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A simple in-memory Chef server written in Go. Increasingly less simple, and less bound to being in-memory only.
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Goiardi is an implementation of the Chef server ( written in Go. It can either run entirely in memory with the option to save and load the in-memory data and search indexes to and from disk, drawing inspiration from chef-zero, or it can use MySQL as its storage backend.

It is a work in progress. At the moment normal functionality as tested with knife works, and chef-client runs complete successfully. At this point, almost all chef-pendant tests successfully successfully run, with a few disagreements that don't impact the clients. It does pretty well against the official chef-pedant, but because goiardi handles some authentication matters a little differently than the official chef-server, there is also a fork of chef-pedant located at that's more custom tailored to goiardi.

Many go tests are present as well in different goiardi subdirectories.


Goiardi currently has seven dependencies: go-flags, go-cache, go-trie, toml, the mysql driver from go-sql-driver, logger, and go-uuid.

To install them, run:

   go get
   go get
   go get
   go get
   go get
   go get
   go get

from your $GOROOT.

If you would like to modify the search grammar, you'll need the peg package. To install that, run

   go get

In the search/ directory, run peg -switch -inline search-parse.peg to generate the new grammar. If you don't plan on editing the search grammar, though, you won't need that.


  1. Install go. ( You may need to upgrade to go 1.2 to compile all the dependencies.

  2. Make sure your $GOROOT and PATH are set up correctly per the Go installation instructions.

  3. Download goairdi

   go get
  1. Run tests, if desired. Several goiardi subdirectories have go tests, and chef-pedant can and should be used for testing goiardi as well.

  2. Install the goiardi binaries.

   go install
  1. Run goiardi.
   goiardi <options>

You can get a list of command-line options with the '-h' flag.

Goiardi can also take a config file, run like goiardi -c /path/to/conf-file. See etc/goiardi.conf-sample for an example documented configuration file. Options in the configuration file share the same name as the long command line arguments (so, for example, --ipaddress= on the command line would be ipaddress = "" in the config file.

Currently available command line and config file options:

   -v, --version          Print version info.
   -V, --verbose          Show verbose debug information. Repeat for more
   -c, --config=          Specify a config file to use.
   -I, --ipaddress=       Listen on a specific IP address.
   -H, --hostname=        Hostname to use for this server. Defaults to hostname
                          reported by the kernel.
   -P, --port=            Port to listen on. If port is set to 443, SSL will be
                          activated. (default: 4545)
   -i, --index-file=      File to save search index data to.
   -D, --data-file=       File to save data store data to.
   -F, --freeze-interval= Interval in seconds to freeze in-memory data
                          structures to disk (requires -i/--index-file and
                          -D/--data-file options to be set). (Default 300
                          seconds/5 minutes.)
   -L, --log-file=        Log to file X
       --time-slew=       Time difference allowed between the server's clock at
                          the time in the X-OPS-TIMESTAMP header. Formatted like
                          5m, 150s, etc. Defaults to 15m.
       --conf-root=       Root directory for configs and certificates. Default:
                          the directory the config file is in, or the current
                          directory if no config file is set.
   -A, --use-auth         Use authentication. Default: false.
       --use-ssl          Use SSL for connections. If --port is set to 433, this
                          will automatically be turned on. If it is set to 80,
                          it will automatically be turned off. Default: off.
                          Requires --ssl-cert and --ssl-key.
       --ssl-cert=        SSL certificate file. If a relative path, will be set
                          relative to --conf-root.
       --ssl-key=         SSL key file. If a relative path, will be set relative
                          to --conf-root.
       --https-urls       Use 'https://' in URLs to server resources if goiardi
                          is not using SSL for its connections. Useful when
                          goiardi is sitting behind a reverse proxy that uses
                          SSL, but is communicating with the proxy over HTTP.
       --disable-webui    If enabled, disables connections and logins to goiardi
                          over the webui interface.
       --use-mysql        Use a MySQL database for data storage. Configure
                          database options in the config file.
       --local-filestore-dir= Directory to save uploaded files in. Optional when
                          running in in-memory mode, *mandatory* for SQL
       --log-events       Log changes to chef objects.
   -K, --log-event-keep=  Number of events to keep in the event log. If set,
                          the event log will be checked periodically and
                          pruned to this number of entries.

Options specified on the command line override options in the config file.

For more documentation on Chef, see (

If goiardi is not running in use-auth mode, it does not actually care about .pem files at all. You still need to have one to keep knife and chef-client happy. It's like chef-zero in that regard.

If goiardi is running in use-auth mode, then proper keys are needed. When goiardi is started, if the chef-webui and chef-validator clients, and the admin user, are not present, it will create new keys in the --conf-root directory. Use them as you would normally for validating clients, performing tasks with the admin user, or using chef-webui if webui will run in front of goiardi.

In auth mode, goiardi supports both versions 1.0 and 1.1 of the Chef authentication protocol.

Note: The admin user, when created on startup, does not have a password. This prevents logging in to the webui with the admin user, so a password will have to be set for admin before doing so.

Log levels

Log levels can be set in goiardi with either the log-level option in the configuration file, or with one to four -V flags on the command line. Log level options are "debug", "info", "warning", "error", and "critical". More -V on the command line means more spewing into the log.

MySQL mode

Goiardi can now use MySQL to store its data, instead of keeping all its data in memory (and optionally freezing its data to disk for persistence).

If you want to use MySQL, you (unsurprisingly) need a MySQL installation that goiardi can access. This document assumes that you are able to install, configure, and run MySQL.

Once the MySQL server is set up to your satisfaction, you'll need to install sqitch to deploy the schema, and any changes to the database schema that may come along later. It can be installed out of CPAN or homebrew; see "Installation" on for details.

