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Chef Automate 4.10.1 released on 6th September 2023 includes improvements to the deployment and installation experience of Automate HA. Please read the blog to learn more about key improvements. Refer to the pre-requisites page (On-Premises, AWS) and plan your usage with your customer success manager or account manager.

This page explains the frequently encountered issues in Chef Automate High Availability (HA) functionality and the steps to resolve them.

Issues and Solutions

Post Automate HA deployment if the chef-server service is in a critical state

ChefServer critical Error


  • First we can check if Automate UI is opening via browser if it open’s then we can try to hit the curl request to the Automate FQDN from the chefserver node. curl --cacert /path/to/fqdn-rootca-pem-file https://<AUTOMATE_FQDN>
    • The above request will verify the authenticity of the server’s SSL certificate (FQDN RootCA) against Automate FQDN.
    • In case if it gives any error, then we have make sure that the RootCA is valid or not.
  • The above curl request will work in case if ssl is terminating at load balancer.
  • In case of ssl is not terminating at the Load Balancer, we need to patch the certificate to the Automate via cert-rotate command.
  • The above steps required the private-key, public-key and root-ca.
  • If the above steps did not work, Run the command on Automate HA chef-server node journalctl --follow --unit chef-automate
  • If getting a 500 internal server error with the data-collector endpoint, it means that Chef Infra Server is not able to communicate to the Chef Automate data-collector endpoint.

To make the service healthy, ensure the chef server can curl the data collector endpoint from the chef server node.

Issue: Database Accessed by Other Users

Level=error msg="Failed to restore services" backup_id=20210914082922 error="failed to import database dump from automate-cs-oc-erchef/pg_data/automate-cs-oc-erchef.fc: error dropping database \"automate-cs-oc-erchef\": pg: database \"automate-cs-oc-erchef\" is being accessed by other users" restore_id=20210914130646

The restore command fails when other users or services access the nodes’ databases. This happens when the restore service tries to drop the database when some services are still running and are referring to the database.


  • Stop the services on all the frontend chef-automate stop .

Stopping the service on all frontend node will able to drop the database while running the restore command.

Issue: Cached Artifact not found in Offline Mode

The cached artifact does not exist in offline mode. This issue occurs in an air gap environment when a package tries to pull any dependency components or details from the internet.

"level=error msg=""Failed to restore services"" backup_id=20210913105135 error=""msg=\""failed to install\""
"package=chef/back up-gateway/0.1.0/20210817045252 output=0 Enabling feature : OFFLINE_INSTALL\n Installing chef/backup - gateway/0.1.0/20210817045252\nxxx\nxxx Cached artifact not found in offline mode : chef/backup gateway/0.1.0/20210817045252\nxxx\n: exit status 1"" restore_id=20210913135429 Sep 13 13:54:48 ip-172- 31-64- 42 hab[7228]: deployment-service.default(O): time=""2021-09- 13T13:54:48Z"" level=info msg=""finished streaming call with code OK"" grpc .code=OK grpc .method=DeployStatus grpc .request.deadline=""2021-09-13T15:54:29Z"""
"grpc .service=chef .automate.domain .deployment.Deployment grpc.start_time=""2021-09- 13T13:54:47Z""
grpc .time_ms=1229.028 span .kind =server system=grpc


Use the --airgap-bundle option and the restore command. Locate the name of the airgap bundle from the path /var/tmp. For example, the airgap bundle file name, frontend-4.x.y.aib.

Command Example
chef-automate backup restore s3://bucket\_name/path/to/backups/BACKUP\_ID --patch-config </path/to/patch.toml> --skip-preflight --s3-access-key "Access\_Key" --s3-secret-key "Secret\_Key" --airgap-bundle /var/tmp/<airgap-bundle>

Issue: Existing Architecture does not Match the Requested

The existing architecture does not match the requested issue when you have made AWS provisioning. Again, you are trying to run the chef-automate provision config.toml --airgap-bundle automate.aib command.


