registry_key

Use the registry_key resource to create and delete registry keys in Microsoft Windows.

Note

64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows have a 32-bit compatibility layer in the registry that reflects and redirects certain keys (and their values) into specific locations (or logical views) of the registry hive.

The chef-client can access any reflected or redirected registry key. The machine architecture of the system on which the chef-client is running is used as the default (non-redirected) location. Access to the SysWow64 location is redirected must be specified. Typically, this is only necessary to ensure compatibility with 32-bit applications that are running on a 64-bit operating system.

32-bit versions of the chef-client (12.8 and earlier) and 64-bit versions of the chef-client (12.9 and later) generally behave the same in this situation, with one exception: it is only possible to read and write from a redirected registry location using chef-client version 12.9 (and later).

For more information, see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa384235(v=vs.85).aspx.

Syntax

A registry_key resource block creates and deletes registry keys in Microsoft Windows:

registry_key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\...\\System" do
  values [{
    :name => "NewRegistryKeyValue",
    :type => :multi_string,
    :data => ['foo\0bar\0\0']
  }]
  action :create
end

Use multiple registry key entries with key values that are based on node attributes:

registry_key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\name_of_registry_key' do
  values [{:name => 'key_name', :type => :string, :data => 'C:\Windows\System32\file_name.bmp'},
          {:name => 'key_name', :type => :string, :data => node['node_name']['attribute']['value']},
          {:name => 'key_name', :type => :string, :data => node['node_name']['attribute']['value']}
         ]
  action :create
end

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

registry_key 'name' do
  architecture               Symbol
  key                        String # defaults to 'name' if not specified
  notifies                   # see description
  provider                   Chef::Provider::Windows::Registry
  recursive                  TrueClass, FalseClass
  subscribes                 # see description
  values                     Hash, Array
  action                     Symbol # defaults to :create if not specified
end

where

  • registry_key is the resource

  • name is the name of the resource block

  • values is a hash that contains at least one registry key to be created or deleted. Each registry key in the hash is grouped by brackets in which the :name, :type, and :data values for that registry key are specified.

  • :type represents the values available for registry keys in Microsoft Windows. Use :binary for REG_BINARY, :string for REG_SZ, :multi_string for REG_MULTI_SZ, :expand_string for REG_EXPAND_SZ, :dword for REG_DWORD, :dword_big_endian for REG_DWORD_BIG_ENDIAN, or :qword for REG_QWORD.

    Warning

    :multi_string must be an array, even if there is only a single string.

  • :action identifies the steps the chef-client will take to bring the node into the desired state

  • architecture, key, provider, recursive and values 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.

Registry Key Path Separators

A Microsoft Windows registry key can be used as a string in Ruby code, such as when a registry key is used as the name of a recipe. In Ruby, when a registry key is enclosed in a double-quoted string (" "), the same backslash character (\) that is used to define the registry key path separator is also used in Ruby to define an escape character. Therefore, the registry key path separators must be escaped when they are enclosed in a double-quoted string. For example, the following registry key:

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes

may be encloused in a single-quoted string with a single backslash:

'HKCU\SOFTWARE\path\to\key\Themes'

or may be enclosed in a double-quoted string with an extra backslash as an escape character:

"HKCU\\SOFTWARE\\path\\to\\key\\Themes"

Recipe DSL Methods

Six methods are present in the Recipe DSL to help verify the registry during a chef-client run on the Microsoft Windows platform—registry_data_exists?, registry_get_subkeys, registry_get_values, registry_has_subkeys?, registry_key_exists?, and registry_value_exists?—these helpers ensure the powershell_script resource is idempotent.

The recommended order in which registry key-specific methods should be used within a recipe is: key_exists?, value_exists?, data_exists?, get_values, has_subkeys?, and then get_subkeys.

registry_data_exists?

Use the registry_data_exists? method to find out if a Microsoft Windows registry key contains the specified data of the specified type under the value.

Note

This method can be used in recipes and from within the not_if and only_if blocks in resources. This method is not designed to create or modify a registry key. If a registry key needs to be modified, use the registry_key resource.

The syntax for the registry_data_exists? method is as follows:

registry_data_exists?(
  KEY_PATH,
  { :name => 'NAME', :type => TYPE, :data => DATA },
  ARCHITECTURE
)

where:

  • KEY_PATH is the path to the registry key value. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.
  • { :name => 'NAME', :type => TYPE, :data => DATA } is a hash that contains the expected name, type, and data of the registry key value
  • :type represents the values available for registry keys in Microsoft Windows. Use :binary for REG_BINARY, :string for REG_SZ, :multi_string for REG_MULTI_SZ, :expand_string for REG_EXPAND_SZ, :dword for REG_DWORD, :dword_big_endian for REG_DWORD_BIG_ENDIAN, or :qword for REG_QWORD.
  • ARCHITECTURE is one of the following values: :x86_64, :i386, or :machine. In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

This method will return true or false.

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

registry_get_subkeys

Use the registry_get_subkeys method to get a list of registry key values that are present for a Microsoft Windows registry key.

