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All you need for cooking with Chef and Vagrant on Windows you will find in Bill's Kitchen

Bill's Kitchen

A DevPack with all you (or Bill Gates would) need for cooking with Chef and Vagrant on Windows, shrink-wrapped in a portable package.

Bill's Kitchen Screenshot

What's inside?

Main Tools

The main tools for cooking with Chef / Vagrant:


These plugins are pre-installed:

  • vagrant plugins:
  • knife plugins (just as an example):
    • knife-audit - keeps track of which cookbooks are used by which node
    • knife-server - sets up and backs uo a chef server
    • ...use chef gem install <plugin> to install more

Supporting Tools

Useful additions for a better cooking experience:

  • ConEmu - a better Windows console with colours, tabs, etc...
  • SublimeText2 - a better editor (trial version) with additional packages for Chef and Cucumber installed
  • PortableGit - git client for Windows (preconfigured with kdiff3 as diff/merge tool)
  • putty - the SSH client for Windows
  • clink - command completion and Bash-like line editing for Windows
  • Cygwin-based ssh.exe and rsync.exe to make rsync-based Vagrant synced folders work on Windows

Environmental Changes

The following changes are applied to your environment by running W:\set-env.bat:

  • Constraining as much as possible to the W:\ drive:
    • %HOME% points to W:\home
    • %VAGRANT_HOME% points to W:\home\.vagrant.d
    • %PATH% is preprended with the bin dirs of the tools in W:\tools\
    • exception: %VBOX_USER_HOME% points to %USERPROFILE%, i.e. VirtualBox VMs are still stored under %USERPROFILE%
  • Fixing annoyances:
    • set TERM=cygwin to fix vagrant ssh issues
    • set CYGWIN=nodosfilewarning to mute vagrant ssh warnings
    • set ANSICON=true to get coloured output with Vagrant on Windows
    • set SSL_CERT_FILE=W:\home\cacert.pem pointing to recent CA certs avoiding Ruby SSL errors


Registered doskey aliases:

  • run be <command> for bundle exec <command>
  • run vi <file_or_dir> for sublime_text <file_or_dir>


These repositories are used for acceptance-testing the common usage scenarios:

  • A sample-toplevel-cookbook with all kinds cookbook tests: syntax check, style checks, linting, unit and integration tests
  • A sample-infrastructure-repo which defines a sample server infrastructure with environments and databages via Vagrant / Chef Solo


The only requirement for using the devpack is a recent version of VirtualBox (couldn't make that one portable).


As a prerequisite for building bill's kitchen you need 7zip installed in C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe.

Building Bill's Kitchen

To build the kitchen (make sure you don't have spaces in the path):

$ gem install bundler
$ bundle install
$ rake build

This might take a while (you can go fetch a coffee). It will download the external dependencies, install the tools and prepare everything else we need in the kitchen into the target/build directory. Finally it runs the spec/integration examples to ensure everything is properly installed.

Running the Acceptance Tests

To run the more comprehensive spec/acceptance tests:

$ rake acceptance

This will use various of the tools in combination by running the main usage scenarios, e.g.:

  • cloning a sample top-level cookbook and sample infrastructure repository
  • running various commands like bundle install, vagrant plugin install, vagrant up
  • running different kinds of cookbook tests via knife cookbook test, foodcritic, chefspec and test-kitchen


Finally, if all the tests pass you can create a portable zip package:

$ rake package

This will and finally package everything in the target/build directory into target/bills-kitchen-<version>.7z.

Changing the Mount Drive Letter

By default the Ruby DevPack will be mounted to the W:\ drive. If you need to change it you only have to update the references in these two files:

  • mount-drive.cmd
  • unmount-drive.cmd


Make sure you have VirtualBox installed, then:

  1. unzip the target/bills-kitchen-<version>.7z somewhere
  2. mount the kitchen to the W:\ drive by double-clicking the mount-drive.bat file
  3. click W:\Launch ConEmu.lnk to open a command prompt
  4. in the command prompt run W:\set-env.bat to set up the environment
  5. start hacking!

Acknowledgements & Licensing

Bill's Kitchen bundles lots of awesome Open Source software. The copyright owners of this software are mentioned here. For a full-text version of the licenses mentioned above please have a look in the tools directory where the respective software is installed.

  • Vagrant - Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Mitchell Hashimoto (MIT license)
  • Packer - Copyright (c) 2013-2014 Mitchell Hashimoto (MPL-2.0)
  • Terraform - Copyright (c) 2014-2015 HashiCorp (MPL-2.0)
  • Consul - Copyright (c) 2014 HashiCorp (MPL-2.0)
  • ChefDK - Copyright (c) 2014 Chef Software (Apache 2.0 license)
  • ConEmu - Copyright (c) 2006-2008 Zoin, 2009-2013 Maximus5 (BSD 3-Clause license)
  • clink - Copyright (c) 2012-2014 Martin Ridgers (MIT license), 1994–2012, PUC-Rio (GPLv3)
  • PortableGit - by msysGit team (GPLv2 license)
  • DevKit - Copyright (c), 2007-2014 RubyInstaller Team (BSD 3-Clause license)
  • kdiff3 - Copyright (c) 2002-2012 Joachim Eibl (GPLv2 license)
  • putty - Copyright (c) 1997-2014 Simon Tatham (MIT license)
  • rsync - Copyright (c) 1996-2011 by Andrew Tridgell, Wayne Davison, and others. (GPLv3)
  • OpenSSH - multiple licenses and copyright holders (OpenSSH License, BSD-compatible)

It also includes an evaluation copy of the awesome Sublime Text 2 editor. Please use it for evaluation purposes only (no commercial usage) or buy a license if you like it!

Bill's Kitchen itself is published under the MIT license. It is not "derivative work" but rather "mere aggregation" of other software and thus does not need to be licensed under GPL itself.

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