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Attribute Types

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Chef Infra Client uses six types of attributes to determine the value that is applied to a node during a Chef Infra Client run. In addition, Chef Infra Client gathers attribute values from up to five locations. The combination of attribute types and sources makes up to 15 different competing values available during a Chef Infra Client run:


Attribute Type Description
default A default attribute is automatically reset at the start of every Chef Infra Client run and has the lowest attribute precedence. Use default attributes as often as possible in cookbooks.
force_default Use the force_default attribute to ensure that an attribute defined in a cookbook (by an attribute file or by a recipe) takes precedence over a default attribute set by a role or an environment.
normal A normal attribute is a setting that persists in the node object. A normal attribute has a higher attribute precedence than a default attribute.
override An override attribute is automatically reset at the start of every Chef Infra Client run and has a higher attribute precedence than default, force_default, and normal attributes. An override attribute is most often specified in a recipe, but can be specified in an attribute file, for a role, and/or for an environment. A cookbook should be authored so that it uses override attributes only when required.
force_override Use the force_override attribute to ensure that an attribute defined in a cookbook (by an attribute file or by a recipe) takes precedence over an override attribute set by a role or an environment.
automatic An automatic attribute contains data that is identified by Ohai at the beginning of every Chef Infra Client run. An automatic attribute cannot be modified and always has the highest attribute precedence.

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