windows_task resource

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Use the windows_task resource to create, delete or run a Windows scheduled task. Requires Windows Server 2008 or later due to API usage.

New in Chef Client 13.0.

Note

The windows_task resource that was provided as part of the windows cookbook included the :change action, which has been removed from windows_task in Chef client. The :create action can be used instead to update an existing task.

Syntax

The windows_task resource has the following syntax:

windows_task 'name' do
  command                             String
  cwd                                 String
  day                                 String, Integer
  description                         String
  disallow_start_if_on_batteries      true, false # default value: false
  execution_time_limit                String, Integer # default value: "PT72H"
  force                               true, false # default value: false
  frequency                           Symbol
  frequency_modifier                  Integer, String # default value: 1
  idle_time                           Integer
  interactive_enabled                 true, false # default value: false
  minutes_duration                    String, Integer
  minutes_interval                    String, Integer
  months                              String
  password                            String
  priority                            Integer # default value: 7
  random_delay                        String, Integer
  run_level                           Symbol # default value: :limited
  start_day                           String
  start_time                          String
  stop_if_going_on_batteries          true, false # default value: false
  task_name                           String # default value: 'name' unless specified
  user                                String # default value: The localized SYSTEM user for the node.
  action                              Symbol # defaults to :create if not specified
end

where:

  • windows_task is the resource.
  • name is the name given to the resource block.
  • action identifies which steps the chef-client will take to bring the node into the desired state.
  • command, cwd, day, description, disallow_start_if_on_batteries, execution_time_limit, force, frequency, frequency_modifier, idle_time, interactive_enabled, minutes_duration, minutes_interval, months, password, priority, random_delay, run_level, start_day, start_time, stop_if_going_on_batteries, task_name, and user are the properties available to this resource.

Actions

The windows_task resource has the following actions:

:create
Creates a task, or updates an existing task if any property has changed.
:delete
Deletes a task.
:run
Runs a task.
:end
Ends a task.
:enable
Enables a task.
:disable
Disables a task.
:nothing
This resource block does not act unless notified by another resource to take action. Once notified, this resource block either runs immediately or is queued up to run at the end of the Chef Client run.

Properties

The windows_task resource has the following properties:

command

Ruby Type: String

The command to be executed by the windows scheduled task.

cwd

Ruby Type: String

The directory the task will be run from.

day

Ruby Type: String, Integer

The day(s) on which the task runs.
  • Use with frequency :monthly and :weekly tasks,
  • Valid values with frequency :weekly are MON-SUN or \*.
  • Valid values with frequency :monthly are 1-31 `` or ``MON to SUN and LASTDAY.
    • Use MON-SUN or LASTDAY if you are setting frequency_modifier as "FIRST, SECOND, THIRD etc." else use 1-31.
    • Multiple days should be comma separated. e.g "1, 2, 3" or "MON, WEN, FRI".
description

Ruby Type: String

The task description.

New in Chef Client 14.7.

disallow_start_if_on_batteries

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Disallow start of the task if the system is running on battery power.

New in Chef Client 14.4.

execution_time_limit

Ruby Type: String, Integer | Default Value: "PT72H" (72 hours)

The maximum time (in seconds) the task will run.

force

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

When used with create, will update the task.

frequency

Ruby Type: Symbol

  • Frequency with which to run the task.
  • This is a mandatory property in Chef 14.1
  • Valid values: :minute, :hourly, :daily, :weekly, :monthly, :none, :once, :on_logon, :onstart, :on_idle.
  • The :once value requires the start_time property.
  • The :none frequency requires Chef 13.6 or later.
frequency_modifier

Ruby Type: Integer, String | Default Value: 1

  • For frequency :minute valid values are 1 to 1439
  • For frequency :hourly valid values are 1 to 23
  • For frequency :daily valid values are 1 to 365
  • For frequency :weekly valid values are 1 to 52
  • For frequency :monthly valid values are ('FIRST', 'SECOND', 'THIRD', 'FOURTH', 'LAST') OR 1-12.
    • e.g. If user want to run the task on second week of the month use frequency_modifier value as SECOND. Multiple values for weeks of the month should be comma separated e.g. "FIRST, THIRD, LAST".
    • To run task every (n) months user values ‘1-12’.
idle_time

Ruby Type: Integer

For :on_idle frequency, the time (in minutes) without user activity that must pass to trigger the task, from 1 - 999.

interactive_enabled

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Allow task to run interactively or non-interactively. Requires user and password to also be set.

