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Chef includes several clients with the distribution:
  • Chef Solo: is a client application that works entirely from on-disk data, and is a light-weight alternative to a full client-server configuration.
  • Chef Client: is the client application that works with a Chef Server to persist data and download cookbooks. Chef Clients can also take advantage of Chef Server's search abilities to dynamically integrate your applications with the rest of your infrastructure.
  • Knife: is the command line interface to Chef. Knife is primarily used to interact with the Chef Server API, and it can be used for local Chef Repository maintenance.
  • Shef: is the interactive Chef shell. Shef allows you to write, run, and debug recipes interactively and also provides a programmatic interface for viewing and editing data on your Chef Server.

Server Architecture

The Chef Server that the Chef Client interacts with is either:
Hosted Chef
  • Hosted Chef customers do not need to manage their Chef Server, as that is done for them by Opscode.
  • If you are a Hosted Chef Customer and have a question, please contact

Private Chef
  • Private Chef customers should refer to their separate Private Chef Administration Documention for the Private Chef Server.
  • If you are a Private Chef Customer and have a question, please contact
Open Source Chef Server
  • An Open Source Chef Server is comprised of the following components:
    • Chef Server: services HTTP API requests from the Web UI, nodes, and other clients (see above).
    • Chef Server Web UI: the web-based management console for the Chef Server. It manages your infrastructure by making API calls to Chef Server.
    • CouchDB: the primary data store for a Chef server.
    • RabbitMQ: stores and then forwards data from Chef Server to the Chef Solr Indexer. It acts as a buffer for cases when high write loads temporarily exceed the ability of the Chef Solr Indexer to update the search index.
    • Chef Solr Indexer: flattens and expands data to enhance searchability, then writes the data to Chef Solr.
    • Chef Solr: a thin wrapper around the Apache Solr search engine. Chef Solr allows you to find your way around your infrastructure by querying its metadata.

  • None