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knife-bootstrap - The man page for the knife bootstrap subcommand.

A bootstrap is a process that installs the chef-client on a target system so that it can run as a chef-client and communicate with a Chef server.

The knife bootstrap subcommand is used to run a bootstrap operation that installs the chef-client on the target system. The bootstrap operation must specify the IP address or FQDN of the target system.


This subcommand has the following syntax:

$ knife bootstrap FQDN_or_IP_ADDRESS (options)


This subcommand has the following options:

-A, --forward-agent
Use to enable SSH agent forwarding.
--bootstrap-curl-options OPTIONS
Use to specify arbitrary options to be added to the bootstrap command when using cURL. This option may not be used in the same command with --bootstrap-install-command.
--bootstrap-install-command COMMAND
Use to execute a custom installation command sequence for the chef-client. This option may not be used in the same command with --bootstrap-curl-options, --bootstrap-install-sh, or --bootstrap-wget-options.
--bootstrap-install-sh URL
Use to fetch and execute an installation script at the specified URL. This option may not be used in the same command with --bootstrap-install-command.
--bootstrap-no-proxy NO_PROXY_URL_or_IP
A URL or IP address that specifies a location that should not be proxied.


This option is used internally by Chef to help verify bootstrap operations during testing and should never be used during an actual bootstrap operation.

--bootstrap-proxy PROXY_URL
The proxy server for the node that is the target of a bootstrap operation.
--bootstrap-version VERSION
The version of the chef-client to install.
--bootstrap-wget-options OPTIONS
Use to specify arbitrary options to be added to the bootstrap command when using GNU Wget. This option may not be used in the same command with --bootstrap-install-command.
The name of the environment. When this option is added to a command, the command will run only against the named environment.
-G GATEWAY, --ssh-gateway GATEWAY
The SSH tunnel or gateway that is used to run a bootstrap action on a machine that is not accessible from the workstation.
Use to specify an Ohai hint to be set on the target node.

Ohai hints are used to tell Ohai something about the system that it is running on that it would not be able to discover itself. An Ohai hint exists if a JSON file exists in the hint directory with the same name as the hint. For example, calling hint?('antartica') in an Ohai plugin would return an empty hash if the file antartica.json existed in the hints directory, and return nil if the file does not exist.

If the hint file contains JSON content, it will be returned as a hash from the call to hint?.

  "snow": true,
  "penguins": "many"

arctic_hint = hint?('antartica')
if arctic_hint['snow']
  "There are #{arctic_hint['penguins']} penguins here."
  "There is no snow here, and penguins like snow."

The default directory in which hint files are located is /etc/chef/ohai/hints/. Use the Ohai::Config[:hints_path] setting in the client.rb file to customize this location.

HINT_FILE is the name of the JSON file. HINT_NAME is the name of a hint in a JSON file. Use multiple --hint options to specify multiple hints.

The SSH identity file used for authentication. Key-based authentication is recommended.
-j JSON_ATTRIBS, --json-attributes JSON_ATTRIBS
A JSON string that is added to the first run of a chef-client.
-N NAME, --node-name NAME
The name of the node.
Use --no-host-key-verify to disable host key verification. Default setting: --host-key-verify.
Use verify_api_cert to only do SSL validation of the Chef server connection; may be needed if the chef-client needs to talk to other services that have broken SSL certificates. If this option is not specified, the setting for verify_api_cert in the configuration file is applied.
--node-ssl-verify-mode PEER_OR_NONE
The verify mode for HTTPS requests.

Use :verify_none to do no validation of SSL certificates.

Use :verify_peer to do validation of all SSL certificates, including the Chef server connections, S3 connections, and any HTTPS remote_file resource URLs used in the chef-client run. This is the recommended setting.

If this option is not specified, the setting for ssl_verify_mode in the configuration file is applied.

-p PORT, --ssh-port PORT
The SSH port.
-P PASSWORD, --ssh-password PASSWORD
The SSH password. This can be used to pass the password directly on the command line. If this option is not specified (and a password is required) knife will prompt for the password.
Use to install pre-release gems.
-r RUN_LIST, --run-list RUN_LIST
A comma-separated list of roles and/or recipes to be applied.
--secret SECRET
The encryption key that is used for values contained within a data bag item.
--secret-file FILE
The path to the file that contains the encryption key.
Use to execute a bootstrap operation with sudo.
-t TEMPLATE, --bootstrap-template TEMPLATE
Use to specify the bootstrap template to use. This may specify the name of a bootstrap template---chef-full, for example---or it may specify the full path to an Embedded Ruby (ERB) template that defines a custom bootstrap. Default value: chef-full, which installs the chef-client using the omnibus installer on all supported platforms.
Use to perform a bootstrap operation with sudo; specify the password with the -P (or --ssh-password) option.
-V -V
Use to run the initial chef-client run at the debug log-level (e.g. chef-client -l debug).
-x USERNAME, --ssh-user USERNAME
The SSH user name.


$ knife bootstrap -x username -P PASSWORD --sudo

$ knife bootstrap -x username -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa --sudo


Chef 12.0