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Pantry - Configuration management tool for chef-solo


version 0.001


N.B. This program doesn't do much yet, but I'll expand this synopses incrementally as features are added

  $ mkdir my-project
  $ cd my-project
  $ pantry init
  $ pantry create node
  $ pantry edit node
  $ pantry sync node


pantry is a utility to make it easier to manage a collection of computers with the configuration management tool chef-solo


Arguments to the pantry command line tool follow a regular structure:

  $ pantry VERB [[NOUN] [ARGUMENTS...]]

See the following sections for details and examples by topic.

Pantry setup

  $ pantry init

This initializes a pantry in the current directory. Currently, it just creates some directories for use storing cookbooks, node data, etc.

Managing nodes

  $ pantry create node NAME

Creates a node configuration file for the given NAME. The NAME must be a valid DNS name or IP address.

  $ pantry edit node NAME

Invokes the editor given by the environment variable EDITOR on the configuration file for the name node.

  $ pantry sync node NAME

Copies cookbooks and configuration data to the NAME node and invokes chef-solo via ssh to start a configuration run.


pantry relies on OpenSSH for secure communications with managed nodes, but does not manage keys itself. Instead, it expects the user to manage keys using standard OpenSSH configuration and tools.

The user should specify SSH private keys to use in the ssh config file. One approach would be to use the IdentityFile with a host-name wildcard:

  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/identities/id_dsa_%h

This would allow a directory of host-specific identities (which could all be symlinks to a master key). Another alternative might be to create a master key for each environment:

  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_dsa_dev
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_dsa_test
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_dsa_prod

pantry also assumes that the user will unlock keys using ssh-agent. For example, assuming that ssh-agent has not already been invoked by a graphical shell session, it can be started with a subshell of a terminal:

  $ ssh-agent $SHELL

Then private keys can be unlocked in advance of running pantry using ssh-add:

  $ ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_dsa_test
  $ pantry ...

See the documentation for ssh-add for control over how long keys stay unlocked.


Inspiration for this tool came from similar chef-solo management tools. In addition to being implemented in different languages, each approaches the problem in slightly different ways, neither of which fit my priorities. Nevertheless, if you use chef-solo, you might consider them as well:


Bugs / Feature Requests

Please report any bugs or feature requests through the issue tracker at You will be notified automatically of any progress on your issue.

Source Code

This is open source software. The code repository is available for public review and contribution under the terms of the license.

  git clone


David Golden <>


This software is Copyright (c) 2011 by David Golden.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The Apache License, Version 2.0, January 2004
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