Real time results back from issuing Chef commands to my Linux Servers


I’m just beginning to learn/understand Chef. One major reason I’m looking at using Chef is in our small office for patching Linux servers. I’ll login to each server and issue the apt-get upgrade commands. I think Chef would be perfect for this task…but one thing that I’ll need to setup is to have real time reporting back into Chef so I know where each of my Linux servers are as they are installing their patches.

I’m not looking at how I can do this from my forum post. I’m looking to get confirmation from this community that getting real time data back from each of my Linux servers is possible in Chef.

I don’t want to use Chef as a black box here and issue commands from Chef then have no way to know when pathes are finished, broken or are still installing.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide me.


There are a many ways to do this, depending on what you want. If you want a relatively simple and open source solution, you can use Chef’s handlers system: There are already open source handlers to integrate with email, slack, and a bunch more (many of these are 3rd party and not maintained by Chef Software).

If you are willing to spend money, Chef’s Automate product also has the functionality you seek. You can get it along with a Chef Server in just a few minutes via AWS Opsworks for Chef Automate if you want to avoid the software sales process.