Note

This method can be used in recipes and from within the not_if and only_if blocks in resources. This method is not designed to create or modify a registry key. If a registry key needs to be modified, use the registry_key resource.

The syntax for the registry_get_subkeys method is as follows:

subkey_array = registry_get_subkeys(KEY_PATH, ARCHITECTURE)

where:

  • KEY_PATH is the path to the registry key. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.
  • ARCHITECTURE is one of the following values: :x86_64, :i386, or :machine. In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

This returns an array of registry key values.

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

registry_get_values

Use the registry_get_values method to get the registry key values (name, type, and data) for a Microsoft Windows registry key.

Note

This method can be used in recipes and from within the not_if and only_if blocks in resources. This method is not designed to create or modify a registry key. If a registry key needs to be modified, use the registry_key resource.

The syntax for the registry_get_values method is as follows:

subkey_array = registry_get_values(KEY_PATH, ARCHITECTURE)

where:

  • KEY_PATH is the path to the registry key. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.
  • ARCHITECTURE is one of the following values: :x86_64, :i386, or :machine. In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

This returns an array of registry key values.

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

registry_has_subkeys?

Use the registry_has_subkeys? method to find out if a Microsoft Windows registry key has one (or more) values.

Note

This method can be used in recipes and from within the not_if and only_if blocks in resources. This method is not designed to create or modify a registry key. If a registry key needs to be modified, use the registry_key resource.

The syntax for the registry_has_subkeys? method is as follows:

registry_has_subkeys?(KEY_PATH, ARCHITECTURE)

where:

  • KEY_PATH is the path to the registry key. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.
  • ARCHITECTURE is one of the following values: :x86_64, :i386, or :machine. In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

This method will return true or false.

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

registry_key_exists?

Use the registry_key_exists? method to find out if a Microsoft Windows registry key exists at the specified path.

Note

This method can be used in recipes and from within the not_if and only_if blocks in resources. This method is not designed to create or modify a registry key. If a registry key needs to be modified, use the registry_key resource.

The syntax for the registry_key_exists? method is as follows:

registry_key_exists?(KEY_PATH, ARCHITECTURE)

where:

  • KEY_PATH is the path to the registry key. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.
  • ARCHITECTURE is one of the following values: :x86_64, :i386, or :machine. In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

This method will return true or false. (Any registry key values that are associated with this registry key are ignored.)

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

registry_value_exists?

Use the registry_value_exists? method to find out if a registry key value exists. Use registry_data_exists? to test for the type and data of a registry key value.

Note

This method can be used in recipes and from within the not_if and only_if blocks in resources. This method is not designed to create or modify a registry key. If a registry key needs to be modified, use the registry_key resource.

The syntax for the registry_value_exists? method is as follows:

registry_value_exists?(
  KEY_PATH,
  { :name => 'NAME' },
  ARCHITECTURE
)

where:

  • KEY_PATH is the path to the registry key. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.
  • { :name => 'NAME' } is a hash that contains the name of the registry key value; if either :type or :value are specified in the hash, they are ignored
  • :type represents the values available for registry keys in Microsoft Windows. Use :binary for REG_BINARY, :string for REG_SZ, :multi_string for REG_MULTI_SZ, :expand_string for REG_EXPAND_SZ, :dword for REG_DWORD, :dword_big_endian for REG_DWORD_BIG_ENDIAN, or :qword for REG_QWORD.
  • ARCHITECTURE is one of the following values: :x86_64, :i386, or :machine. In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

This method will return true or false.

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

Actions

This resource has the following actions:

:create
Default. Create a registry key. If a registry key already exists (but does not match), update that registry key to match.
:create_if_missing
Create a registry key if it does not exist. Also, create a registry key value if it does not exist.
:delete
Delete the specified values for a registry key.
:delete_key
Delete the specified registry key and all of its subkeys.
: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.

Note

Be careful when using the :delete_key action with the recursive attribute. This will delete the registry key, all of its values and all of the names, types, and data associated with them. This cannot be undone by the chef-client.

Properties

This resource has the following properties:

architecture

Ruby Type: Symbol

The architecture of the node for which keys are to be created or deleted. Possible values: :i386 (for nodes with a 32-bit registry), :x86_64 (for nodes with a 64-bit registry), and :machine (to have the chef-client determine the architecture during the chef-client run). Default value: :machine.

In order to read or write 32-bit registry keys on 64-bit machines running Microsoft Windows, the architecture property must be set to :i386. The :x86_64 value can be used to force writing to a 64-bit registry location, but this value is less useful than the default (:machine) because the chef-client returns an exception if :x86_64 is used and the machine turns out to be a 32-bit machine (whereas with :machine, the chef-client is able to access the registry key on the 32-bit machine).

Note

The ARCHITECTURE attribute should only specify :x86_64 or :i386 when it is necessary to write 32-bit (:i386) or 64-bit (:x86_64) values on a 64-bit machine. ARCHITECTURE will default to :machine unless a specific value is given.

ignore_failure

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

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

key

Ruby Type: String

The path to the location in which a registry key is to be created or from which a registry key is to be deleted. Default value: the name of the resource block See “Syntax” section above for more information. The path must include the registry hive, which can be specified either as its full name or as the 3- or 4-letter abbreviation. For example, both HKLM\SECURITY and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY are both valid and equivalent. The following hives are valid: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKLM, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKCC, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKCR, HKEY_USERS, HKU, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, and HKCU.

