dsc_script

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Windows PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language developed by Microsoft. Windows PowerShell uses a document-oriented approach for managing Microsoft Windows-based machines, similar to the approach that is used for managing UNIX- and Linux-based machines. Windows PowerShell is a tool-agnostic platform that supports using Chef for configuration management.

Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a feature of Windows PowerShell that provides a set of language extensions, cmdlets, and resources that can be used to declaratively configure software. DSC is similar to Chef, in that both tools are idempotent, take similar approaches to the concept of resources, describe the configuration of a system, and then take the steps required to do that configuration. The most important difference between Chef and DSC is that Chef uses Ruby and DSC is exposed as configuration data from within Windows PowerShell.

Many DSC resources are comparable to built-in Chef resources. For example, both DSC and Chef have file, package, and service resources. The dsc_script resource is most useful for those DSC resources that do not have a direct comparison to a resource in Chef, such as the Archive resource, a custom DSC resource, an existing DSC script that performs an important task, and so on. Use the dsc_script resource to embed the code that defines a DSC configuration directly within a Chef recipe.

Note

Windows PowerShell 4.0 is required for using the dsc_script resource with Chef.

Note

The WinRM service must be enabled. (Use winrm quickconfig to enable the service.)

Warning

The dsc_script resource may not be used in the same run-list with the dsc_resource. This is because the dsc_script resource requires that RefreshMode in the Local Configuration Manager be set to Push, whereas the dsc_resource resource requires it to be set to Disabled.

Syntax

A dsc_script resource block embeds the code that defines a DSC configuration directly within a Chef recipe:

dsc_script 'get-dsc-resource-kit' do
  code <<-EOH
    Archive reskit
    {
      ensure = 'Present'
      path = "#{Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]}\\DSCResourceKit620082014.zip"
      destination = "#{ENV['PROGRAMW6432']}\\WindowsPowerShell\\Modules"
    }
  EOH
end

where the remote_file resource is first used to download the DSCResourceKit620082014.zip file.

The full syntax for all of the properties that are available to the dsc_script resource is:

dsc_script 'name' do
  code                       String
  command                    String
  configuration_data         String
  configuration_data_script  String
  configuration_name         String
  cwd                        String
  environment                Hash
  flags                      Hash
  imports                    Array
  notifies                   # see description
  subscribes                 # see description
  timeout                    Integer
  action                     Symbol # defaults to :run if not specified
end

where

  • dsc_script is the resource
  • name is the name of the resource block
  • action identifies the steps the chef-client will take to bring the node into the desired state
  • code, command, configuration_data, configuration_data_script, configuration_name, cwd, environment, flags, imports, and timeout are properties of this resource, with the Ruby type shown. See “Properties” section below for more information about all of the properties that may be used with this resource.

Actions

This resource has the following actions:

:nothing

Define this resource block to do nothing until notified by another resource to take action. When this resource is notified, this resource block is either run immediately or it is queued up to be run at the end of the chef-client run.
:run
Default. Use to run the DSC configuration defined as defined in this resource.

Properties

This resource has the following properties:

code

Ruby Type: String

The code for the DSC configuration script. This property may not be used in the same recipe as the command property.

command

Ruby Type: String

The path to a valid Windows PowerShell data file that contains the DSC configuration script. This data file must be capable of running independently of Chef and must generate a valid DSC configuration. This property may not be used in the same recipe as the code property.

configuration_data

Ruby Type: String

The configuration data for the DSC script. The configuration data must be a valid Windows Powershell data file. This property may not be used in the same recipe as the configuration_data_script property.

configuration_data_script

Ruby Type: String

The path to a valid Windows PowerShell data file that also contains a node called localhost. This property may not be used in the same recipe as the configuration_data property.

configuration_name

Ruby Type: String

The name of a valid Windows PowerShell cmdlet. The name may only contain letter (a-z, A-Z), number (0-9), and underscore (_) characters and should start with a letter. The name may not be null or empty. This property may not be used in the same recipe as the code property.

cwd

Ruby Type: String

The current working directory.

