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A Chef cookbook for installing Lita.
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Installs and configures the lita chatbot.

NOTE: Beginning with v1.0.0, the Lita service is controlled using runit instead of the SysV init style script. To use v1.0.0 and maintain the use of the SysV init style script, see the init_style attribute below

Supported Platforms

  • Ubuntu
  • 12.04 (precise)
  • 14.04 (trusty)
  • CentOS
  • 7 (NOTE: Will not work with auto setting of redis_install_type. You must handle Redis outside of this cookbook. Working on fixing this.)

It will likely work on other Ubuntu versions, however the automatic methods of installing ruby and redis will have issues.

Tunable Attributes

All tunable attributes are in the lita heirarchy.

Key Type Description Default
name String Name of chatbot Lita Chatbot
mention_name String Name chatbot listens for Value of name
alias String Name chatbot listens for that is shorter than mention_name empty
version String Gemfile-style version dependency of lita to install nil (latest)
config_coookbook String Name of cookbook where config template stored lita (current)
config_template String Name of config template file lita_config.rb.erb
gemfile_template String Name of Gemfile template file (uses same cookbook as config_cookbook Gemfile.erb
service Array of Strings Service actions to take on service [:enable, :start]
init_style String Type of init to use. Supported: init, runit runit
init_template String Name of SysV init file (uses same cookbook as config_cookbook) lita.erb
runit['finish'] Boolean Enable the finish script for the runit service false
runit['env'] Hash Environment variables to pass to runit service see attributes/default.rb
locale String/Symbol Language to use ":en"
log_level String/Symbol Locale ":info"
admin Array of Strings Adapter specific IDs of Lita admins empty
adapters Array of Strings/Symbols Adapters to use for Lita instance [:shell]
adapter_versions Hash of Fixed Versions of adapter to use { :shell => nil } (latest)
adapter_config Hash of Hashes Hashes of adapter specific configurations empty
plugins Array of Strings and/or Hashes List of plugins to install and, optionally, Gemfile line options empty
plugin_config Hash of Hashes Hash of plugin specific configuration empty
gems Array of Strings and/or Hashes List of gems to install and, optionally, Gemfile line options empty
gem_primary_source String Source URL for Gemfile source
packages Array of Strings List of system packages to install SSL related stuff
http_host String IP address to bind http server
http_port Numeric Port to bind http server 8080
http_min_threads Numeric Min number of http threads 0
http_max_threads Numeric Max number of http threads 0
redis_host String IP address of redis instance
redis_port Numeric Port of redis instance 6379
install_dir String Lita home directory /opt/lita
log_dir String Lita log directory /opt/lita/logs
run_dir String Lita var/run directory /opt/lita/run
daemon_user String User to run daemon as nobody
daemon_group String Group to run daemon as nogroup
ruby_install_type String How to install ruby depedency auto
redis_install_type String How to install redis depedency auto

Important Note

It turns out that creating a valid ruby file from Chef attributes is trickier than I originally thought. Attributes can be added to the node object via JSON strings (node attributes or environment/role in JSON form) or Ruby methods (wrapper cookbooks or the ruby version of environments/roles). There is a library file called helpers.rb which includes the typecast method which is used in the lita_config.rb.erb template to build out valid ruby configuration.

This method is new and I've tested it with contrived data. However, if you find a situation that doesn't work, you can can create a wrapper cookbook and set the config_cookbook and config_template attributes to your own template. Then be sure to notify me through GitHub issues and I'll attempt to adjust the method to support whatever case I missed.



Installs and configures the lita chatbot.

If used in a wrapper cookbook and a need for fine grained control over the configuration and init files, see the attributes config_cookbook, config_template, gemfile_template, and init_template. The config_cookbook parameter sets the cookbook to find the other template files.


# mycompany-lita/recipes/default.rb

node.default["lita"]["config_cookbook"]  = "mycompany-lita"
node.default["lita"]["config_template"]  = "mycustom_lita_config.rb.erb"
node.default["lita"]["gemfile_template"] = "mycustom_Gemfile.erb"
node.default["lita"]["init_template"]    = "mycustom_lita.erb"
include_recipe "lita::default"



To make this effective you'll need to choose a non-default adapter from the Lita plugin page. The :shell adapter will not startup in daemon mode so the only way to test with it is to spin up a node, change into the node["lita"]["install_dir"] and run bin/lita

Adapter Configuration

The adapter config now supports complex ruby data types (i.e. hashes, hash of arrays, etc.)


Plugins can be listed in an array or, optionally listed as an array of hashes using plugin name as the key and Gemfile line syntax:

default["lita"]["plugins"] = [
  { "jenkins" => ">= 0.0.1" }
  { "foo" => ">= 1.2.3, :git => 'git://'" }
  { "bar" => ":path => '/path/to/local/plugin/lita-bar'" }

The above example has four different ways to install / manage plugins:

  • the latest version of the lita-ping plugin from
  • the version greater than 0.0.1 of lita-jenkins plugin from
  • the repository for foo-lita from git want having version greater than or equal to 1.2.3 (This could be public or private depending on whether the node/user has access to git.)
  • A local plugin called 'lita-bar' on the filesystem of the lita node found at the path /path/to/local/plugin/lita-bar

Plugin Configuration

The plugins can also be configured with complex data types in ruby or json:

default["lita"]["plugin_config"] = {
  "foo" => {
    "bar" => {
      "key1" => "val1"
  "lita": {
    "plugin_config": {
      "foo": {
        "bar": {
          "key1": "val1"

It can even take a string that looks like a hash and convert it appropriately:

  "lita": {
    "plugin_config": {
      "foo": "{ \"bar\": { \"key1\": \"val1\" } }"

Ruby and Redis

Lita requires recent versions of Ruby and Redis. By default, the lita cookbook will automatically try to find appropriate ruby and redis versions for your platform and version.

To install those dependencies yourself, simple set the install type attributes to none as such:

node.default["lita"]["ruby_install_type"] = "none"
node.default["lita"]["redis_install_type"] = "none"

If these versions don't work for you (or the cookbook doesn't currently support your platform/version), you can manage the installation of ruby and redis yourself through various methods:

  • Add ruby and redis using community cookbooks in your node/role run_list
  • Creating a wrapper cookbook that does the same
  • Using a base image that already includes the dependencies

The only requirement for the lita cookbook is that ruby, gem and bundler are in the system path and provide the appropriate versions to work with lita.


Here's an example node configuration for leveraging lita-hipchat:

  "lita": {
    "adapters": ["hipchat"],
    "adapter_config": {
      "hipchat": {
        "jid": "",
        "password": "sekret1",
        "rooms": ":all",
        "muc_domain": ""
    "gems": {
      "pagerduty-sdk", ":git => \"\""
    "plugins": [
    "plugin_config": {
      "jenkins": {
        "url": "",
        "auth": "lita:sekret1"
      "pagerduty": {
        "api_key": "kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk",
        "subdomain": "notreally"

License and Authors

Copyright:: 2014 Harlan Barnes

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.
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