Chef Server

The Chef Server is responsible for storing your configuration policy, defined in Chef cookbooks, as well as searchable metadata for each node you manage. Nodes managed by Chef regularly check in with the Chef server to ensure that their local configurations are always kept up to date.

Chef Server Overview

Extended Documentation: Server Components

Installation Guide

Defining Nodes

A node is any machine -— physical, virtual, cloud, network device, etc. – that is under management by Chef. The Chef server assigns each node a [run list]() defining exactly which [Chef cookbooks]() are required for that node’s configuration. Nodes configured with the [chef client]() make authenticated connections to the Chef server API to download the cookbooks defined in their run list, update their configurations, and report their results back to the Chef server where they can be indexed for search.

Extended Documentation: Nodes

Nodes can be organized into logical environments, allowing updates to be easily tested on development or staging servers before being promoted to more sensitive environments. The Chef server collects user-defined configuration variables as well as automatically collected system profiling data, and provides an API for making search queries against that combined data set.

Extended Documentation: Search

Chef Automate Integration

The Chef server can be easily integrated with Chef Automate, Chef’s enterprise platform for maintaining operational visibility at scale. With Chef Automate the details of every node managed by your Chef server are collected into a filterable, auditable dashboard. Chef Automate’s event feed also captures every update made to the Chef server itself so that you always know when configuration policies are changing, and by whom.

Learn more at

Event Feed

Learning Resources

Learn Chef Rally is an invaluable library of self-paced learning resources.