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Get Started with Chef Automate

Hello and welcome to Chef Automate! This Quickstart guides you through the initial installation and trial activation.

The easiest way to start exploring Chef Automate is to install it on a local virtual machine (VM). This Vagrant file will help you create your own test environment.


For this demonstration, you need:

  • Administrator (root) access to your system
  • A virtualization product such as VirtualBox installed on your system
  • Vagrant installed on your system
  • 8GB RAM, or more, available for the VM

Quickstart Overview

Use the command line script below to create a demonstration instance of Chef Automate. The script is mostly automated, but it does require a few manual steps. By installing Chef Automate with the Vagrantfile provided below you’re automatically consenting to Chef Software, Inc.’s Terms of Service and Master License and Services Agreement

Create a Vagrantfile

Copy and paste this script into your command line to create the Chef Automate Vagrantfile:

cat > Vagrantfile <<'EOH'
CFG_BOX      = 'bento/ubuntu-18.04'
CFG_IP       = ''
CFG_HOSTNAME = 'chef-automate.test'

$deployscript = <<-SCRIPT
export DEBIAN_FRONTEND='noninteractive'
apt-get -qq update
apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends curl unzip
apt-get clean
sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144
sysctl -w vm.dirty_expire_centisecs=20000
echo "${CFG_IP} ${CFG_HOSTNAME}" | tee -a /etc/hosts
curl -fsSL -o /tmp/
unzip -qod /usr/local/bin /tmp/
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/chef-automate
chef-automate deploy --accept-terms-and-mlsa
echo "Server is up and running. Please log in at https://${CFG_HOSTNAME}/"
echo 'You may log in using credentials provided below:'
cat /home/vagrant/automate-credentials.toml

Vagrant.configure(2) do |config|
  class AcceptLicense
    def to_s
      return 'true' if ENV['ACCEPT_CHEF_TERMS_AND_MLSA'] == 'true'
      puts <<TERMS
To continue, you'll need to accept our terms of service:
Terms of Service

Master License and Services Agreement

I agree to the Terms of Service and the Master License and Services Agreement (y/n)
      if STDIN.gets.chomp == 'y'
        puts 'Chef Software Terms of Service and Master License and Services Agreement were not accepted'
        exit 1
  end      = CFG_BOX
  config.vm.hostname = CFG_HOSTNAME

  config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |v|       = 'chef-automate'
    v.memory     = 8192
    v.cpus       = 4
    v.customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--audio', 'none']

  config.vm.synced_folder '.', '/opt/a2-testing', create: true       'private_network', ip: CFG_IP
  config.vm.provision     'shell', env: {'CFG_IP' => CFG_IP,
                                         'CFG_HOSTNAME' => CFG_HOSTNAME,
                                         'ACCEPT_CHEF_TERMS_AND_MLSA' =>}, inline: $deployscript

Add an entry to /etc/hosts

The example Vagrantfile sets the VM hostname to chef-automate.test. The installer uses this hostname as the FQDN that Chef Automate listens on. For security reasons, you must access Chef Automate with the configured FQDN. To avoid configuring DNS for your test instance, add an entry to your workstation’s /etc/hosts file. Use the following command to append the required entry:

echo chef-automate.test | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

Start the Virtual Machine

Now that you have the Vagrantfile in your current directory, provision a new VM by running:

vagrant up

Downloading the base OS image for the VM takes 1 to 3 minutes the first time you set up Chef Automate.

When the command completes, you can access the Chef Automate by browsing to https://chef-automate.test/.

You can find login credentials by opening the automate-credentials.toml, which the installer has written in your current working directory, or in the output log.

Start a free 60-day Trial

Retrieving a trial license through Chef Automate requires the Vagrant instance to have internet connectivity (at the time of trial license creation only).

  1. Sign into Chef Automate at https://chef-automate.test/ with the credentials in the automate-credentials.toml file.
  2. Follow the instructions in the welcome screen to get a 60-day trial license by entering your name and email address.

Installing without Vagrant

You can install Chef Automate on any x86_64 Linux instance running CentOS 7.5, RHEL 7.5, or Ubuntu 16.04 with the following minimum system resources:

  • 4 CPU
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 5 GB free disk space

Follow the Installation Guide to install Chef Automate on your own resources.

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