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Chef cookbooks collection used for Travis CI environment/VMs, worker machines and so on
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About Travis cookbooks

Travis cookbooks are collections of Chef cookbooks used with Chef Solo for setting up

  • Linux VMs for running tests (CI environment in /ci_environment)
  • Travis worker machine (host OS in /worker_host)
  • Anything else we may need to set up (for example, messaging broker nodes)

The Chef run-lists that are used to build the different VM images for Travis CI environment are defined in YAML files, that are stored in /vm_templates subdirectory. This custom definition format is similar to Chef roles and is used by travis-images tool.

Developing Cookbooks


All the required cookbooks are stored in this single repository (no Berkshelf/Librarian, no git modules). You can find more details about this approach in "Making Breakfast: Chef at Airbnb".

  • Chef cookbooks currently must be compatible with Chef 11.
  • The VM template/basebox should be installed with Ubuntu 12.04, which is the supported plaform.

Virtualization Technology

At the moment, Travis Linux workers are paravirtualized machines that live in an OpenVZ container equipped with Linux kernel 2.6.32. Please keep this in mind when testing with Linux kernel 3.x on full virtual machine (e.g. providers like VirtualBox or VMware).


Cookbooks can be easily developed using Vagrant with Sous Chef workflow.

There is a Vagrantfile in this project that includes a VirtualBox setup, though testing is possible with other Vagrant providers. For VirtualBox, make sure to use Vagrant 1.6.2+ and VirtualBox 4.3.12+, or you might encounter Vagrant #3341.

The included Vagrantfile defines multiple machines, where each machine is a target worker platform:

  • precise64: this VM is defined as primary as Ubuntu 12.04 is officially supported by travis-cookbooks.
  • trusty64: this VM is experimental and is not automatically started (to be used with ha-feature-trusty development branch). See also related open issues).
  • win8: this VM is experimental and is not automatically started.

By default, Vagrant is configured to provision the worker_standard role. There are more possible setups (ruby, python, etc.) but since all Travis worker machines are based on worker_standard it provides good cookbook coverage. It is also possible to narrow down the Chef run list to only install a specific set of cookbooks, as commented in the Vagrantfile itself.


$ vagrant status
# Displays available machines, e.g. precise64, trusty64, win8

$ vagrant up
# Starts the precise64 machine and tries to provision it... will take a long time.

$ vagrant up trusty64
$ vagrant up win8
# Starts experimental machines and tries to provision them...

Dynamically defined VMs

In addition, Vagrantfile dynamically defines VMs as provisioned for Travis CI.


To use these VMs, you need to first clone,, and to the same directory, then follow the instructions given in to create the base standard boxes.

git clone
git clone
cd travis-packer
bundle install
bundle exec ./generate > ../bento/packer/ubuntu-12.04-amd64-travis.json
cd ../bento/packer
vi ubuntu-12.04-amd64-travis.json
packer build -parallel=false ubuntu-12.04-amd64-travis.json

Then add the resulting box as travis-precise.

vagrant box add --name travis-precise ../builds/vmware/

Then in travis-cookbooks directory, run vagrant up:

cd ../../travis-cookbooks
vagrant up ruby-precise

This will run the rest of cookbooks for the Ruby image you can use.

Other language VMs (Python, PHP, etc.) can be similarly created.

Notice that some language VMs take longer to build, due to the requirement imposed by that image. You can try reducing the number of installed components in the recipes inside travis-cookbooks.

Windows Image

Vagrant will automatically install boxes for Ubuntu Linux (precise64 and trusty64) if you don't have them. Windows will not automatically install, and in fact licensing concerns have preventing anyone from publishing a Vagrant box that supports Windows on VirtualBox.

The following Windows boxes are available:

  • VagrantBox containing Windows on Hyper-V - are available from Microsoft Open Technologies, but you can only use Hyper-V if your host OS is Window... so don't waste your time downloading on Mac or Linux.
  • Non-Vagrant VirtualBox images - are available from the Follow these instructions to create your own Windows base box.
  • Go faster and simpler, use the cloud! Several of the vagrant providers are for clouds that have Windows images. Unfortunately: communication with Windows is currently insecure and syncing folders (especially from non-Windows hosts) is not widely supported - so cloud providers are more of a future option unless you're willing to accept the known issues.

General Purpose Cookbooks

Some of the cookbooks integrated in this repository are maintained upstream in individual Github repositories. Here is a non exhaustive list:


See the LICENSE files.

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