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Chef Solo Flight This is based off of http://github.com/threedaymonk/chef-ec2 If your current server setup does not require the use of Chef Server, Chef Solo is a great alternative until you need to move up. The ideal use case is when you only have a few servers that you must maintain. If you need a head start on some recipes, go ahead and grab the cookbooks submodule: $ git submodule init $ git submodule update To get started, perform the following steps: 1. Bring up a new instance/machine somewhere, a bare OS is perfect. 2. Generate an ssh key if you do not have one (accept defaults or assign a password): $ ssh-keygen 3. Get your ssh key onto the instance: $ cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh <server_name> "mkdir .ssh && cat - >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys && chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys" 4. Bootstrap Chef onto the instance: $ ./chef-solo-flight bootstrap <server_1> [<server_2>] ... Now you must create some DNA for your servers. Create new DNA.json files per server, please see the Chef documentation here: http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Cooking+with+Chef Once complete, you can then update your instances like so: $ ./chef-solo-flight update <server_1> [<server_2>] ... You can run the above command as many times as you will like, the instance(s) will only be updated if there were changes to your DNA.