Category Archives: DevOps

Setup Chef Server on Microsoft Azure

This is the second post in the Chef and Microsoft Azure blog series. You can read the first blog in this series at

In this blog, I am exploring how to setup a Chef Server on Microsoft Azure. For most part, I followed the steps suggested in


  • Microsoft Azure Subscription

Setup Sequence

  • Create Virtual Machine
  • Set DNS Name Label for virtual machine
  • Configure Chef Server
  • Create Organization
  • Establish Connectivity from Workstation

Create Virtual Machine

Navigate to and login using your credentials.

Click New, then Compute, then Marketplace

Search for Chef Server, then select Chef Server 12, BYOL.

Note: Chef provides a fully functional Chef server that can be launched from the Azure Marketplace. This server is preconfigured with Chef Server, the Chef Management console, Chef reporting, and Chef Analytics. This configuration is free to use for deployments under 25 nodes, and can be licensed for deployments beyond 25 nodes.

Choose Resource Manager as the deployment model and click Create

Provide basic settings and click OK.

Click Size, then A5 Standard, then Select

Click Settings and then OK. Choose the default options, unless you want to change something.

Click Summary, review summary and click OK

Click Buy on left menu, review offer details and click Buy button

Wait for the newly created server to be in Running state.

Set DNS Name Label for virtual machine

Click Virtual machines, then mme-chef-server

Click on IP Address

Click on Settings, then Configuration

Update DNS name label and click Save

DNS name for the virtual machine in this case is ‘’. Wait for 5 minutes and check if you are able to ssh to the server using ‘ssh

Configure Chef Server

Open Git Bash and run the following commands.

# Here chefadmin is the admin user created during virtual machine creation.

# Provide DNS name label of the virtual machine


#sudo chef-setup -u <username> -p <password> -d <fqdn>

#Here username is a new user, which will be created in this process.

# You will use this username to connect form portal

sudo chef-setup -u admin -p Demo@Pass1 –d

Create Organization


Enter Username (specified during chef-setup), Password (specified during chef-setup) and click Sign In

Click Create New Organization

Provide Full Name, Short Name, then click Create Organization

Click on Administration, then Organizations, then contoso

Click Starter Kit, then Download Starter Kit

Click Proceed

Save locally. In my machine (Windows Laptop), it saved by default in the Downloads folder.

Establish Connectivity from Workstation

Copy the downloaded from local machine to Chef Workstation (I am copying it to workstation, I created as per the first blog in this series). I used the following command to copy the file from Git Bash. You might have to change according to your environment.

scp Downloads/

SSH into workstation


Execute following commands to get SSL keys and test connection to Chef Server

# move to home directory of azureuser


# install unzip utility

sudo apt-get install unzip

# unzip the starter kit


# move to chef-repo directory

cd chef-repo

# retrieve SSL keys from server

knife ssl fetch

# test connection to server, we should see contoso-validator

knife client list

Next Blog

Next, I will try out adding a Chef Node to the organization and running cookbooks.

Setup Chef Workstation on Microsoft Azure

If you do not know how Chef helps with DevOps, I recommend you to watch this conversion, between Matt Stratton, Senior Solutions Architect at Chef and Seth Juarez, Senior Technical Evangelist on the Channel 9 team.

There are lots of tutorials and learning guides available for Chef ( For all my learnings, I completely depend on virtual machines on cloud, unless there is a specific need or limitation to use an on-premise VM. So when I was going through the Chef tutorials, I had to accommodate some changes based on Azure environment. I am documenting my experiments with Chef on Azure in this series of blog posts.


  • Microsoft Azure Subscription
  • Git Bash Shell

Create a Virtual Machine for Chef Workstation

Navigate to on browser

Click on the +NEW link at the bottom-left corner of the screen.


Click UBUNTU, then Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, then next arrow

Specify virtual machine configuration and click next. Note that I have used ‘mme-chef-ws’ as the name of virtual machine for Chef Workstation. This name will be used in later steps. Change it according to your environment. Also, for simplicity, I have chosen password option instead of SSH key for the VM.

Change virtual machine configuration if required. Add HTTP endpoint to the endpoints (we enable web server as part of chef learning later), and click next

Click OK

Wait for the created virtual machine to be in running state.

Install Chef Development Kit

The Chef Development Kit (ChefDK) brings the best-of-breed development tools built by the awesome Chef community. Actual download site is However, I have followed steps in another tutorial provided by Chef.

Open Git Bash on your computer and connect to the Chef workstation. Note down the DNS name of virtual machine from the virtual machine details (above picture). Connect to the virtual machine by running the command ‘ssh’

Run the command (curl -L | sudo bash) to install chef client and tools on workstation.

Learn Chef Basics on Ubuntu

Now the workstation is ready for us to learn the basics of Chef. Now we can follow the tutorial provided on Chef learning site on this virtual machine.

Next Blog

Next, I will try out configuring Chef Server and node on Azure.

My views on technology

Virtualization and some coffee

My views on technology

Thomas Maurer

Cloud and Datacenter Blog focusing on Microsoft Azure

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