The community distribution needs a name!

Ohai Chef community!

I'm reaching out to the entire community on behalf of the cc-build team (we're the folks working on a free-as-in-beer distribution of the Chef software stack!) because we're getting to that place where we need to settle on names. Those following our efforts (come see us in #community-distros on the Chef community Slack!) will be familiar with our working titles:

  • Project = cc-builds team (for "chef community builds")
  • Chef Infra = CinC (recursive acronym for "CinC is not Chef")
  • Inspec = Outspec
  • Habitat = Biome
  • Automate = Notomate

These names were always working titles, and additionally Chef has stated that "Outspec" and "Notomate" specifically would be too close for comfort, and could end up being challenged if used (see Chef Trademark Policy | Chef for Chef's policy on Trademarks).

We'd like to get feedback on replacement names for both the project itself and the 4 major Chef product's gratis distribution we're working on. Do note that in addition to respecting Chef's policy, your proposals should take the following into consideration:

  • There must be no doubt to someone who's first hearing about all this whether he/she's hearing of the community distros or the official Chef ones; Names must be phonetically very distinct, which is why "notomate" and "outspec" were rejected
  • a github org must be available for the project's name
  • puns must be in good taste
  • It must steer clear of any potential trademark issues with other organizations
  • Don't propose we name the project after the software, lessons learned from OpsCode :wink:
  • that's all I can think of just now but I'll update this post if more concerns come up

Here's a list of relevant links, also to be updated:

We'll leave this post up for at least 2 weeks, then we'll make a poll somewhere to choose between the top names if there's no obvious "winner" in this thread.

We haven't been very active on discourse so I'll take a few more lines to add some basic info on the project:



I'd keep the cc-build name for the project, it's matching all requirements.

For the various items I'd go with:

Chef Infra client: cc-build-client
Inspec : cc-build-auditer
Chef Workstation : cc-build-desktop
Automate: cc-build-dashboard
Habitat: cc-build-packager

Unified, unclashing with Chef brands or other brands, search friendly, descriptive enough names for each.

No funny pun, but puns have a bad side effect or making searches hard :slight_smile:


I'd be open to that I suppose. It would unify everything and I think it would keep us away from trademark issues using generic names like you did above. My only (mild) concern is the length of the project names and the number of dashes :wink:

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It could just as easily be cc-client, cc-auditer, etc. instead of cc-build-client and cc-build-auditer I'd imagine.

FWIW, I'm all for those names for the exact reasons you specify: No nonsense and completely transparent on what it does.


removing -build from all ot them sounds a good idea indeed.

regarding inspec, what about cc-verifier ?


I like that!

Copy-Past from Slack Channel:
I had to fork habitat as quickly as possible. So now, as suggested I have:
Habitat -> Biome
hab -> bio
I have already switched to bio completely.
I used a forkman (little smart script to bulk refactor project):

I think, that I will use it for further refactor the rest if necessary. I believe I can refactor inspec -> outspec or cc-verifier easily, but haven't time yet.
I also think, that your approach (by implementing distribution name) is super reliable, but not quick. I need distro "yesterday".

I hope that you will accept biome/bio as distro name.

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I don't see a problem keeping that name as I actually like it quite a bit!

Big fan of the cinc name. What's the Chef community without funny puns?

Same here (re: @Chip's comment) ... I also like @Tensibai's idea of prefixing each of the projects with the name.

cinc-auditor or cinc-verifier
cinc-desktop or cinc-dk


We need some more cookbook, chef industry related suggestions. Some suggestions to get the creative juices flowing...

Project = Ramsay
Chef Infra = RamsayInfra
Inspec = RamsaySpec
Habitat = Ramsaytat
Automate = Ramsayate


Project = Emeril
Chef Infra = Lagasse
Inspec = LagasseSpec
Habitat = Lagat
Automate = Lagatomate

You can then have things like: BAM! Lagasse successfully ran

Project = Line Cook
Chef Infra = Line Cook
Inspec = CookSpec
Habitat = Station
Automate = Cookmation


Project = Fry Cook
Chef Infra = Fryer
Inspec = FryerSpec
Habitat = Fry Pan
Automate = Deep Fry

If cookbook, knife, test-kitchen, etc.. names stay as-is, then you should stick with cooking references.

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If we keep the food/cooking theme what about

Project: Fast Food
Chef Infra: Fryer
Inspec: Health Inspector
Habitat: Drive Through/Drive Thru
Automate: Cashier or Kiosk (an automated cashier)
Chef Client: diner or customer

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So here are some ideas that are cooking related. There are a ton of "kitchen slang" terms that are out there (having worked in a restaurant and watched a bunch of Hell's Kitchen, some sound familiar)

Project = Salamander (slang for a high temp broiler)
Chef Infra = Sizzle (slang for a flat metal broiler plate)
Chef Inspec = Spider (slang for a wire skimmer)
Chef Habitat = Expediter (the person who runs the pass)
Chef Automate = Mise (shortened French slang for "mise en place" or "everything in its place")

Project: Baker
Chef Infa : Baker
Inspec: BakeQuality
Habitat: Oven
Automate: BakeLine


As clever as 'Chef' and all the cooking related ecosystem tool names have been over the years, in retrospect something unique would have been much better.

Given that the community has the opportunity to pick any name, I strongly suggest considering names that won't give a user ambiguous google results.


I'm also leaning towards a no-nonsense approach to naming. Puns are great marketing tools, but we're not selling anything, we're just fixing problems and efficiency should be our primary concern.

Side note: Everyone please take a moment to read the criterias in the original post, while we've got some very creative ideas brewing in here some of them fail at "steering away from potential trademark issues with 3rd parties". We can't exactly afford IP lawyers if the IP trolls come sniffing :open_mouth:


Some no-nonsense names I just thought of:

Project: Community Configuration(cc)
Chef Infra: Communicaty Infrastructure Configuration(cic)
Chef Client: Community Infrastructure Configuration Client(cicc or cic-client)
Habitat: Community Infrastructure Packager(cip)
Inspec: Community Infrastructure Auditor/Inspector(cia, cii)
Automate: Community Infrastructure Hub(cih)


I've a problem with cic, the French pronunciation match 'sick' :slight_smile: otherwise it sounds a good idea too.

I'd add we will probably keep cc-build for project, we bought a bunch of domain names and that's mostly clear what it is, either community configuration or Chef Community or community chef match and that keep the underlying idea they're just builds and not derivative work (I'm pretty attached at not implying this could be a fork/spin-off as it is really just a packaging of the original product).

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but CiC also stands for "Combat Intelligence Center" or "Commander in Chief", which sounds pretty awesome and conceptually appropriate. Worth a thought