The sqitch MySQL tutorial at explains how to deploy, verify, and revert changes to the database with sqitch, but the basic steps to deploy the schema are:

  • Create goiardi's database: mysql -u root --execute 'CREATE DATABASE goiardi'
  • Optionally, create a separate mysql user for goiardi and give it permissions on that database.
  • In sql-files/mysql-bundle, deploy the bundle: sqitch deploy db:mysql://root[:<password>]@/goiardi

To update an existing database deployed by sqitch, run the sqitch deploy command above again.

If you really really don't want to install sqitch, apply each SQL patch in sql-files/mysql-bundle by hand in the same order they're listed in the sqitch.plan file.

The above values are for illustration, of course; nothing requires goiardi's database to be named "goiardi". Just make sure the right database is specified in the config file.

Set use-mysql = true in the configuration file, or specify --use-mysql on the command line. It is an error to specify both the -D/--data-file flag and --use-mysql at the same time.

At this time, the mysql connection options have to be defined in the config file. An example configuration is available in etc/goiardi.conf-sample, and is given below:

    username = "foo" # technically optional, although you probably want it
    password = "s3kr1t" # optional, if you have no password set for MySQL
    protocol = "tcp" # optional, but set to "unix" for connecting to MySQL
             # through a Unix socket.
    address = "localhost"
    port = "3306" # optional, defaults to 3306. Not used with sockets.
    dbname = "goiardi"
    # See for an
    # explanation of available parameters
        tls = "false"

Event Logging

Goiardi has optional event logging. When enabled with the --log-events command line option, or with the "log-events" option in the config file, changes to clients, users, cookbooks, data bags, environments, nodes, and roles will be tracked. The event log can be viewed through the /events API endpoint.

If the -K/--log-event-keep option is set, then once a minute the event log will be automatically purged, leaving that many events in the log. This is particularly recommended when using the event log in in-memory mode.

The event API endpoints work as follows:

GET /events - optionally taking offset and limit query parameters.

List the logged events, starting with the most recent. Use the offset and limit query parameters to view smaller chunks of the event log at one time.

DELETE /events?purge=1234 - purge logged events older than the given id from the event log.

GET /events/1234 - get a single logged event with the given id.

DELETE /events/1234 - delete a single logged event from the event log.

A user or client must be an administrator account to use the /events endpoint.

The data returned from the event log should look something like this:

  "actor_info": "{\"username\":\"admin\",\"name\":\"admin\",\"email\":\"\",\"admin\":true}\n",
  "actor_type": "user",
  "time": "2014-05-06T07:40:12Z",
  "action": "delete",
  "object_type": "*client.Client",
  "object_name": "pedant_testclient_1399361999-483981000-42305",
  "extended_info": "{\"name\":\"pedant_testclient_1399361999-483981000-42305\",\"node_name\":\"pedant_testclient_1399361999-483981000-42305\",\"json_class\":\"Chef::ApiClient\",\"chef_type\":\"client\",\"validator\":false,\"orgname\":\"default\",\"admin\":true,\"certificate\":\"\"}\n",
  "id": 22


Goiardi now supports, on an experimental basis, Chef's reporting facilities. Nothing needs to be enabled in goiardi to use this, but changes are required with the client. See for details on how to enable reporting and how to use it.

As this is an experimental feature, it may not work entirely correctly. Bug reports are appreciated.

Tested Platforms

Goiardi has been built and run with the native 6g compiler on Mac OS X (10.7, 10.8, and 10.9), Debian squeeze and wheezy, a fairly recent Arch Linux, and FreeBSD 9.2.

Goiardi has also been built and run with gccgo (using the -compiler gccgo option with the go command) on Arch Linux. Building it with gccgo without the go command probably works, but it hasn't happened yet. This is a priority, though, so goiardi can be built on platforms the native compiler doesn't support yet.

Note regarding goiardi persistence and freezing data

As mentioned above, goiardi can now freeze its in-memory data store and index to disk if specified. It will save before quitting if the program receives a SIGTERM or SIGINT signal, along with saving every "freeze-interval" seconds automatically.

Saving automatically helps guard against the case where the server receives a signal that it can't handle and forces it to quit. In addition, goiardi will not replace the old save files until the new one is all finished writing. However, it's still not anywhere near a real database with transaction protection, etc., so while it should work fine in the general case, possibilities for data loss and corruption do exist. The appropriate caution is warranted.


In addition to the aforementioned Chef documentation at, more documentation specific to goiardi can be viewed with godoc. See for an explanation of how godoc works. The goiardi godocs can also be viewed online at


See the TODO file for an up-to-date list of what needs to be done. There's a lot.


There's going to be a lot of these for a while, so we'll just keep those in a BUGS file, won't we?


This started as a project to learn Go, and because I thought that an in memory chef server would be handy. Then I found out about chef-zero, but I still wanted a project to learn Go, so I kept it up. Chef 11 Server also only runs under Linux at this time, while Goiardi is developed under Mac OS X and ought to run under any platform Go supports (only partially tested at this time though).


If you feel like contributing, great! Just fork the repo, make your improvements, and submit a pull request. Tests would, of course, be appreciated. Adding tests where there are no tests currently would be even more appreciated. At least, though, try and not break anything worse than it is. Test coverage has improved, but is still an ongoing concern.


Jeremy Bingham (


Copyright 2013-2014, Jeremy Bingham


Like many Chef ecosystem programs, goairdi is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. See the LICENSE file for details.

Chef is copyright (c) 2008-2013 Opscode, Inc. and its various contributors.

Thanks go out to the fine folks of Opscode and the Chef community for all their hard work.

Also, if you were wondering, Ettore Boiardi was the man behind Chef Boyardee. Wakka wakka.

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