Goodbye ChefDK, Hello Chef Workstation

With the end of 2020 fast approaching, ChefDK is nearing end-of-life status. Don’t panic just yet though, because we have a simple upgrade path that will give you even better functionality for managing Chef products.

ChefDK was first shipped in 2014 as a way to bundle various tools necessary for developing Chef Infra cookbooks in a single package. Since that time the product has grown to be much more than a simple development kit. It includes everything you need for not only developing but also managing your infrastructure with Chef. It was time for a name that matched the functionality we had built, so in May of 2018 we shipped Chef Workstation.

Chef Workstation includes all the tools you’re familiar with in ChefDK, plus much more. We’ve packaged new tools for working with VMware, executing ad-hoc jobs, updating your cookbooks, and bootstrapping systems. We’ve also bundled the latest version of not only Chef InSpec, but also Chef Habitat giving you everything you need to get up and running quickly.

What’s New in Chef Workstation

Chef Infra Client 16 – The latest release of Chef Infra Client with new resources, YAML recipe support, and improved bootstrap functionality. For more on Chef Infra 16 check out the product guide.

Chef Workstation menu bar app: Quick access to documentation and training resources as well as the ability to turn on and off feature flags as we ship new functionality

Upgrade Lab – An isolated environment for scanning nodes, and validating the upgrade to new releases of Chef Infra Client

chef-run – Remotely execute Chef Infra recipes or even a single resource on systems over SSH or WinRM

Improved Chef CLI – A faster Chef CLI with improved support for Policyfiles and cookbook generation

VMware Support – Test and provision systems in VMware vSphere clusters with Test Kitchen and knife support for VMware vSphere

Test Kitchen OpenStack support – Test your Chef Infra cookbooks using private cloud resources in OpenStack

Chef Habitat – Build modern applications with Chef Habitat without the need to download the Chef Habitat package

Cookstyle – More than 50 new Chef Infra cops automatically get your cookbooks ready for the latest releases of Chef Infra

How to Upgrade

To upgrade from ChefDK to Chef Workstation all you need to do is install the Chef Workstation package available at The Chef Workstation package will replace your existing ChefDK installation and you’ll be ready to enjoy all the new functionality provided in Chef Workstation.

Tim Smithh

Tim was the Product Manager for Chef Infra.