Execute the following command from the bastion host from any location:

  • sed -i 's/deployment/aws/' /hab/a2\_deploy\_workspace/terraform/.tf\_arch
  • sed -i 's/architecture "deployment"/architecture "aws"/' /hab/a2\_deploy\_workspace/a2ha.rb

Issue: Unable to Determine the Bucket Region

When Chef Automate instances cannot locate the S3 bucket, the following error is displayed:

BackupRestoreError: Unable to restore backup: Listing backups failed: RequestError: send request failed caused by: Get ""


Ensure that the access key, secret key, and endpoints are correct. If you are using on-premises S3 (replica of s3) for backup and facing issues with restore, attach the s3-endpoint with the chef-automate backup restore command. For example:

chef-automate backup restore s3://bucket_name/path/to/backups/BACKUP_ID --skip-preflight --s3-access-key "Access_Key" --s3-secret-key "Secret_Key" --s3-endpoint ""

In the above command we need to update --s3-access-key, --s3-secret-key and --s3-endpoint

Issue: HAB Access Error

The hab user does not have read, write, or executive privileges on the backup repository.


Execute the following command to grant permission to the user.

sudo chef-automate backup fix-repo-permissions <path>

Issue: scp Error

While trying to deploy Chef Automate HA multiple times on the same infrastructure, the file is not created again as a state entry from past deployment blocks the creation. The possible error looks like as shown below:

    Error running command 'scp -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -i /root/.ssh/a2ha-hub cloud-user@<ip>5:/var/tmp/': exit status 1. Output: scp: /var/tmp/ No such file or directory


  1. Log in to the Bastion host.
  2. Move to the directory, cd /hab/a2_deploy_workspace/terraform/.
  3. Execute the following commands:
terraform taint module.bootstrap_automate.null_resource.automate_pre[0]
terraform taint module.bootstrap_automate.null_resource.automate_pre[1]
terraform taint module.bootstrap_automate.null_resource.automate_pre[2]
terraform taint module.bootstrap_automate.null_resource.automate_post[0]
terraform taint module.bootstrap_automate.null_resource.automate_post[1]
terraform taint module.bootstrap_automate.null_resource.automate_post[2]

Issue: Deployment or Upgrade Fails as UnknownError

While trying to deploy or upgrade Chef Automate HA, if the command did not exit gracefully, the possible error looks like as shown below:

      Exiting as execution process completed
UnknownError: Unable to determine error cause: Command did not exit gracefully.
  • Examine the logs from bastion (/hab/a2_deploy_workspace/logs/a2ha-run.log) or from frontend/backend nodes in svc-load.log (or) automate-ctl.log in /hab/var/automate-ha/
  • If you found that sysctl: command not found, follow the below steps:


  • In logs, check for which module prompted an error.
  • SSH into the node and check if the sysctl utility is available by running sysctl -a.
  • If Command 'sysctl' not found, try installing the pkg.

Issue: knife-ec-restore during migration: Failed to restore synchronous operations

  • While running the restore command, if you are getting this error in logs: Failed to restore synchronous operations follow either of the methods below.

Solution 1

Go to any Automate Node in HA:

  • Run the following command to get all the snapshots:
curl -k -X GET -s http://localhost:10144/_snapshot/_all?pretty
  • One by One, delete all the snapshots using the below command:
curl -k -X DELETE -s http://localhost:10144/_snapshot/<snapshot_name>


curl -k -X DELETE -s http://localhost:10144/_snapshot/chef-automate-es6-event-feed-service

Alternatively, You can delete all the snapshots at once by using the below script, by updating the indices:

for index in ${indices[@]}; do
curl -XDELETE -k -H 'Content-Type: application/json' http://localhost:10144/_snapshot/$index --data-binary @- << EOF
"type": "s3",
	"settings": {
	 "base_path": "elasticsearch/automate-elasticsearch-data/$index",
	 "role_arn": "",
	 "compress": "false"

Solution 2

  • Log in to the OpenSearch dashboard

  • Run this query: GET _snapshot/_all to get all the snapshots.

  • Delete all the snapshots using this query: DELETE _snapshot/<snapshot name>

    For example: DELETE _snapshot/chef-automate-es6-event-feed-service

Issue: knife SSL cert while setting up workstation during migration

In the case of HA setup, while doing knife ssl fetch, if the certificate fetched is for the domain \*, follow the below steps when you run knife ssl check.


  • Go to route 53

  • Create record as

  • CNAME with value HA URL:

  • Provide https://<record-name> while running knife ssl check. E.g., knife ssl check https://<record-name>.

  • Log in to the Opensearch dashboard

  • Run this query: GET _snapshot/_all to get all the snapshots.

  • Delete all the snapshots using this query: DELETE _snapshot/ For example: DELETE _snapshot/ chef-automate-es6-event-feed-service

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