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DEPRECATED: Development repository for Chef Cookbook chef_handler
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tas50 Release 3.0.3
Signed-off-by: Tim Smith <>
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chef_handler Cookbook

Build Status Cookbook Version

Provides a resource for installing and automatically loading Chef report and exception handlers.


The chef_handler resource from this cookbook is now shipping as part of Chef 14. With the inclusion of this resource into Chef itself we are now deprecating this cookbook. It will continue to function for Chef 13 users, but will not be updated.



  • Debian/Ubuntu
  • RHEL/CentOS/Scientific/Amazon/Oracle
  • Windows


  • Chef 12.7+


  • none


node['chef_handler']['handler_path'] - location to drop off handlers directory, default is a folder named 'handlers' in Chef's file cache directory



Requires, configures and enables handlers on the node for the current Chef run. Also has the ability to pass arguments to the handlers initializer. This allows initialization data to be pulled from a node's attribute data.

It is best to declare chef_handler resources early on in the compile phase so they are available to fire for any exceptions during the Chef run. If you have a base role you would want any recipes that register Chef handlers to come first in the run_list.


  • :enable: Enables the Chef handler for the current Chef run on the current node
  • :disable: Disables the Chef handler for the current Chef run on the current node

Attribute Parameters

  • class_name: name property. The name of the handler class (can be module name-spaced).
  • source: full path to the handler file. can also be a gem path if the handler ships as part of a Ruby gem. can also be nil, in which case the file must be loaded as a library.
  • arguments: an array of arguments to pass the handler's class initializer
  • type: type of Chef Handler to register as, i.e. :report, :exception or both. default is :report => true, :exception => true


  # register the Chef::Handler::JsonFile handler
  # that ships with the Chef gem
  chef_handler 'Chef::Handler::JsonFile' do
    source 'chef/handler/json_file'
    arguments path: '/var/chef/reports'
    action :enable

  # do the same but during the compile phase
  chef_handler 'Chef::Handler::JsonFile' do
    source 'chef/handler/json_file'
    arguments path: '/var/chef/reports'
    action :nothing

  # handle exceptions only
  chef_handler 'Chef::Handler::JsonFile' do
    source 'chef/handler/json_file'
    arguments path: '/var/chef/reports'
    type exception: true
    action :enable

  # enable the MyCorp::MyLibraryHandler handler which was dropped off in a
  # standard chef library file.
  chef_handler 'MyCorp::MyLibraryHandler' do
    action :enable



This cookbook's default recipe has been deprecated. To setup your own handlers you should instead use the chef_handler resource documented above within your own cookbook to define handlers.


Leverages the chef_handler LWRP to automatically register the Chef::Handler::JsonFile handler that ships as part of Chef. This handler serializes the run status data to a JSON file located at /var/chef/reports.

Unit Testing

chef_handler provides built in chefspec matchers for assisting unit tests. These matchers will only be loaded if ChefSpec is already loaded. Following is an example of asserting against the jsonfile handler:

  expect(runner).to enable_chef_handler('Chef::Handler::JsonFile').with(
    source: 'chef/handler/json_file',
    arguments: { path: '/var/chef/reports' },
    type: { exception: true }

License & Authors

Author: Cookbook Engineering Team (

Copyright: 2011-2017, Chef Software, 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,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.