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A cookbook to help automate "attribute hoisting" when using Chef with Policyfiles.

Attribute hoisting is a way to store per-policy-group attributes in a policy to allow similar settings to environment-level attributes in a pre-Policyfile workflow. Just put the desired attributes under a top-level key matching the name of the policy group and add poise-hoist either to your run list or to your cookbook dependencies.

Quick Start

In your Policyfile:

name 'myapp'

run_list 'poise-hoist', 'myapp'

# Default value for all groups.
default['myapp']['debug_mode'] = true

# Per-group values, will be hoisted on top of the default above.
default['staging']['myapp']['debug_mode'] = 'extra_verbose'
default['prod']['myapp']['debug_mode'] = false

and then in your recipe code:

some_resource 'name' do
  debug_mode node['myapp']['debug_mode']

This automatically hoists up policy attributes set under a top-level key matching the name of the policy group of the current node.


Chef 12.2 or newer is required.

Use With Test Kitchen

When testing policies with the policyfile_zero provisioner plugin, the policy group will always be local.

default['local']['myapp']['debug_mode'] = true

Environment Shim

For older cookbooks still expecting to use node.chef_environment, by default that method will be patched to return the policy group label instead. This can be disabled by setting node['poise-hoist']['hoist_chef_environment'] = false.

Data Bag Attributes

To pull in data from a data bag, set default['poise-hoist']['data_bag'] = 'the name of the data bag' in your Policyfile. It will look for an item in the specified data bag using the name of the node and then the name of policy group. You can use this in combination with the normal group-level hoisting to have a different data bag name for some policy groups.

This can be useful in combination with attributes from the Policyfile to provide immediate overrides outside of the "compile and push" cycle of the policy system.


Development sponsored by Bloomberg.

The Poise test server infrastructure is generously sponsored by Rackspace. Thanks Rackspace!


Copyright 2016-2017, Noah Kantrowitz

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, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


A cookbook to help automate "attribute hoisting" when using Chef with Policyfiles.







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