How to Install Chef Server on Ubuntu 12.04 and CentOS 6.5

Chef Server:

Chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby and Erlang. Using Chef server you can manage a large number of servers. In Simple words you can define it as a central server which distributes the configuration details to every node those are registered with it. It helps to automate the application deployment and relevant environment setup. You can integrate with cloud-based platforms such as Rackspace, Amazon EC2, Linode and DigitalOcean to automatically provision and configure new machines.

You have to write “recipes” which describes how Chef manages server applications like Apache, MySQL, Nginx etc.. and how they are to be configured in the machine. These recipes describe a series of resources that should be in a particular state: packages that should be installed, services that should be running, or files that should be written. Chef makes sure each resource is properly configured and corrects any resources that are not in the desired state.

Installing Chef Server:

Go to If you have CentOS then select “Enterprise Linux” as your Operating system. If you have Ubuntu then select “Ubuntu“.  Then select Operating system version. Please note that Chef server only supports “x86_64” bit operating systems. Select which version of Chef server you want to install. The name of the package will be displayed after the version is selected. Right-click the name of the package and copy the link location.

For Ubuntu users the file is:

For CentOS users the file is:

When download finished, install it by issuing below command:

Ubuntu Users:

CentOS Users:

Configure your machine hostname by following below steps.You can configure system hostname in two ways.

Simple and temporary step for both CentOS and Ubuntu. (Option – 1)

If you don’t have any DNS pointed to the machine then you can use the system IP to configure the hostmane.

Verify your configured hostname.


Permanent solution: (Option – 2)

CentOS users please edit /etc/sysconfig/network, enter:

Set, enter:

Save and close the file. Change the host that is associated to your main IP address for your server, this is for internal networking (found at /etc/hosts):

Append hostname and it’s IP like below format.

Save and close the file. Restart the network and verify that you can see the changes.

Ubuntu Users Edit, /etc/hostname file, enter:

Delete old name and add new name:

Restart the machine and verify the hostname after reboot.

After completing the above commands issue the below command to reconfigure the server

Now we are ready to access the Chef server. Go to your browser and enter the hostname of IP address of your Chef server. It will redirect you to the https port.

The default User ID is  admin  and the Password is p@ssw0rd1 . Modify the default password after login.

In my next article I will show you how to install and configure Chef client.

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Tapas Mishra

Sr. Engineer (DevOps)
Loves to work on Opensource products. Having experience on Linux environment. Knowledge on Public cloud services like AWS, Rackspace, DigitalOcean, Linode. Please don't hesitate to give a comment on the posts. Your comments are my strength.

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