Sane Rubocop settings for Chef cookbooks
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Signed-off-by: Lamont Granquist <>
Latest commit 9599656 Jul 17, 2018

Cookstyle - Sane rubocop defaults for Chef Cookbooks

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Cookstyle is a set of opinions about Ruby code that are specific to cookbooks. Running both cookstyle and RuboCop on the same codebase will result, by design, in changes being applied and then removed. Needless to say you should not use both tools on the same cookbook.

Cookstyle is infrequently updated, since the rule set is mature and fairly stable. We sync new RuboCop versions when there's advantage to doing so, but are conservative by default.

Cookstyle is included in the ChefDK, and can be used from the command line by running cookstyle.

The active ruleset is in the config/cookstyle.yml file. Changes to the rule set must be accompanied by arguments and code demonstrating why the change should be made, and in most cases we would expect the author of the change to help with updating the core community cookbooks.

How It Works

The project itself is a derivative of finstyle, but starts with all rules disabled. Cookstyle has a direct dependency on one specific version of RuboCop (at a time), and [patches it][patch] to load the [upstream configuration][upstream] and [custom set][config] of rule updates. When a new RuboCop release comes out, this library can rev its pinned version dependency and [re-vendor][rakefile] the upstream configuration to determine if any breaking style or lint rules were added/dropped/reversed/etc.


This is designed to allow bumping the RuboCop engine while keeping backwards compatibility with the config and not requiring all the cookbooks to update.

The cookstyle_base.yml file is (essentially) the enabled.yml file from 0.37.2 (as of this writing) which is applied on top of 0.55.0 with all the rules disabled. It pins the default enabled set to 0.37.2 compatibility while running under the 0.55.0 engine.

There is no rake task for updating the cookstyle_base.yml file. It was generated by hand -- the Description and other fields need to be dropped out of it.

It may be necessary to edit that file (again by hand) to resolve issues with later RuboCop engines changing cop names (renaming, splitting up, etc).

Occasionally the cookstyle_base.yml file should be updated, which will generate a lot of work to fix every cookbook that cookstyle runs against.

When updating to a new engine the rake vendor task should still always be run in order to update the base set of cops and generate the default disabled.yml ruleset.

When editing the cookstyle_base.yml becomes too much of a PITA, it may be time to bump the engine, run rake vendor and then drop the new enabled.yml into cookstyle_base.yml, fix it up, and ship it and then deal with the fallout of all the new cops...


Cookstyle is included in the ChefDK. If you choose not to use ChefDK, you can still install Cookstyle manually using the instructions below.

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'cookstyle'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install cookstyle


Vanilla RuboCop

Run RuboCop as normal, simply add a -r cookstyle option when running:

rubocop -r cookstyle -D --format offenses

cookstyle Command

Use this tool just as you would RuboCop, but invoke the cookstyle binary instead which patches RuboCop to load rules from the cookstyle gem. For example:

cookstyle -D --format offenses


In a Rakefile, the setup is exactly the same, except you need to require the cookstyle library first:

require "cookstyle"
require "rubocop/rake_task" do |task|
  task.options << "--display-cop-names"


You can use one of two methods. The simplest is to add the -r cookstyle option to the :cli option in your Guardfile:

guard :rubocop, cli: "-r cookstyle" do
  watch(%r{(?:.+/)?\.rubocop\.yml$}) { |m| File.dirname(m[0]) }

Alternatively you could pass the path to Cookstyle's configuration by using the Cookstyle.config method:

require "cookstyle"

guard :rubocop, cli: "--config #{Cookstyle.config}" do
  watch(%r{(?:.+/)?\.rubocop\.yml$}) { |m| File.dirname(m[0]) }


As with vanilla RuboCop, any custom settings can still be placed in a .rubocop.yml file in the root of your project.