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Chef Workstation App

The Chef Workstation App (CWA) is an early release desktop application that provides additional services for Chef Workstation:

  • Run cookbook actions in local repositories
  • Update checking and notifications
  • Chef Workstation version information

Additional features and integrations will be rolled out in future updates.

Running the Chef Workstation App


Launch Chef Workstation App from the Chef Workstation folder in the Start menu.


Start Chef Workstation App by running the command chef-workstation-app.


  1. Chef Workstation App requires a running display manager with support for system tray icons.
  2. On some distributions you may need to install additional libraries. The post-install message shown when you install the Chef Workstation package from the terminal will tell you which – if any – additional libraries are required to run Chef Workstation App.


Start Chef Workstation App from your Applications folder.

Chef Workstation App Dashboard

The Chef Workstation App dashboard lets you manage Cookbooks and Chef repositories. Open the Chef Workstation App dashboard by selecting Manage Cookbooks from the Chef Workstation App menu in the menu bar (macOS) or taskbar (Windows).

Chef Repositories

Select Chef Repositories to view Chef repositories and cookbooks on your local workstation.

To add a new Chef repository and its cookbooks, select Add New and then navigate to a Chef repository in your workstation’s file system.

The linked Chef repositories are persistent, so you only need to add them once in the dashboard. The repository name displayed in the dashboard is the same as the Chef repository folder name.


Use the Cookbooks panel to upload cookbooks to a configured Chef Infra Server.

To upload a cookbook, select Upload next to the corresponding cookbook.


There is a known limitation where the profile settings in ~/.chef/credentials are not parsed correctly, causing a request signing error to show up when you upload a cookbook. To overcome this issue, copy your knife config.rb to ~/.chef.

Disabling Automatic Update Checks

To disable CWA’s automatic update checking, add or modify the enable setting under updates in config.toml:


Setting Update Channel

To set the channel used for update checking, bring up the CWA tray app menu (Windows/Linux) or the application menu (Mac) and select “About Chef Workstation”.

Select the “Channel” button and choose your preferred channel. This will trigger an immediate update check.

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