environment

Ruby Type: Hash

A Hash of environment variables in the form of ({"ENV_VARIABLE" => "VALUE"}). (These variables must exist for a command to be run successfully.)

flags

Ruby Type: Hash

Pass parameters to the DSC script that is specified by the command property. Parameters are defined as key-value pairs, where the value of each key is the parameter to pass. This property may not be used in the same recipe as the code property. For example: flags ({ :EditorChoice => 'emacs', :EditorFlags => '--maximized' }). Default value: nil.

ignore_failure

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

Continue running a recipe if a resource fails for any reason. Default value: false.

imports

Ruby Type: Array

Warning

This property MUST be used with the code attribute.

Use to import DSC resources from a module.

To import all resources from a module, specify only the module name:

imports 'module_name'

To import specific resources, specify the module name, and then specify the name for each resource in that module to import:

imports 'module_name', 'resource_name_a', 'resource_name_b', ...

For example, to import all resources from a module named cRDPEnabled:

imports 'cRDPEnabled'

To import only the PSHOrg_cRDPEnabled resource:

imports 'cRDPEnabled', 'PSHOrg_cRDPEnabled'
notifies

Ruby Type: Symbol, ‘Chef::Resource[String]’

A resource may notify another resource to take action when its state changes. Specify a 'resource[name]', the :action that resource should take, and then the :timer for that action. A resource may notifiy more than one resource; use a notifies statement for each resource to be notified.

A timer specifies the point during the chef-client run at which a notification is run. The following timers are available:

:before
Specifies that the action on a notified resource should be run before processing the resource block in which the notification is located.
:delayed
Default. Specifies that a notification should be queued up, and then executed at the very end of the chef-client run.
:immediate, :immediately
Specifies that a notification should be run immediately, per resource notified.

The syntax for notifies is:

notifies :action, 'resource[name]', :timer
retries

Ruby Type: Integer

The number of times to catch exceptions and retry the resource. Default value: 0.

retry_delay

Ruby Type: Integer

The retry delay (in seconds). Default value: 2.

subscribes

Ruby Type: Symbol, ‘Chef::Resource[String]’

A resource may listen to another resource, and then take action if the state of the resource being listened to changes. Specify a 'resource[name]', the :action to be taken, and then the :timer for that action.

A timer specifies the point during the chef-client run at which a notification is run. The following timers are available:

:before
Specifies that the action on a notified resource should be run before processing the resource block in which the notification is located.
:delayed
Default. Specifies that a notification should be queued up, and then executed at the very end of the chef-client run.
:immediate, :immediately
Specifies that a notification should be run immediately, per resource notified.

The syntax for subscribes is:

subscribes :action, 'resource[name]', :timer
timeout

Ruby Types: Integer

The amount of time (in seconds) a command is to wait before timing out.

ps_credential Helper

Use the ps_credential helper to embed a PSCredential object—a set of security credentials, such as a user name or password—within a script, which allows that script to be run using security credentials.

For example, assuming the CertificateID is configured in the local configuration manager, the SeaPower1@3 object is created and embedded within the seapower-user script:

 dsc_script 'seapower-user' do
   code <<-EOH
     User AlbertAtom
     {
       UserName = 'AlbertAtom'
       Password = #{ps_credential('SeaPower1@3')}
     }
  EOH
  configuration_data <<-EOH
    @{
      AllNodes = @(
        @{
          NodeName = "localhost";
          CertificateID = 'A8D1234559F349F7EF19104678908F701D4167'
        }
      )
    }
  EOH
end

New in Chef client 12.5.

Examples

The following examples demonstrate various approaches for using resources in recipes. If you want to see examples of how Chef uses resources in recipes, take a closer look at the cookbooks that Chef authors and maintains: https://github.com/chef-cookbooks.