minutes_duration
Ruby Type: String, Integer
minutes_interval
Ruby Type: String, Integer
months

Ruby Type: String

The Months of the year on which the task runs, such as: "JAN, FEB" or "\*". Multiple months should be comma delimited. e.g. "Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec"

password

Ruby Type: String

The user’s password. The user property must be set if using this property.

priority

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 7

Use to set Priority Levels range from 0 to 10.

random_delay

Ruby Type: String, Integer

Delays the task up to a given time (in seconds).

run_level

Ruby Type: Symbol | Default Value: :limited

Run with :limited or :highest privileges.

start_day

Ruby Type: String

Specifies the first date on which the task runs in MM/DD/YYYY format.

start_time

Ruby Type: String

Specifies the start time to run the task, in HH:mm format.

stop_if_going_on_batteries

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Scheduled task option when system is switching on battery.

New in Chef Client 14.4.

task_name

Ruby Type: String | Default Value: The resource block's name

The task name, such as "Task Name" or "/Task Name"

user

Ruby Type: String | Default Value: "The localized SYSTEM user for the node."

The user to run the task as.

Common Resource Functionality

Chef resources include common properties, notifications, and resource guards.

Common Properties

The following properties are common to every resource:

ignore_failure

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Continue running a recipe if a resource fails for any reason.

retries

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 0

The number of attempts to catch exceptions and retry the resource.

retry_delay

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 2

The retry delay (in seconds).

sensitive

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Ensure that sensitive resource data is not logged by the chef-client.

Notifications

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 notify 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 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
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.

Note that subscribes does not apply the specified action to the resource that it listens to - for example:

file '/etc/nginx/ssl/example.crt' do
  mode '0600'
  owner 'root'
end

service 'nginx' do
  subscribes :reload, 'file[/etc/nginx/ssl/example.crt]', :immediately
end

In this case the subscribes property reloads the nginx service whenever its certificate file, located under /etc/nginx/ssl/example.crt, is updated. subscribes does not make any changes to the certificate file itself, it merely listens for a change to the file, and executes the :reload action for its resource (in this example nginx) when a change is detected.

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 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

Guards

A guard property can be used to evaluate the state of a node during the execution phase of the chef-client run. Based on the results of this evaluation, a guard property is then used to tell the chef-client if it should continue executing a resource. A guard property accepts either a string value or a Ruby block value:

  • A string is executed as a shell command. If the command returns 0, the guard is applied. If the command returns any other value, then the guard property is not applied. String guards in a powershell_script run Windows PowerShell commands and may return true in addition to 0.
  • A block is executed as Ruby code that must return either true or false. If the block returns true, the guard property is applied. If the block returns false, the guard property is not applied.

A guard property is useful for ensuring that a resource is idempotent by allowing that resource to test for the desired state as it is being executed, and then if the desired state is present, for the chef-client to do nothing.

The following properties can be used to define a guard that is evaluated during the execution phase of the chef-client run:

not_if
Prevent a resource from executing when the condition returns true.
only_if
Allow a resource to execute only if the condition returns true.

Examples

Create a scheduled task to run every 15 minutes as the Administrator user

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  user 'Administrator'
  password 'password'
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :minute
  frequency_modifier 15
end

Create a scheduled task to run every 2 days

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :daily
  frequency_modifier 2
end

Create a scheduled task to run on specific days of the week

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :weekly
  day 'Mon, Thu'
end

Create a scheduled task to run only once

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :once
  start_time "16:10"
end

Create a scheduled task to run on current day every 3 weeks and delay upto 1 min

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :weekly
  frequency_modifier 3
  random_delay '60'
end

Create a scheduled task to run weekly starting on Dec 28th 2018

windows_task 'chef-client 8' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :weekly
  start_day '12/28/2018'
end

Create a scheduled task to run every Monday, Friday every 2 weeks

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :weekly
  frequency_modifier 2
  day 'Mon, Fri'
end

Create a scheduled task to run when computer is idle with idle duration 20 min

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  command 'chef-client'
  run_level :highest
  frequency :on_idle
  idle_time 20
end

Delete a task named “old task”

windows_task 'old task' do
  action :delete
end

Enable a task named “chef-client”

windows_task 'chef-client' do
  action :enable
end

Disable a task named “ProgramDataUpdater” with TaskPath “\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\ProgramDataUpdater”

windows_task '\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\ProgramDataUpdater' do
  action :disable
end