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KNIFE(1) knife KNIFE(1)

NAME

knife - The man page for the knife command line tool.
knife is a command-line tool that provides an interface between a local chef-repo and the Chef server. knife helps users to manage:
Nodes
Cookbooks and recipes
Roles
Stores of JSON data (data bags), including encrypted data
Environments
Cloud resources, including provisioning
The installation of the chef-client on management workstations
Searching of indexed data on the Chef server

Knife subcommands:
knife bootstrap
knife client
knife configure
knife cookbook
knife cookbook site
knife data bag
knife delete
knife deps
knife diff
knife download
knife edit
knife environment
knife exec
knife list
knife node
knife raw
knife recipe list
knife role
knife search
knife show
knife ssh
knife status
knife tag
knife upload
knife user
knife xargs

WORKING WITH KNIFE

knife runs from a management workstation and sits in-between a Chef server and an organization's infrastructure. knife interacts with a Chef server by using the same REST API that is used by a chef-client. Role-based authentication controls (RBAC) can be used to authorize changes when knife is run with Enterprise Chef. knife is configured during workstation setup, but subsequent modifications can be made using the knife.rb configuration file.

Common Options

The following options can be run with all knife sub-commands and plug-ins:
-c CONFIG_FILE, --config CONFIG_FILE
The configuration file to use. For example, when knife is run from a node that is configured to be managed by the Chef server, this option is used to allow knife to use the same credentials as the chef-client when communicating with the Chef server.
--chef-zero-port PORT
The port on which chef-zero will listen.
-d, --disable-editing
Use to prevent the $EDITOR from being opened and to accept data as-is.
--defaults
Use to have knife use the default value instead of asking a user to provide one.
-e EDITOR, --editor EDITOR
The $EDITOR that is used for all interactive commands.
-E ENVIRONMENT, --environment ENVIRONMENT
The name of the environment. When this option is added to a command, the command will run only against the named environment. This option is ignored during search queries made using the knife search subcommand.
-F FORMAT, --format FORMAT
The output format: summary (default), text, json, yaml, and pp.
-h, --help
Shows help for the command.
-k KEY, --key KEY
The private key that knife will use to sign requests made by the API client to the Chef server.
--[no-]color
Use to view colored output.
--print-after
Use to show data after a destructive operation.
-s URL, --server-url URL
The URL for the Chef server.
-u USER, --user USER
The user name used by knife to sign requests made by the API client to the Chef server. Authentication will fail if the user name does not match the private key.
-v, --version
The version of the chef-client.
-V, --verbose
Set for more verbose outputs. Use -VV for maximum verbosity.
-y, --yes
Use to respond to all confirmation prompts with "Yes". knife will not ask for confirmation.
-z, --local-mode
Use to run the chef-client in local mode. This allows all commands that work against the Chef server to also work against the local chef-repo.

JSON Data Format

Most data is entered using a text editor in JSON format, unless the --disable-editing option is entered as part of a command. (Encrypted data bags use YAML, which is a superset of JSON.) JSON is a common, language-independent data format that provides a simple text representation of arbitrary data structures. For more information about JSON, see http://www.json.org/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JSON.

Set the Text Editor

Some knife commands, such as knife data bag edit, require that information be edited as JSON data using a text editor. For example, the following command:
$ knife data bag edit admins admin_name


will open up the text editor with data similar to:
{
  "id": "admin_name"
}


Changes to that file can then be made:
{
  "id": "Justin C."
  "description": "I am passing the time by letting time pass over me ..."
}


The type of text editor that is used by knife can be configured by adding an entry to the knife.rb file or by setting an EDITOR environment variable. For example, to configure the text editor to always open with vim, add the following to the knife.rb file:
knife[:editor] = "/usr/bin/vim"


When a Microsoft Windows file path is enclosed in a double-quoted string (" "), the same backslash character ( \) that is used to define the file path separator is also used in Ruby to define an escape character. The knife.rb file is a Ruby file; therefore, file path separators must be escaped. In addition, spaces in the file path must be replaced with ~1 so that the length of each section within the file path is not more than 8 characters. For example, if EditPad Pro is the text editor of choice and is located at the following path:
C:\\Program Files (x86)\EditPad Pro\EditPad.exe


the setting in the knife.rb file would be similar to:
knife[:editor] = "C:\\Progra~1\\EditPa~1\\EditPad.exe"


One approach to working around the double- vs. single-quote issue is to put the single-quotes outside of the double-quotes. For example, for Notepad++:
knife[:editor] = '"C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe -nosession -multiInst"'


for Sublime Text:
knife[:editor] = '"C:\Program Files\Sublime Text 2\sublime_text.exe --wait"'


for TextPad:
knife[:editor] = '"C:\Program Files (x86)\TextPad 7\TextPad.exe"'


and for vim:
knife[:editor] = '"C:\Program Files (x86)\vim\vim74\gvim.exe"'


Using Quotes

Values can be entered with double quotes (" ") or single quotes (' '), but this should be done consistently.

Sub-commands

knife comes with a collection of built in subcommands that work together to provide all of the functionality required to take specific actions against any object in an organization, including cookbooks, nodes, roles, data bags, environments, and users. A knife plugin extends the functionality beyond built-in subcommands.
knife has the following subcommands: bootstrap, client, configure, cookbook, cookbook site, data bag, delete, deps, diff, download, edit, environment, exec, index rebuild, list, node, recipe list, role, search, show, ssh, status, tag, upload, user, and xargs.
NOTE:
The following subcommands run only against the open source Chef server: index rebuild and user.


Syntax

All knife subcommands have the following syntax:
knife subcommand [ARGUMENT] (options)


Each subcommand has its own set of arguments and options.
NOTE:
All syntax examples in this document show variables in ALL_CAPS. For example -u PORT_LIST (where PORT_LIST is a comma-separated list of local and public UDP ports) or -F FORMAT (where FORMAT determines the output format, either summary, text, json, yaml, or pp). These variables often require specific values that are unique to each organization.


AUTHOR

Chef
Chef 12.0