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Announcing Chef Client for IBM AIX

Today I’m very pleased to announce the availability of Chef Client 12.0 for IBM AIX 6.1 and 7.1. It is freely available from our downloads page and can be used with any version of the Chef Server up to and including Chef Server 12.

This is the first major new platform for Chef in some time, and it’s certainly been a long time in coming. We’ve heard from some of our large enterprise customers that they have significant investment in IBM’s AIX platform and expect to continue that into the future, so they would like to manage those systems using the same flexible automation tool, Chef, with which they are already familiar.

I’d like to outline some of the AIX-specific technical features and content we are shipping with this release. Our documentation site has also been updated with reference material for AIX. Additionally, our friends at Deutsche Telekom Laboratories have been working with the beta, and they have some thoughts to share on their blog as well.

Core Client Features

  • Services: Ability to manage services, both Subsystem Resource Controller (SRC)-based and init-system based. The default provider is SRC.
  • Packages: Install and manage both BFF and RPM packages.
  • Mount: Mount and dismount JFS2 disks and NFS shares; manage fstab.
  • User and group management.
  • Cron: Add, modify and delete system cron jobs.
  • File based resources: template, file, directory, cookbook_file, etc.
  • Miscellaneous: Compiled with IBM XL C/C++ compiler hereby guaranteeing binary compatibility with future IBM AIX versions.

Ohai Features 

  • Detects Logical Partition (LPAR) and Workload Partition (WPAR) name and number.
  • Sets platform_family, platform and platform_version correctly.
  • Detects CPU and memory information correctly.
  • Detects kernel and kernel modules.
  • Collects network interface and route characteristics.
  • Detects presence of IBM Java SDK and/or Runtime Environment.
  • Detects presence of IBM XL C/C++ compiler.

Cookbooks

We are also releasing additional cookbook content to illustrate how these resources can be used, as well as how to build custom resources for the AIX platform.

  • The chef-client cookbook has been updated to support running Chef Client as a daemon under SRC or as a cron job.
  • The aix cookbook provides additional declarative primitives for managing inittab, inetd services and rc.tcpip services. It also provides a mechanism for retrieving IBM AIX Toolbox for Linux packages from IBM’s FTP server.
  • The Websphere Development Community’s iim cookbook, for installing IBM Installation Manager, now has AIX support.

The client, together with the starter cookbook content, gives AIX system administrators a great starting point for managing their AIX infrastructure with Chef. We expect to continue making investments in AIX and the POWER platform generally to meet our customers’ requests for a wide range of supported platforms on which they can run Chef Client.

Acknowledgements

Chef would like to acknowledge the contributions of David Clissold, Jason Furmanek and Sangamesh Mallayya in IBM’s AIX User Space Architecture & BOS groups for their technical assistance in this release.

Julian Dunn

Julian is a former Chef employee

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