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Do you wish your test-kitchen runs were faster? Do I ever have the gem for you!

kitchen-sync provides alternate file transfer implementations for test-kitchen, most of which are faster than the default, thus speeding up your test runs.

Quick Start

Run chef gem install kitchen-sync and then set your transport to sftp:

  name: sftp

Available Transfer Methods


The default mode uses SFTP for file transfers, as well as a helper script to avoid recopying files that are already present on the test host. If SFTP is disabled, this will automatically fall back to the SCP mode.

By default this will use the Chef omnibus Ruby, you can customize the path to Ruby via ruby_path:

  name: sftp
  ruby_path: /usr/bin/ruby


The Rsync mode is based on the work done by Mikhail Bautin. This is the fastest mode, but it does have a few downsides. The biggest is that you must be using ssh-agent and have an identity loaded for it to use. It also requires that rsync be available on the remote side. Consider this implementation more experimental than sftp at this time.

Windows Guests

Windows is not specifically supported at this time, though if you have an SSH server it will probably work. There is no support for WinRM.

Upgrading from 1.x

As of version 2.0, kitchen-sync uses Test Kitchen's modular transport system rather than monkey patch overrides. To upgrade, remove the <% require 'kitchen-sync' %> from your .kitchen.yml and add the transport configuration mentioned above. The $KITCHEN_SYNC_MODE environment variable is no longer needed as configuration can happen in the normal Yaml file.


Copyright 2014-2016, Noah Kantrowitz

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.


Test Kitchen transport plugin to speed up tests.







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