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RightScale plugin for Knife. For a quick demo/tutorial click link below:
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Knife RightScale

This is a Knife plugin for RightScale. This plugin gives knife the ability to provision servers on clouds managed by the RightScale platform. It is expected that you already have a Chef Server running or are using a hosted Chef solution from OpsCode.

NOTE: this plugin is currently under development and subject to change


You will need a RightScale account with at least one cloud registered. You can sign up for a free trial account here.

You will also need a running Chef Server. If you don't already have one you can sign up for a free trial of Hosted Chef from Opscode here.

If you have an existing account and want to provision on EC2 clouds, you may need to migrate your account to the Unified Cloud Platform. Please see here for more info on UCP.


Be sure you are running the latest version Chef 10. Versions earlier than 0.10.0 don't support plugins. This has not yet been tested with Chef 11.

gem install chef -v 10.26.0

This plugin is distributed as a Ruby Gem. To install it, run:

gem install knife-rightscale

Depending on your system's configuration, you may need to run this command with root privileges.


In order to communicate with the RightScale API you will have to tell Knife about your RightScale account information. The easiest way to accomplish this is to create some entries in your knife.rb file:

knife[:rightscale_user]  = ""
knife[:rightscale_password] = "supersecretpassword"
knife[:rightscale_account_id] = "1234"

If your knife.rb file will be checked into a SCM system (i.e. readable by others) you may want to read the values from environment variables:

knife[:rightscale_user] = "#{ENV['RIGHTSCALE_EMAIL']}"
knife[:rightscale_password] = "#{ENV['RIGHTSCALE_PASSWORD']}"

You also have the option of passing your RightScale credentials into the individual knife subcommands using the -A (or --rightscale-account-id), -U (or --rightscale-user), -P (or --rightscale-password) command options

Provision a Server

List Clouds

This will list all the registered clouds available in your RightScale account:

knife rightscale cloud list

to filter by partial name match use -n or --name option

knife rightscale cloud list --name rackspace

List ServerTemplates

List the ServerTemplates available in your account. Typically you will just want to find a Chef Client template. For example:

knife rightscale servertemplate list --name "Chef Client"

Launch a server

To provision a new server, supply ServerTemplate choice and target cloud as options:

knife rightscale server create \
  --cloud "Rackspace Open Cloud - Chicago" \
  --server-template "Chef Client (v13.4)" \
  --deployment "CP: My Sandbox" \
  --name "CP:ChefClient" \
  --input "chef/client/server_url":"text:" \
  --input "chef/client/validation_name":"cred:CP: validation_client_name" \
  --input "chef/client/validator_pem":"cred:CP:validator.pem" \
  --input "chef/client/node_name":"text:MyChefClient" \
  --input "chef/client/roles":"text:hello_world"

The server with a name specified by the --name option will be created in the specified --deployment. If the deployment is not found, it will be created. You can supply ServerTemplate inputs values using the --input option, which can be specified multiple times as shown.

The --server-template option can pass either an name or ID.

For a list of all possible options run:

knife rightscale server create --help

Delete Server

Once done with the server, you can terminate and delete it using:

knife rightscale server delete SERVER_NAME

use the --yes option to bypass confirmation.


Some other subcommands that can be useful for provisioning servers are listed below. These are intended to query possible options that you can pass to the server create command.

All supported command options can be found by invoking:

knife rightscale --help

Specific details for each command can be found by passing the --help option the the subcommand. For example:

knife rightscale <subcommand> --help

List Images

List the supported images for a given ServerTemplate and target cloud

knife rightscale image list \
  --server-template "Chef Client (v13.4)" \
  --cloud "Rackspace Open Cloud - Chicago"

This will also indicate the default Instance Type or flavor for each image. �

List Deployments

To list all the deployments available in your RightScale account:

knife rightscale deployment list

to filter by partial name match use the --name option

List Security Groups

To list all the Security Groups available per cloud:

knife rightscale securitygroup list

to filter by partial name match use the --name option or narrow the results using the --cloud option

List Servers

To list all the servers in your RightScale account:

knife rightscale server list

to filter by partial name match use the --name option


You can develop this plugin with out installing it using the bundler gem. First clone this repository, change to the working directory and run:


Verify the unit test pass:

bundle exec rake spec

Once those are passing you can run the plugin using bundle exec. For example, to view the help message run:

bundle exec knife rightscale --help

Happy hacking!


  • create action
    • ability to select image other than the default image on ServerTemplate
    • ability to select instance type other than default (needed for cloudstack)
  • add support for instance type aka "flavor" (list and for server create)
  • add support for datacents/zone type (list and for server create) ** Private beta
  • display audit entry when server strands
  • ability to add server tags on create
  • server array create action
  • add timeout for operational
  • credentials list action (waiting for new API release)
  • add VPC support to create action


Author:: Cary Penniman ( Copyright:: Copyright (c) 2013 RightScale, Inc. License:: Apache License, Version 2.0 See attribution notice in

This readme is modified from the knife-ec2 plugin project code That project is located at Author:: Adam Jacob ( Copyright:: Copyright (c) 2009-2011 Opscode, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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