Deploy a Chef server on Heroku!
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An easy-to-deploy standalone Rack app with bundled Chef server and cookbooks.


Hey, wouldn't it be cool to run a Chef server on Heroku?


As a prerequisite, you'll need access to a CouchDB instance somehow somewhere. (As one option, see my hideabed. I hear there's also

I happen to be using Heroku. Here's how you'd deploy there:

git clone
cd skillet
# adjust cookbooks to your liking
heroku create my-skillet
heroku config:add MERB_SESSION_SECRET_KEY=37b51d194a7513e45b56f6524f2d51f2
heroku config:add,
heroku config:add,
heroku config:add CHEF_COUCHDB_URL=
heroku config:add CHEF_OPENID_URL=
heroku config:add CHEF_VALIDATION_TOKEN=73feffa4b7f6bb68e44cf984c85f6e88
heroku addons:add piggyback_ssl
git push heroku master

Then, give it a go with


Until Chef 0.8.0 is released, you'll need a second appserver so that your Nodes can authenticate themselves with OpenID. Strangely, it seems this is not as simple as cranking your Heroku dynos to 2. So, you'll need to create a second copy of Skillet on Heroku to act as Chef's OpenID server. Basically, you'll follow the instructions above, but with a different app name, and make sure you've set CHEF_OPENID_URL properly. (At this point, it probably makes sense to keep your own fork of Skillet.)


It would be great if Heroku supported git submodules. Then we could pull in Opscode's cookbooks instead of duplicating them.

I've totally stubbed out Chef::Queue, so there's no search indexing. This hasn't been a big deal for me yet, as I'm dealing with a number of single-server environments. But I suppose you could either perform the search indexing in-process, or run it through Heroku's recently-added support for Delayed::Job. Either way, beware the Heroku constraints and workarounds.