Chef cookbooks can become hard to handle; let’s talk about Berkshelf management tool
Chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby. With Chef, you can build servers quickly and reliably using cookbooks (which are basically recipes, that can perform tasks like installing webservers, updating SSL’s, or configuring HA proxy servers). Cookbooks themselves can be managed through a tool called Berkshelf. If you noticed our title on your way in, you’ll know that Berkshelf is going to be the subject of this post.
Until now, you might have been managing your servers with growing numbers of scripts, perhaps spread across multiple directories or even multiple machines. As the need to deliver products to market quickly and the sheer numbers of servers we’ll use to do that continue to grow, we need a consistent, reliable, and secure way to manage it all. More importantly: the solution we choose should be simple and intuitive.
More often than not, Chef will fit those needs. It is an infrastructure automation framework that simplifies server and application deployments to any physical, virtual, or cloud location, no matter the size of the infrastructure.
Since your infrastructure will be managed with code, it can be automated, tested, and reproduced with ease. Chef itself is built from many moving parts, including knife, Chef client, Chef server, cookbooks, and nodes. Here, we will talk about cookbooks and how they can be efficiently managed using Berkshelf.
Just what is Berkshelf?
You often won’t need to actually write your cookbooks from scratch, as the community has all kinds of them – often ready to use in your environment without modification – available from the Opscode supermarket. To use a cookbook, you’ll need to download it and save it on your Chef workstation. To download each external cookbook from inside Global cookbook, this is what you would have to run:
knife cookbook site download apache2
As terrific as Chef is, Berkshelf can really make a difference in the way you manage your Chef cookbooks and dependencies. Berkshelf lets you treat your cookbooks the way you treat gems in a Ruby project. When external cookbooks are used, Berkshelf doesn’t require “knife cookbook site” to install community cookbooks. All we have to do is mention the dependent cookbooks with its version number. When Chef client runs on nodes, berkshelf will automatically download and install all the dependent cookbooks from the Opscode cookbook community for us.
Berkshelf requires a bit of set up. The easy way to install Berkshelf is:
gem install berkshelf
But that’s it. Berkshelf is now included as part of the Chef Development Kit (ChefDK), which installs the best development tools built by the awesome Chef community into your workstation. The omnibus installer is used to set up the Chef development kit on a workstation. Here’s how:
- Visit http://downloads.chef.io/chef-dk and select the omnibus installer for the desired platform.
- The Chef development kit supports Mac OS X, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, and Microsoft Windows.
- When the installation finishes, open a command line terminal and enter the following:
- Ensure that the Chef-DK is added to the front of your path.
- Initilize a Berksfile into your cookbook.
cd my-cookbook berks init .
- Specify your dependencies in a Berksfile in your cookbook’s root.
source "https://supermarket.chef.io" metadata cookbook "apache" cookbook "mysql", "~> 5.3"
- Once the dependencies are mentioned in a berksfile, you can install them.
Berkshelf stores every version of a cookbook that you have ever installed in ~/.berkshelf.
- Once your cookbook is ready, you can upload it with all the dependent cookbooks using the following command.
berks upload phpapp
New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More
This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...
AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions
If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...
Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS
From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day — cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...
Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap
Hello — Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...
New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More
This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...
Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More
This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...
New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More
This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...
Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy
Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...
New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More
This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...
Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?
More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...
Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More
Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...