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RFC Title Author Status Type
Enable gem dependencies in cookbook metadata
Lamont Granquist <>
Standards Track

Enable gem dependencies in cookbook metadata

Support a 'gem' DSL method for cookbook metadata to create a dependency on a rubygem. The gem will be installed via chef_gem after all the cookbooks are synchronized but before any other cookbook loading is done.


As a Chef User,
I want to be able to use additional gems in libraries, attributes and resources,
to avoid complex workarounds and double-run converges.


Allow users to specify additional gem dependencies like:

gem "poise"
gem "chef-sugar"
gem "chef-provisioning"

In the Chef::RunContext::CookbookCompiler#compile method a phase will be added before compile_libraries which will install all of the gem declarations from all of the synchronized cookbooks before any other cookbook code is compiled.

The implementation will use an in-memory bundler Gemfile which is constructed against all gem statements in all cookbooks which are in the run_list, solved at the same time. The syntax of the 'gem' statement will support the bundler gem syntax, with the qualification that since it is compiled into metadata.json that arbitrary ruby code will be expanded at cookbook upload time.

The resulting gemset bundle will be installed into the LIBPATH of the running chef-client. This may either be directly into the base ruby libraries (per current chef_gem behavior) or into a custom location with the LIBPATH of the chef-client extended to use that location--as an open implementation question.

The normal Gemfile requires tag may be used by users to autoload files out of gems.


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