Knife Tidy

Knife Tidy has been updated from 2.0.12 to 2.1.0 which adds support for a --keep-versions command line flag. Specifying this keeps a minimum number of versions of each cookbook and defaults to 0.


net-ssh has been updated from 5.2.0 to 6.1.0 which includes the following updates:

  • Support empty lines and comments in known_hosts.
  • Add sha2-{256,512} MAC algorithms.
  • curve25519sha256 support.


Ohai was updated from 16.1 to 16.2 which correctly identifies the new macOS Big Sur (11.0) beta as the platform mac_os_x.

Platform Packages

  • Debian 8 packages are no longer being produced as Debian 8 is now end-of-life.
  • We now produce Windows 8 packages.

Backward Incompatibilities

  • gerkin and cucumber-core gems no longer ship by default with Chef Workstation.

Get the Build

If you are running the Chef Workstation toolbar application you can download this version from the menu after the app next update check. You can also download binaries directly from

As always, we welcome your feedback and invite you to contact us directly or share your email. Thanks for using Chef Workstation!