Specify DSC code directly

DSC data can be specified directly in a recipe:

dsc_script 'emacs' do
  code <<-EOH
  Environment 'texteditor'
  {
    Name = 'EDITOR'
    Value = 'c:\\emacs\\bin\\emacs.exe'
  }
  EOH
end

Specify DSC code using a Windows Powershell data file

Use the command property to specify the path to a Windows PowerShell data file. For example, the following Windows PowerShell script defines the DefaultEditor:

Configuration 'DefaultEditor'
{
  Environment 'texteditor'
    {
      Name = 'EDITOR'
      Value = 'c:\emacs\bin\emacs.exe'
    }
}

Use the following recipe to specify the location of that data file:

dsc_script 'DefaultEditor' do
  command 'c:\dsc_scripts\emacs.ps1'
end

Pass parameters to DSC configurations

If a DSC script contains configuration data that takes parameters, those parameters may be passed using the flags property. For example, the following Windows PowerShell script takes parameters for the EditorChoice and EditorFlags settings:

$choices = @{'emacs' = 'c:\emacs\bin\emacs';'vi' = 'c:\vim\vim.exe';'powershell' = 'powershell_ise.exe'}
  Configuration 'DefaultEditor'
    {
      [CmdletBinding()]
      param
        (
          $EditorChoice,
          $EditorFlags = ''
        )
      Environment 'TextEditor'
      {
        Name = 'EDITOR'
        Value =  "$($choices[$EditorChoice]) $EditorFlags"
      }
    }

Use the following recipe to set those parameters:

dsc_script 'DefaultEditor' do
  flags ({ :EditorChoice => 'emacs', :EditorFlags => '--maximized' })
  command 'c:\dsc_scripts\editors.ps1'
end

Use custom configuration data

Configuration data in DSC scripts may be customized from a recipe. For example, scripts are typically customized to set the behavior for Windows PowerShell credential data types. Configuration data may be specified in one of three ways:

  • By using the configuration_data attribute
  • By using the configuration_data_script attribute
  • By specifying the path to a valid Windows PowerShell data file

The following example shows how to specify custom configuration data using the configuration_data property:

dsc_script 'BackupUser' do
  configuration_data <<-EOH
    @{
     AllNodes = @(
          @{
          NodeName = "localhost";
          PSDscAllowPlainTextPassword = $true
          })
     }
  EOH
  code <<-EOH
    $user = 'backup'
    $password = ConvertTo-SecureString -String "YourPass$(random)" -AsPlainText -Force
    $cred = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList $user, $password

   User $user
     {
       UserName = $user
       Password = $cred
       Description = 'Backup operator'
       Ensure = "Present"
       Disabled = $false
       PasswordNeverExpires = $true
       PasswordChangeRequired = $false
     }
   EOH

  configuration_data <<-EOH
    @{
      AllNodes = @(
          @{
          NodeName = "localhost";
          PSDscAllowPlainTextPassword = $true
          })
      }
    EOH
end

The following example shows how to specify custom configuration data using the configuration_name property. For example, the following Windows PowerShell script defines the vi configuration:

Configuration 'emacs'
  {
    Environment 'TextEditor'
    {
      Name = 'EDITOR'
      Value = 'c:\emacs\bin\emacs.exe'
    }
}

Configuration 'vi'
{
    Environment 'TextEditor'
    {
      Name = 'EDITOR'
      Value = 'c:\vim\bin\vim.exe'
    }
}

Use the following recipe to specify that configuration:

dsc_script 'EDITOR' do
  configuration_name 'vi'
  command 'C:\dsc_scripts\editors.ps1'
end

Using DSC with other Chef resources

The dsc_script resource can be used with other resources. The following example shows how to download a file using the remote_file resource, and then uncompress it using the DSC Archive resource:

remote_file "#{Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]}\\DSCResourceKit620082014.zip" do
  source 'http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/DSC-Resource-Kit-All-c449312d/file/124481/1/DSC%20Resource%20Kit%20Wave%206%2008282014.zip'
end

dsc_script 'get-dsc-resource-kit' do
  code <<-EOH
    Archive reskit
    {
      ensure = 'Present'
      path = "#{Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]}\\DSCResourceKit620082014.zip"
      destination = "#{ENV['PROGRAMW6432']}\\WindowsPowerShell\\Modules"
    }
  EOH
end