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windows_task resource

Resources Reference page


Use the windows_task resource to create, delete or run a Windows scheduled task.

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.

New in Chef Infra Client 13.0.

Syntax


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

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 (72 hours in ISO8601 duration format)"
  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 # default value: The current date.
  start_time                          String
  start_when_available                true, false # default value: false
  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 Chef Infra 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, start_when_available, 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.
:disable
Disables a task.
:enable
Enables a task.
:end
Ends 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 a Chef Infra Client run.
:run
Runs a task.

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 in ISO8601 duration format)

The maximum time the task will run. This field accepts either seconds or an ISO8601 duration value.

force
Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

When used with create, will update the task.

frequency
Ruby Type: Symbol
Allowed Values: :daily, :hourly, :minute, :monthly, :none, :on_idle, :on_logon, :once, :onstart, :weekly

  • 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
Allowed Values: :highest, :limited

Run with :limited or :highest privileges.

start_day
Ruby Type: String | Default Value: The current date.

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.

start_when_available
Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

To start the task at any time after its scheduled time has passed.

New in Chef Client 14.15

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

An optional property to set the task name if it differs from the resource block’s name. Example: 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 Chef Infra 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 a Chef Infra 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 a Chef Infra 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 a Chef Infra 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 a Chef Infra 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 a Chef Infra Client run. Based on the results of this evaluation, a guard property is then used to tell Chef Infra 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 Chef Infra Client to do nothing.

Properties

The following properties can be used to define a guard that is evaluated during the execution phase of a Chef Infra 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


The following examples demonstrate various approaches for using the windows_task resource in recipes:

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