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  • Chef Resource Provider for RunDeck utilizing the RESOURCE-JSON format
  • RunDeck Options Provider for State of Provisioning
  • Proxy to Chef Server for Client/Node Object Deletion


This project started out to act as a proxy for administrative Chef Server interactions, namely client/node deletion.

If you are familiar with Chef & Terraform, you are likely aware that Terraform currently does not remove the client/node pair from the Chef server upon destruction. Additionally, you are likely aware that deletion of client/node objects requires elevated privileges on the Chef server; privileges that the validation client does not provide. To work around this, one might use knife configured with administrative client. When combined with RunDeck, the security outlook does not look good as one might easily run a cat on the PEM file from the Command interface, allowing them to view the credential. Unless otherwise orchestrated, any/all local commands will run under the context of the RunDeck user, likely the same user with ownership of said PEM file, so using knife under the RunDeck context is inherently insecure if the RunDeck is used for other things and/or the Command interface is exposed.

The idea here is to run this Gem under a different user's context, proxying administrative commands via simple GET/POST requests. The administrative PEM is then owned by a seperate user, preventing one from easily accessing it. Additionally, a simple state endpoint can be used to maintain an audit trail of who created what node, and allow said user to then delete the node. Deletion is limited to only member nodes of the state, and only by the original creator, unless the user is an administrator. The security here is rather primitive, as the user is passed in as a query parameter, but better than nothing. I had the idea of combining this with a sort of API key unique to the user, but have yet to implement it. The limitation of only deleting nodes belonging to the current state is the current stop gap. Also, this means if you have existing nodes, you'll likely want to populate your state file with them. A sample state object is available at config/state.json.

NOTE: This API should NOT be exposed to the world unless you plan to secure it with a reverse-proxy or something. It is intended to only be bound to localhost on the same server as RunDeck.

RunDeck Options Provider

This gem also serves as a RunDeck options provider, delivering node search results in the RunDeck RESOURCE-JSON format.

  • This project ONLY uses partial search. You can add additional values to the search filter with the extras param (comma-separated) or inside project-specific config (Array).

  • The search/return is customizable, either by passing query parameters, or by creating project-specific configuration and hitting the project endpoint.

  • Query parameters will overrule project-specific configuration.

  • You don't have to pass in a user, granting the ability to set that sort of configuration in the RunDeck project configuration.

  • Chef node attributes rd_hostname, rd_ssh_port, rd_winrm_port, or rd_username will override values set elsewhere.

State Functions

Other API Functions

Node Search - Return the Node Object in JSON Format

  • Exact Case Match - http://localhost:9125/chef/v1/node/BD-MBPro.local
  • Case-Insensitive Match - http://localhost:9125/chef/v1/node/Bd-MbPrO.lOcAl?regex=1

Node List - JSON Array of all Node Object Name's on the Chef Server (No Search Parameters)

  • http://localhost:9125/chef/v1/list


This project can use a JSON configuration file to seed configuration parameters. Most configuration can also be passed in via the CLI, except Project definitions.

  • You can (and should) opt to use regular credentials for Unprivileged Chef API calls. This does not have to be a validation client; a regular client can suffice. This is passed in via chef-api-client-name & chef-api-client-key
  • Priviledged Chef Server credentials can be passed in via chef-api-admin-name and chef-api-admin-key. Be sure to keep the permissions tight on the PEM file.

Running as a Service

You'll likely want to run this as a service, SystemD or Upstart will likely be your friend in this regard.


You should lock down permissions on all configuration files in this project to only the user which this runs as...

To run this project securely, DON'T run it as the RunDeck user.


This leans on rack-cache to serve as a caching mechanism. The objective here was to make sure we don't pummel the Chef API with redundant queries.

  • Timeout can be configured via the cache_timeout setting. Default: 30 seconds


This Gem leans heavily on Seth Vargo's ChefAPI gem. I also took many ideas from his Gem to build this one, as I've never written anything like this before. Thank you, Seth, for both the ChefAPI gem and for your consistent high quality contributions to the DevOps community.

Also, thank you to Adam Jacob for initially developing the chef-rundeck gem which served as a baseline for building the Resource Provider portion of this one. Thanks for Chef, you've greatly reduce the amount of chaos in my work life!


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'chef-rundeck2'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install chef-rundeck2


TODO: Write usage instructions here


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.


Chef Options Provider for RunDeck with Extras







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