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Desktop Dashboard

The Chef Automate Desktop dashboard displays status information about all desktops connected to Chef Automate. Desktop information populates this dashboard after a Chef Infra Client run has executed.

Setting Up the Desktop Dashboard


We recommend starting with a fresh installation of Chef Automate, Chef Infra Server, and Chef Desktop because the servers do not distinguish between the types of managed nodes when combining existing Chef Automate nodes with a new Chef Desktop installation.

For guidance on installing Chef Desktop, see the installing Chef Desktop documentation. The Desktop dashboard has no supported compliance profiles, and Chef Desktop installation includes no compliance profiles.


When installing Chef Automate with Chef Desktop, Data Lifecycle settings will not mark nodes as missing and not delete missing nodes by default. We encourage users to not change these specific settings and not defeat the monitoring purpose of the Desktop dashboard.

Desktop Dashboard Display

Within Chef Automate, the Desktop dashboard uses four panels to summarize information: Daily Check-in Check-in History, Top 10 Errors, and Time since Last Check-in. Selecting rows within these displays will list relevant desktops and selecting a singular desktop reveals its detailed information.

The Desktop dashboard does not support project filtering. Node counts in the Desktop dashboard may include liveness agents.

Daily Check-in

The Daily Check-in display shows a top-level view of daily desktop check-in statistics. A bar graphic illustrates the proportion of desktops with unknown and checked-in statuses. Below the bar, boxes display counts of all desktops, desktops with an unknown status, and desktops with a checked-in status. Checked-in refers to desktops reporting into Chef Automate. Unknown desktops did not report to Chef Automate during the last twenty-four hours.

Selecting a box will display a Filtered Desktop List of desktops for the selected status. The selected filters will not persist when selecting a different box.

Check-in History

Check-in History shows the history of checked-in desktop counts as graphed over a selected period of time. Use the drop-down menu to select a different period of time. The time period options are “Last 3 Days,” “Last 7 Days,” and “Last 14 Days”.

Time Since Last Check-in

The Time since Last Check-in display shows a count of desktops with an unknown status for defined timeframes. Selecting a row will reveal a Filtered Desktop List of desktops for the selected timeframe.

Top 10 Errors

The Top 10 Errors display shows the ten most common errors that have occurred across all desktops over the last twenty-four hours, and a count of the machines that experienced each error. Selecting an error opens the Filter Desktop List with the applied error filter to enable further investigation.

Filtered Desktop Lists

Selecting rows in Daily Check-in, Time since Last Check-in, or Top 10 Errors activates the Filtered Desktop List. The Filtered Desktop List displays a list of desktops filtered according to the selected status, timeframe, or error in the previous display.

Apply more filters to this initial list if desired. Specific filter values populate according to available desktop information and include the categories of “platform,” “environment,” “domain,” and “last run status.”

Select an individual desktop row to display the individual desktop’s node details.

Node Details

The Node Details display shows the details of a single desktop and includes a visualization of its check-in history.

The individual check-in history displays the desktop’s latest status for each day with an associated icon. Hover over a status icon to see the status label. Statuses include “converged” (check box icon), “unchanged” (dash icon), “error” (exclamation point icon), or “missing” (question mark icon). The timescale of the check-in history can also switch between “Last 2 Weeks” and “Last 4 Weeks.”

The individual desktop has an information panel that displays the following data: Overview, Chef Infra Client, System, Virtualization, and Kernel.

Select Download and choose the output format – JSON or CSV – to download the individual desktop’s historical data.

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