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Chef LWRP to install Mac OS X applications from zip archives
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LWRP to install Mac OS X applications from zip archives.



Tested on 0.10.2 but newer and older version should work just fine. File an issue if this isn't the case.


Only for node[:platform] == "mac_os_x" platforms. Tested on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard).


There are no external cookbook dependencies.


Depending on the situation and use case there are several ways to install this cookbook. All the methods listed below assume a tagged version release is the target, but omit the tags to get the head of development. A valid Chef repository structure like the Opscode repo is also assumed.

From the Opscode Community Platform

To install this cookbook from the Opscode platform, use the knife command:

knife cookbook site install zip_app

Using Librarian

The Librarian gem aims to be Bundler for your Chef cookbooks. Include a reference to the cookbook in a Cheffile and run librarian-chef install. To install with Librarian:

gem install librarian
cd chef-repo
librarian-chef init
cat >> Cheffile <<END_OF_CHEFFILE
cookbook 'zip_app',
  :git => 'git://', :ref => 'v0.2.2'
librarian-chef install

Using knife-github-cookbooks

The knife-github-cookbooks gem is a plugin for knife that supports installing cookbooks directly from a GitHub repository. To install with the plugin:

gem install knife-github-cookbooks
cd chef-repo
knife cookbook github install fnichol/chef-zip_app/v0.2.2

As a Git Submodule

A common practice (which is getting dated) is to add cookbooks as Git submodules. This is accomplishes like so:

cd chef-repo
git submodule add git:// cookbooks/zip_app
git submodule init && git submodule update

Note: the head of development will be linked here, not a tagged release.

As a Tarball

If the cookbook needs to downloaded temporarily just to be uploaded to a Chef Server or Opscode Hosted Chef, then a tarball installation might fit the bill:

cd chef-repo/cookbooks
curl -Ls | tar xfz - && \
  mv fnichol-chef-zip_app-* zip_app


Simply include recipe[zip_app] in your run_list and the zip_app_package resource will be available.

To use recipe[zip_app::data_bag], include it in your run_list and have a data bag called "apps" with an item called "mac_os_x" like the following:

  "id"        : "mac_os_x",
  "zip_apps"  : [
    { "name"        : "iTerm",
      "source"      : "",
      "checksum"    : "2afad022b1e1f08b3ed40f0c2bde7bf7cce003852c83f85948c7f57a5578d9c5"
    { "name"        : "Divvy",
      "source"      : ""

Alternatively, you can override the data bag and item by setting the node['zip_app']['data_bag'] attribute to some like:

node['zip_app']['data_bag'] = ['apps', "workstation-mac"]



Processes a list of zip_apps (which is emtpy by default) to be installed.

Use this recipe when you have a list of apps in node['zip_app']['apps'] or when all you need is the zip_app_package LWRP.


Fetches an list of zip_apps from a data bag item and appends it to the node['zip_app']['apps'] attribute for processing. This recipe then includes the default recipe, so there is no need to explicitly include recipe[zip_app].

Use this recipe when you want data bag driven data in your workflow.



An array of zip_app hashes. The keys in the hashes correspond to the attributes passed to the zip_app_package LWRP. For example:

node['zip_app']['apps'] = [
  { 'name'      => 'iTerm',
    'source'    => '',
    'checksum'  => '2afad022b1e1f08b3ed40f0c2bde7bf7cce003852c83f85948c7f57a5578d9c5'
  { 'name'      => 'GitHub',
    'source'    => '',
    'checksum'  => '1e95b3c16915efe171e53c2de31ae5b0b45cca6689a6923baa96cf754a06ed73'

The default is an empty Array: [].


The data bag and item containing a list of apps to be installed.. This is used by the data_bag recipe. The default is ['apps', node['platform']].

Resources and Providers



Action Description Default
install Download and extract the *.app application into the destination directory. Yes


Attribute Description Default value
app Name attribute: The name of the installed application. For example, if the application to be installed was "/Application/" then the value would be "GitHub". nil
source The source URL of the zip archive. nil
checksum (optional) The SHA-256 checksum of the file. If the local file matches the checksum, Chef will not download it. nil
destination The base path to where the application will be installed. "/Applications"
zip_file (optional) The zip file name if it differs from the the last path fragment in the source URL. nil
installed (internal) false


Install Basic App

zip_app_package "Divvy" do
  source  ""

Note: the install action is default.

Install App To Custom Destination

zip_app_package "GitHub" do
  source      ""
  checksum    "1e95b3c16915efe171e53c2de31ae5b0b45cca6689a6923baa96cf754a06ed73"
  destination "#{ENV['HOME']}/Applications"

Note: will be installed to ~/Applications/, and assumes that the directory exists.


This cookbook and LWRP patterns are heavily lifted with love from the dmg, iterm2, 1password, and ghmac cookbooks. Oh, and Joshua Timberman's workstation blog post.


Pull requests are very welcome! Make sure your patches are well tested. Ideally create a topic branch for every separate change you make.

License and Author

Author:: Fletcher Nichol (

Copyright 2011, Fletcher Nichol

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.

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