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A solo.rb file is used to specify the configuration details for chef-solo.

  • This file is loaded every time this executable is run
  • The default location in which chef-solo expects to find this file is /etc/chef/solo.rb; use the --config option from the command line to change this location
  • This file is not created by default
  • When a solo.rb file is present in this directory, the settings contained within that file will override the default configuration settings


This configuration file has the following settings:


A 3rd-party formatter. (See nyan-cat for an example of a 3rd-party formatter.) Each formatter requires its own entry.


The location in which checksum files are stored. These are used to validate individual cookbook files, such as recipes. The checksum itself is stored in the Chef Infra Server database and is then compared to a file in the checksum path that has a filename identical to the checksum.


The Chef Infra Client sub-directory for cookbooks. This value can be a string or an array of file system locations, processed in the specified order. The last cookbook is considered to override local modifications.


The location from which a data bag is loaded. Default value: /var/chef/data_bags.


The name of the environment.


The path to the environment. Default value: /var/chef/environments.


The location in which backup files are stored. If this value is empty, backup files are stored in the directory of the target file. Default value: /var/chef/backup.


The location in which cookbooks (and other transient data) files are stored when they are synchronized. This value can also be used in recipes to download files with the remote_file resource.


The path to a file that contains JSON data.


The location of the Chef Infra Client lock file. This value is typically platform-dependent, so should be a location defined by file_cache_path. The default location of a lock file should not on an NF mount. Default value: a location defined by file_cache_path.


The level of logging to be stored in a log file. Possible levels: :auto (default), debug, info, warn, error, or fatal.


The location of the log file. Default value: STDOUT.


Run the Ohai plugins for name detection and resource/provider selection and no other Ohai plugins. Set to true during integration testing to speed up test cycles.


The unique identifier of the node.


The URL location from which a remote cookbook tar.gz is to be downloaded.


The time (in seconds) after which an HTTP REST request is to time out. Default value: 300.


The location in which role files are located. Default value: /var/chef/roles.


The amount of time (in seconds) to wait for a Chef Infra Client lock file to be deleted. A Chef Infra Client run will not start when a lock file is present. If a lock file is not deleted before this time expires, the pending Chef Infra Client run will exit. Default value: not set (indefinite). Set to 0 to cause a second Chef Infra Client to exit immediately.


The location in which cookbook files are stored (temporarily) during upload.


Run Chef Infra Client in chef-solo mode. This setting determines if Chef Infra Client is to attempt to communicate with the Chef Infra Server. Default value: false.


All files in a cookbook must contain valid Ruby syntax. Use this setting to specify the location in which knife caches information about files that have been checked for valid Ruby syntax.


The file mode creation mask, or umask. Default value: 0022.


Set the log level. Options: true, nil, and false. When this is set to false, notifications about individual resources being processed are suppressed (and are output at the :info logging level). Setting this to false can be useful when a Chef Infra Client is run as a daemon. Default value: nil.


Using Chef Automate Data Collector

This example solo.rb file uses the data_collector settings to send data to an available Chef Automate system. Since Chef Automate generates a self-signed SSL certificate by default, you will need to add the certificate (located under /var/opt/delivery/nginx/ on the Chef Automate server) to your trusted_certs_dir directory, as seen in this example:

chef_server_url  "https://localhost:8989"
log_location   STDOUT
node_name "YOUR_NODES_FQDN"
trusted_certs_dir "/etc/chef/trusted_certs"

data_collector.server_url "https://YOUR_AUTOMATE_FQDN/data-collector/v0"
data_collector.mode       :both
data_collector.token = "YOURTOKEN"

You can run it like this

chef-solo -c solo.rb

All Options

A sample solo.rb file that contains all possible settings (listed alphabetically):

add_formatter :nyan
add_formatter :foo
add_formatter :bar
checksum_path '/var/chef/checksums'
cookbook_path [
data_bag_path '/var/chef/data_bags'
environment 'production'
environment_path '/var/chef/environments'
file_backup_path '/var/chef/backup'
file_cache_path '/var/chef/cache'
json_attribs nil
lockfile nil
log_level :info
log_location STDOUT
node_name ''
recipe_url 'http://path/to/remote/cookbook'
rest_timeout 300
role_path '/var/chef/roles'
sandbox_path 'path_to_folder'
solo false
umask 0022
verbose_logging nil
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