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chef-server.rb Settings

The chef-server.rb file contains all of the non-default configuration settings used by the Chef server. (The default settings are built-in to the Chef server configuration and should only be added to the chef-server.rb file to apply non-default values.) These configuration settings are processed when the chef-server-ctl reconfigure command is run, such as immediately after setting up the Chef server or after making a change to the underlying configuration settings after the server has been deployed. The chef-server.rb file is a Ruby file, which means that conditional statements can be used in the configuration file.

Note

The chef-server.rb file does not exist by default. To modify the settings for the Chef server, create a file named chef-server.rb in the /etc/opscode/ directory.

Note

This file was named private-chef.rb in previous versions of Enterprise Chef. After an upgrade to Chef server 12 from Enterprise Chef, the private-chef.rb file is symlinked to chef-server.rb. The private-chef.rb file is deprecated, starting with Chef server 12.

Use Conditions

Use a case statement to apply different values based on whether the setting exists on the front-end or back-end servers. Add code to the server configuration file similar to the following:

role_name = ChefServer["servers"][node['fqdn']]["role"]
case role_name
when "backend"
  # backend-specific configuration here
when "frontend"
  # frontend-specific configuration here
end

The following settings are typically added to the server configuration file (no equal sign is necessary to set the value):

api_fqdn
The FQDN for the Chef server. This setting is not in the server configuration file by default. When added, its value should be equal to the FQDN for the service URI used by the Chef server. For example: api_fqdn "chef.example.com".
bootstrap
Default value: true.
ip_version
Use to set the IP version: "ipv4" or "ipv6". When set to "ipv6", the API listens on IPv6 and front end and back end services communicate via IPv6 when a high availability configuration is used. When configuring for IPv6 in a high availability configuration, be sure to set the netmask on the IPv6 backend_vip attribute. Default value: "ipv4".
notification_email
Default value: info@example.com.

SSL Protocols

The following settings are often modified from the default as part of the tuning effort for the nginx service and to configure the Chef server to use SSL certificates:

nginx['ssl_certificate']
The SSL certificate used to verify communication over HTTPS. Default value: nil.
nginx['ssl_certificate_key']
The certificate key used for SSL communication. Default value: nil.
nginx['ssl_ciphers']

The list of supported cipher suites that are used to establish a secure connection. To favor AES256 with ECDHE forward security, drop the RC4-SHA:RC4-MD5:RC4:RSA prefix. For example:

nginx['ssl_ciphers'] =  "HIGH:MEDIUM:!LOW:!kEDH: \
                         !aNULL:!ADH:!eNULL:!EXP: \
                         !SSLv2:!SEED:!CAMELLIA: \
                         !PSK"
nginx['ssl_protocols']

The SSL protocol versions that are enabled. SSL 3.0 is supported by the Chef server; however, SSL 3.0 is an obsolete and insecure protocol. Transport Layer Security (TLS)—TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and TLS 1.2—has effectively replaced SSL 3.0, which provides for authenticated version negotiation between the chef-client and Chef server, which ensures the latest version of the TLS protocol is used. For the highest possible security, it is recommended to disable SSL 3.0 and allow all versions of the TLS protocol. For example:

nginx['ssl_protocols'] = "TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2"

Note

See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Server_Side_TLS for more information about the values used with the nginx['ssl_ciphers'] and nginx['ssl_protocols'] settings.

For example, after copying the SSL certificate files to the Chef server, update the nginx['ssl_certificate'] and nginx['ssl_certificate_key'] settings to specify the paths to those files, and then (optionally) update the nginx['ssl_ciphers'] and nginx['ssl_protocols'] settings to reflect the desired level of hardness for the Chef server:

nginx['ssl_certificate'] = "/etc/pki/tls/private/name.of.pem"
nginx['ssl_certificate_key'] = "/etc/pki/tls/private/name.of.key"
nginx['ssl_ciphers'] = "HIGH:MEDIUM:!LOW:!kEDH:!aNULL:!ADH:!eNULL:!EXP:!SSLv2:!SEED:!CAMELLIA:!PSK"
nginx['ssl_protocols'] = "TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2"

Optional Settings

The following settings are often used for performance tuning of the Chef server in larger installations.

