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Development repository for Opscode Cookbook openssl
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Merge pull request #22 from cwjohnston/patch-1

Update CHANGELOG for greater accuracy
latest commit 046b00a9b1
Julian C. Dunn juliandunn authored

openssl Cookbook

This cookbook provides a library method to generate secure random passwords in recipes using the Ruby OpenSSL library.

It also provides an attribute-driven recipe for upgrading OpenSSL packages.


The secure_password works on any platform with OpenSSL Ruby bindings installed, which are a requirement for Chef anyway.

The upgrade recipe works on the following tested platforms:

  • Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04
  • Debian 7.4
  • CentOS 6.5

It may work on other platforms or versions of the above platforms with or without modification.

Chef Sugar was introduced as a dependency to provide helpers that make the default attribute settings (see Attributes) easier to reason about.


  • node['openssl']['packages'] - An array of packages of openssl. The default attributes attempt to be smart about which packages are the default, but this may need to be changed by users of the openssl::upgrade recipe.
  • node['openssl']['restart_services'] - An array of service resources that use the node['openssl']['packages']. This is empty by default as Chef has no reliably reasonable way to detect which applications or services are compiled against these packages. Note These each need to be "service" resources specified somewhere in the recipes in the node's run list.



The upgrade recipe iterates over the list of packages in the node['openssl']['packages'] attribute and manages them with the :upgrade action. Each package will send :restart notification to service resources named by the node['openssl']['restart_services'] attribute.


Most often this will be used to generate a secure password for an attribute. In a recipe:

::Chef::Recipe.send(:include, Chef::OpenSSL::Password)
node.set_unless[:my_password] = secure_password

To use the openssl::upgrade recipe, set the attributes as mentioned above. For example, we have a "stats_collector" service that uses openssl. It has a recipe that looks like this:


This cookbook includes an LWRP for generating Self Signed Certificates


generate a pem formatted x509 cert + key


common_name A String representing the CN ssl field org A String representing the O ssl field org_unit A String representing the OU ssl field country A String representing the C ssl field expire A Fixnum reprenting the number of days from now to expire the cert key_file Optional A string to the key file to use. If no key is present it will generate and store one. key_pass A String that is the key's passphrase key_length A Fixnum reprenting your desired Bit Length Default: 2048 owner The owner of the files Default: "root" group The group of the files Default: "root" mode The mode to store the files in Default: "0400"

Example usage

openssl_x509 "/tmp/mycert.pem" do
  common_name ""
  org "Foo Bar"
  org_unit "Lab"
  country "US"

License and Author

Author:: Jesse Nelson (

Author:: Joshua Timberman (

node.default['openssl']['restart_services'] = ['stats_collector']

# other recipe code here...
service 'stats_collector' do
  action [:enable, :start]

include_recipe 'openssl::upgrade'

This will ensure that openssl is upgraded to the latest version so the stats_collector service won't be exploited (hopefully!).

Copyright:: 2009-2011, Chef Software, Inc
Copyright:: 2014, Chef Software, Inc <>

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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