Chef Open Source Community News – February 2018

Here is this month’s roundup of news from Chef’s open source projects: Chef, Habitat, InSpec, and other miscellaneous tools.


The Chef Client team is busy preparing for the release of Chef 14 in April and trying to squeeze in as many features before we start creating release candidates. If you want to start following along with our alpha releases have a look at the current channel bearing in mind that these builds are still missing major features or could be broken, so don’t use them for anything other than testing.

If you are preparing for the end-of-life of Chef 12 on April 30 or interested in what’s coming up in Chef 14, we wrote about that earlier in the month in another blog post, with links to upcoming webinars and other resources.

Finally, we released Chef 13.7.16 right after last month’s community news update, but unfortunately introduced a regression related to the handling of attributes for folks that manipulate hashes or arrays of attributes inside cookbooks. We’re very sorry about this and in the next few days, we’ll be releasing a Chef 13.8.x in order to correct this.


The Habitat team has delivered three releases since the last community update. Some valuable features include the ability to create or delete channels in Builder using the hab bldr channel subcommand, the ability to run Habitat as a Windows service, and an easy way to inject secrets in the build studio using hab studio secret.

On the integrations front, we have expanded our ability to export Habitat packages and run them in different runtime environments. First up, we now allow running the supervisor unprivileged in order to allow you to export and run your packages in Red Hat OpenShift. And just in time for the Helm Summit, happening as we speak in sunny rainy snowy Portland, Oregon, we announced a Helm chart exporter that will work with the previously-announced Kubernetes operator. Have a look at our blog post on that topic.


Our big news around InSpec was Tuesday’s launch of InSpec 2.0, whose main feature is the ability to now define compliance profiles to test clouds like AWS and Microsoft Azure. InSpec 2.0 also comes with many more out-of-the-box resources compared to InSpec 1.0 as well as drastically improved performance. Check out our release announcement or get started with the new cloud resources right away.


Chef maintains a myriad of other open-source projects such as Test Kitchen and Foodcritic. Test Kitchen and its drivers got some useful features in the last month, chiefly the ability for Test Kitchen to now use Hyper-V as a hypervisor for your cookbook testing. Just this week we also added the ability to use Differencing Disks in Hyper-V to speed things up. We also updated the Test Kitchen VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) driver to be able to select images by name rather than UUID, a significant quality of life improvement. And finally, Test Kitchen gained the ability to use HTTP proxies to SSH to machines.


Notable events that we were at since the last update included CfgMgmtCamp 2018 in Gent, Belgium, our first Chef Community Summit in Berlin, as well as the Helm Summit. Come say hi if you’re at DevOpsDays Charlotte today or tomorrow where Nathen Harvey is giving a workshop on Habitat this afternoon. And check out our events website to see where Chef will be later in February and March.


Although February’s a short month, we’ve already had a busy one so far. There’s only a few months to go until ChefConf 2018, and we’ll be announcing the list of speakers soon. Meanwhile, you can register for the conference for less than $1000 which gets you access not only to the full conference but one workshop, a certification exam, all social activities as well as our hackday. We’re looking forward to welcoming you in Chicago in May, and thanks again for using Chef.

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Julian Dunn

Julian is a former Chef employee