Note

When changes are made to the chef-server.rb file the Chef server must be reconfigured by running the following command:

$ chef-server-ctl reconfigure

Warning

Review the full list of optional settings that can be added to the chef-server.rb file. Many of these optional settings should not be added without first consulting with Chef support.

bookshelf

The following setting is often modified from the default as part of the tuning effort for the bookshelf service:

bookshelf['vip']
The virtual IP address. Default value: node['fqdn'].

opscode-account

The following setting is often modified from the default as part of the tuning effort for the opscode-account service:

opscode_account['worker_processes']
The number of allowed worker processes. This value should be increased if requests made to the opscode-account service are timing out, but only if the front-end machines have available CPU and RAM. Default value: 4.

opscode-erchef

The following settings are often modified from the default as part of the tuning effort for the opscode-erchef service:

opscode_erchef['db_pool_size']
The number of open connections to PostgreSQL that are maintained by the service. If failures indicate that the opscode-erchef service ran out of connections, try increasing the postgresql['max_connections'] setting. If failures persist, then increase this value (in small increments) and also increase the value for postgresql['max_connections']. Default value: 20.
opscode_erchef['s3_url_ttl']
The amount of time (in seconds) before connections to the server expire. If chef-client runs are timing out, increase this setting to 3600, and then adjust again if necessary. Default value: 900.
opscode_erchef['strict_search_result_acls']

Use to specify that search results only return objects to which an actor (user, client, etc.) has read access, as determined by ACL settings. This affects all searches. When true, the performance of the Chef management console may increase because it enables the Chef management console to skip redundant ACL checks. To ensure the Chef management console is configured properly, after this setting has been applied with a chef-server-ctl reconfigure run chef-manage-ctl reconfigure to ensure the Chef management console also picks up the setting. Default value: false.

Warning

When true, opscode_erchef['strict_search_result_acls'] affects all search results and any actor (user, client, etc.) that does not have read access to a search result will not be able to view it. For example, this could affect search results returned during chef-client runs if a chef-client does not have permission to read the information.

opscode-expander

The following setting is often modified from the default as part of the tuning effort for the opscode-expander service:

opscode_expander['nodes']
The number of allowed worker processes. The opscode-expander service runs on the back-end and feeds data to the opscode-solr service, which creates and maintains search data used by the Chef server. Additional memory may be required by these worker processes depending on the frequency and volume of chef-client runs across the organization, but only if the back-end machines have available CPU and RAM. Default value: 2.

opscode-solr4

The following sections describe ways of tuning the opscode-solr4 service to improve performance around large node sizes, available memory, and update frequencies.

Update Frequency

At the end of every chef-client run, the node object is saved to the Chef server. From the Chef server, each node object is then added to the SOLR search index. This process is asynchronous. By default, node objects are committed to the search index every 60 seconds or per 1000 node objects, whichever occurs first.

When data is committed to the Apache Solr index, all incoming updates are blocked. If the duration between updates is too short, it is possible for the rate at which updates are asked to occur to be faster than the rate at which objects can be actually committed.

Use the following configuration setting to improve the indexing performance of node objects:

opscode_solr4['commit_interval']
The frequency (in seconds) at which node objects are added to the Apache Solr search index. Default value: 60000 (every 60 seconds).
opscode_solr4['max_commit_docs']
The frequency (in documents) at which node objects are added to the Apache Solr search index. Default value: 1000 (every 1000 documents).

postgresql

The following setting is often modified from the default as part of the tuning effort for the postgresql service:

postgresql['max_connections']

The maximum number of allowed concurrent connections. This value should only be tuned when the opscode_erchef['db_pool_size'] value used by the opscode-erchef service is modified. Default value: 350.

If there are more than two front end machines in a cluster, the postgresql['max_connections'] setting should be increased. The increased value depends on the number of machines in the front end, but also the number of services that are running on each of these machines.

  • Each front end machine always runs the oc_bifrost and opscode-erchef services.
  • The Reporting add-on adds the reporting service.
  • The Chef push jobs service adds the push_jobs service.

Each of these services requires 25 connections, above the default value.

Use the following formula to help determine what the increased value should be:

new_value = current_value + [
            (# of front end machines - 2) * (25 * # of services)
                     ]

For example, if the current value is 350, there are four front end machines, and all add-ons are installed, then the formula looks like:

550 = 350 + [(4 - 2) * (25 * 4)]

rabbitmq

Note

Chef Analytics has been replaced by Chef Automate.

The following settings must be modified when the Chef Analytics server is configured as a standalone server:

rabbitmq['node_ip_address']

The bind IP address for RabbitMQ. Default value: "127.0.0.1".

Chef Analytics uses the same RabbitMQ service that is configured on the Chef server. When the Chef Analytics server is configured as a standalone server, the default settings for rabbitmq['node_ip_address'] and rabbitmq['vip'] must be updated. When the Chef Analytics server is configured as a standalone server, change this value to 0.0.0.0.

rabbitmq['vip']

The virtual IP address. Default value: "127.0.0.1".

Chef Analytics uses the same RabbitMQ service that is configured on the Chef server. When the Chef Analytics server is configured as a standalone server, the default settings for rabbitmq['node_ip_address'] and rabbitmq['vip'] must be updated. When the Chef Analytics server is configured as a standalone server, change this value to the backend VIP address for the Chef server.

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https://docs-archive.chef.io/release/server_12-8/config_rb_server.html