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Provides a library using the Chef partial search API
branch: master

Partial Search Cookbook

Partial Search is a search API available on Chef Server. (see Notes below for version compatibility)
It can be used to reduce the network bandwidth and the memory used by chef-client to process search results.

This cookbook provides an experimental interface to the partial search API by providing a partial_search method that can be used instead of the search method in your recipes.

The partial_search method allows you to retrieve just the attributes of interest. For example, you can execute a search to return just the name and IP addresses of the nodes in your infrastructure rather than receiving an array of complete node objects and post-processing them.


Upload this cookbook and include it in the dependencies of any cookbook where you would like to use partial_search.


When you call partial_search, you need to specify the key paths of the attributes you want returned. Key paths are specified as an array of strings. Each key path is mapped to a short name of your choosing. Consider the following example:

partial_search(:node, 'role:web',
   :keys => { 'name' => [ 'name' ],
              'ip'   => [ 'ipaddress' ],
              'kernel_version' => [ 'kernel', 'version' ]
).each do |result|
  puts result['name']
  puts result['ip']
  puts result['kernel_version']

In the example above, two attributes will be extracted (on the server) from the nodes that match the search query. The result will be a simple hash with keys 'name' and 'ip'.


  • We would like your feedback on this feature and the interface provided by this cookbook. Please send comments to the chef-dev mailing list.

  • The partial search API is available in the Open Source Chef Server since 11.0.4

  • The partial search API is available in Enterprise Chef Server since 1.2.2

License & Authors

Copyright:: 2012-2013, 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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