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Airgapped Installation


An airgapped host is one that has no direct inbound or outbound internet traffic. To install or upgrade Chef Automate on an airgapped host, you will need to create an Airgap Installation Bundle (.aib) on an internet-connected host and then transfer both the Airgap Installation Bundle and the chef-automate binary that you used to create it to the airgapped host for use.

Get a License

To get a trial license for an airgapped host contact Chef.

Get Chef Automate Installer and Admin Tool

Download the Chef Automate command-line tool from the current release channel.

curl | gunzip - > chef-automate && chmod +x chef-automate

Download the Airgap Installation Bundle

Download the airgap installation bundles of the latest automate version to an internet-connected machine using:

curl -o </path/to/airgap-install-bundle>

Download the bundle of a specific version using:

curl<version>.aib -o </path/to/airgap-install-bundle>


Chef Automate bundles are available for 365 days from the release of a version. However, the milestone release bundles are available for download forever.

Create an Airgap Installation Bundle

Download the Chef Automate command-line tool on an internet-connected host, and use it to prepare an Airgap Installation Bundle.

Prepare Airgap Installation Bundle

To download and bundle the software included in the most recent Chef Automate release, run:

./chef-automate airgap bundle create

To download and bundle the software included in a specific Chef Automate release, run

./chef-automate airgap bundle create --version VERSION

These commands produce an Airgap Installation Bundle named:


Deploy the Airgap Installation Bundle

Transfer the chef-automate binary and the Airgap Installation Bundle to the airgapped host. Save the Chef Automate command-line tool in a directory that is not in your $PATH. The Chef Automate installation process puts a copy of chef-automate into /bin and manages it.

Create Default Configuration

sudo ./chef-automate init-config --upgrade-strategy none

creates a config.toml file with default values. Setting an upgrade strategy of none prevents Chef Automate from checking its release channel for updates via the internet.

Edit config.toml to make changes to FQDN and other configuration settings. add elasticsearch heap size setting at end of config as shown below, recommended heap size is 50% of total memory, but cannot exceed more than 32 gb.

  heapsize = "...g" # ... must be replaced with number in gb example 4g mean (4 gb)

See Configuring Chef Automate for more information on configuration settings.

Deploy Chef Automate

sudo ./chef-automate deploy config.toml --airgap-bundle </path/to/airgap-install-bundle>

Deploying Chef Automate takes ten minutes for a clean install. At the command prompt, accept the terms of service with a y, The installer then performs a series of pre-flight checks. Any unsuccessful checks offer information for resolving issues or skipping the check. After resolving any pre-flight issues, run the deploy command again.

At the end of the deployment process you will see:

Deploy complete

The deployment process writes login credentials to the automate-credentials.toml in your current working directory.

Open Chef Automate

Navigate to in a browser and log in to Chef Automate with the credentials provided in automate-credentials.toml.

Once you log in, Chef Automate prompts you for a license.

Configure Data Collection

To send data from your Chef Infra Server or Chef Infra Clients to Chef Automate 2, the process is the same as Chef Automate 1. See Configure Data Collection for more information.


Chef is committed to ensuring the stability of the upgrade and to supporting Chef Automate automatic upgrades.

To upgrade an airgapped installation, you must first create an airgap bundle.

Follow the steps in Create an Airgap Installation Bundle on a machine that connects to the internet to upgrade your Chef Automate command-line tool and prepare an Airgap Installation Bundle. Transfer the bundle and Chef Automate command-line tool to the airgapped host and run:

sudo chef-automate upgrade run --airgap-bundle </path/to/bundle>

Common Problems

If you are unable to open Chef Automate, check that the config.toml lists the host’s public DNS name as the FQDN.

# This is a default Chef Automate configuration file. You can run
# 'chef-automate deploy' with this config file and it should
# successfully create a new Chef Automate instance with default settings.

# The external fully qualified domain name.
# When the application is deployed you should be able to access 'https://<fqdn>/'
# to login.
fqdn = "<_Public DNS_name_>"

Once you correct and save the FQDN, run

sudo chef-automate config patch config.toml

and retry opening Chef Automate in your browser.

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