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Meet Chef (Part 1 of 2)


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For many years, server administration was a grueling, manual process. It was one area of computer science that hadn’t caught up to the agile, iterative techniques of software development.

Thanks to Chef, you can now automate your server deployments with the same confidence with which you run your unit tests. Even software developers can overcome the fear of sysadmin work!

In an hour, former 37signals sysadmin Joshua Sierles takes you through the basics of building Chef recipes. You’ll learn to:

  • Build a Rails deployment recipe with the Nginx web server and the Unicorn Ruby application server
  • Understand the Chef system
  • Understand Chef terminology
  • Use Vagrant to boot a virtual machine
  • Build a Chef recipe from scratch
  • Configure and run chef-solo
  • Build dynamic configuration templates with attributes and variables
  • Find and fix errors

You’ll benefit from Joshua’s extensive experience as he not only explains the fundamentals of Chef, but also gives real-world tips for using it well.

Part 2 is available now and completes the process of building a Rails deployment cookbook.


You should be comfortable with using the command line. Basic Ruby is also used.

Revision 1 (Notes) · Updated: Oct 05, 2012 · Length: 66 min · 377 MB

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