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
provider

Ruby Type: Chef Class

Optional. Explicitly specifies a provider.

recursive

Ruby Types: TrueClass, FalseClass

When creating a key, this value specifies that the required keys for the specified path are to be created. When using the :delete_key action in a recipe, and if the registry key has subkeys, then set the value for this property to true.

Note

Be careful when using the :delete_key action with the recursive attribute. This will delete the registry key, all of its values and all of the names, types, and data associated with them. This cannot be undone by the chef-client.

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
values

Ruby Types: Hash, Array

An array of hashes, where each Hash contains the values that are to be set under a registry key. Each Hash must contain :name, :type, and :data (and must contain no other key values).

:type represents the values available for registry keys in Microsoft Windows. Use :binary for REG_BINARY, :string for REG_SZ, :multi_string for REG_MULTI_SZ, :expand_string for REG_EXPAND_SZ, :dword for REG_DWORD, :dword_big_endian for REG_DWORD_BIG_ENDIAN, or :qword for REG_QWORD.

Warning

:multi_string must be an array, even if there is only a single string.

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.

Create a registry key

Use a double-quoted string:

registry_key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\path-to-key\\Policies\\System" do
  values [{
    :name => 'EnableLUA',
    :type => :dword,
    :data => 0
  }]
  action :create
end

or a single-quoted string:

registry_key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\path-to-key\Policies\System' do
  values [{
    :name => 'EnableLUA',
    :type => :dword,
    :data => 0
  }]
  action :create
end

Delete a registry key value

Use a double-quoted string:

registry_key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\path\\to\\key\\AU" do
  values [{
    :name => 'NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers',
    :type => :dword,
    :data => ''
    }]
  action :delete
end

or a single-quoted string:

registry_key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\path\to\key\AU' do
  values [{
    :name => 'NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers',
    :type => :dword,
    :data => ''
    }]
  action :delete
end

Note

If :data is not specified, you get an error: Missing data key in RegistryKey values hash

Delete a registry key and its subkeys, recursively

Use a double-quoted string:

registry_key "HKCU\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\path\\to\\key\\Themes" do
  recursive true
  action :delete_key
end

or a single-quoted string:

registry_key 'HKCU\SOFTWARE\Policies\path\to\key\Themes' do
  recursive true
  action :delete_key
end

Note

Be careful when using the :delete_key action with the recursive attribute. This will delete the registry key, all of its values and all of the names, types, and data associated with them. This cannot be undone by the chef-client.

Use re-directed keys

In 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Example is a re-directed key. In the following examples, because HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Example is a 32-bit key, the output will be “Found 32-bit key” if they are run on a version of Microsoft Windows that is 64-bit:

registry_key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Example" do
  architecture :i386
  recursive true
  action :create
end

or:

registry_key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Example" do
  architecture :x86_64
  recursive true
  action :delete_key
end

or:

ruby_block 'check 32-bit' do
  block do
    puts 'Found 32-bit key'
  end
  only_if {
    registry_key_exists?("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\\Example",
    :i386)
  }
end

or:

ruby_block 'check 64-bit' do
  block do
    puts 'Found 64-bit key'
  end
  only_if {
    registry_key_exists?("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Example",
    :x86_64)
  }
end

Set proxy settings to be the same as those used by the chef-client

Use a double-quoted string:

proxy = URI.parse(Chef::Config[:http_proxy])
registry_key "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\path\to\key\Internet Settings" do
  values [{:name => 'ProxyEnable', :type => :reg_dword, :data => 1},
          {:name => 'ProxyServer', :data => "#{proxy.host}:#{proxy.port}"},
          {:name => 'ProxyOverride', :type => :reg_string, :data => <local>},
         ]
  action :create
end

or a single-quoted string:

proxy = URI.parse(Chef::Config[:http_proxy])
registry_key 'HKCU\Software\Microsoft\path\to\key\Internet Settings' do
  values [{:name => 'ProxyEnable', :type => :reg_dword, :data => 1},
          {:name => 'ProxyServer', :data => "#{proxy.host}:#{proxy.port}"},
          {:name => 'ProxyOverride', :type => :reg_string, :data => <local>},
         ]
  action :create
end

Set the name of a registry key to “(Default)”

Use a double-quoted string:

registry_key 'Set (Default) value' do
  action :create
  key "HKLM\\Software\\Test\\Key\\Path"
  values [
    {:name => '', :type => :string, :data => 'test'},
  ]
end

or a single-quoted string:

registry_key 'Set (Default) value' do
  action :create
  key 'HKLM\Software\Test\Key\Path'
  values [
    {:name => '', :type => :string, :data => 'test'},
  ]
end

where :name => '' contains an empty string, which will set the name of the registry key to (Default).