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Contributing to Opscode Cookbooks

We are glad you want to contribute to Opscode Cookbooks! The first step is the desire to improve the project.

You can find the answers to additional frequently asked questions on the wiki.

You can find additional information about contributing to cookbooks on the wiki as well.


  • Create an account on our bug tracker
  • Sign our contributor agreement (CLA) online (keep reading if you're contributing on behalf of your employer)
  • Create a ticket for your change on the bug tracker
  • Link to your patch as a rebased git branch or pull request from the ticket
  • Resolve the ticket as fixed

We regularly review contributions and will get back to you if we have any suggestions or concerns.

The Apache License and the CLA/CCLA

Licensing is very important to open source projects, it helps ensure the software continues to be available under the terms that the author desired. Chef uses the Apache 2.0 license to strike a balance between open contribution and allowing you to use the software however you would like to.

The license tells you what rights you have that are provided by the copyright holder. It is important that the contributor fully understands what rights they are licensing and agrees to them. Sometimes the copyright holder isn't the contributor, most often when the contributor is doing work for a company.

To make a good faith effort to ensure these criteria are met, Opscode requires a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) or a Corporate Contributor License Agreement (CCLA) for all contributions. This is without exception due to some matters not being related to copyright and to avoid having to continually check with our lawyers about small patches.

It only takes a few minutes to complete a CLA, and you retain the copyright to your contribution.

You can complete our contributor agreement (CLA) online. If you're contributing on behalf of your employer, have your employer fill out our Corporate CLA instead.

Ticket Tracker (JIRA)

The ticket tracker is the most important documentation for the code base. It provides significant historical information, such as:

  • Which release a bug fix is included in
  • Discussion regarding the design and merits of features
  • Error output to aid in finding similar bugs

Each ticket should aim to fix one bug or add one feature.

Using git

You can get a quick copy of the repository for this cookbook by running git clone git://

For collaboration purposes, it is best if you create a Github account and fork the repository to your own account. Once you do this you will be able to push your changes to your Github repository for others to see and use.

If you have another repository in your GitHub account named the same as the cookbook, we suggest you suffix the repository with -cookbook.

Branches and Commits

You should submit your patch as a git branch named after the ticket, such as COOK-1337. This is called a topic branch and allows users to associate a branch of code with the ticket.

It is a best practice to have your commit message have a summary line that includes the ticket number, followed by an empty line and then a brief description of the commit. This also helps other contributors understand the purpose of changes to the code.

[COOK-1757] - platform_family and style

* use platform_family for platform checking
* update notifies syntax to "resource_type[resource_name]" instead of
  resources() lookup
* COOK-692 - delete config files dropped off by packages in conf.d
* dropped debian 4 support because all other platforms have the same
  values, and it is older than "old stable" debian release

Remember that not all users use Chef in the same way or on the same operating systems as you, so it is helpful to be clear about your use case and change so they can understand it even when it doesn't apply to them.

Github and Pull Requests

All of Opscode's open source cookbook projects are available on Github.

We don't require you to use Github, and we will even take patch diffs attached to tickets on the tracker. However Github has a lot of convenient features, such as being able to see a diff of changes between a pull request and the main repository quickly without downloading the branch.

If you do choose to use a pull request, please provide a link to the pull request from the ticket and a link to the ticket from the pull request. Because pull requests only have two states, open and closed, we can't easily filter pull requests that are waiting for a reply from the author for various reasons.

More information

Additional help with git is available on the Working with Git wiki page.

Functional and Unit Tests

This cookbook is set up to run tests under Opscode's test-kitchen. It uses minitest-chef to run integration tests after the node has been converged to verify that the state of the node.

Test kitchen should run completely without exception using the default baseboxes provided by Opscode. Because Test Kitchen creates VirtualBox machines and runs through every configuration in the Kitchenfile, it may take some time for these tests to complete.

If your changes are only for a specific recipe, run only its configuration with Test Kitchen. If you are adding a new recipe, or other functionality such as a LWRP or definition, please add appropriate tests and ensure they run with Test Kitchen.

If any don't pass, investigate them before submitting your patch.

Any new feature should have unit tests included with the patch with good code coverage to help protect it from future changes. Similarly, patches that fix a bug or regression should have a regression test. Simply put, this is a test that would fail without your patch but passes with it. The goal is to ensure this bug doesn't regress in the future. Consider a regular expression that doesn't match a certain pattern that it should, so you provide a patch and a test to ensure that the part of the code that uses this regular expression works as expected. Later another contributor may modify this regular expression in a way that breaks your use cases. The test you wrote will fail, signalling to them to research your ticket and use case and accounting for it.

If you need help writing tests, please ask on the Chef Developer's mailing list, or the #chef-hacking IRC channel.

Code Review

Opscode regularly reviews code contributions and provides suggestions for improvement in the code itself or the implementation.

We find contributions by searching the ticket tracker for resolved tickets with a status of fixed. If we have feedback we will reopen the ticket and you should resolve it again when you've made the changes or have a response to our feedback. When we believe the patch is ready to be merged, we will tag the Code Reviewed field with Reviewed.

Depending on the project, these tickets are then merged within a week or two, depending on the current release cycle.

Release Cycle

The versioning for Opscode Cookbook projects is X.Y.Z.

  • X is a major release, which may not be fully compatible with prior major releases
  • Y is a minor release, which adds both new features and bug fixes
  • Z is a patch release, which adds just bug fixes

A released version of a cookbook will end in an even number, e.g. "1.2.4" or "0.8.0". When development for the next version of the cookbook begins, the "Z" patch number is incremented to the next odd number, however the next release of the cookbook may be a major or minor incrementing version.

Releases of Opscode's cookbooks are usually announced on the Chef user mailing list. Releases of several cookbooks may be batched together and announced on the Opscode Blog.

Working with the community

These resources will help you learn more about Chef and connect to other members of the Chef community:

Cookbook Contribution Do's and Don't's

Please do include tests for your contribution. If you need help, ask on the chef-dev mailing list or the #chef-hacking IRC channel. Not all platforms that a cookbook supports may be supported by Test Kitchen. Please provide evidence of testing your contribution if it isn't trivial so we don't have to duplicate effort in testing. Chef 10.14+ "doc" formatted output is sufficient.

Please do indicate new platform (families) or platform versions in the commit message, and update the relevant ticket.

If a contribution adds new platforms or platform versions, indicate such in the body of the commit message(s), and update the relevant COOK ticket. When writing commit messages, it is helpful for others if you indicate the COOK ticket. For example:

git commit -m '[COOK-1041] - Updated pool resource to correctly

Please do use foodcritic to lint-check the cookbook. Except FC007, it should pass all correctness rules. FC007 is okay as long as the dependent cookbooks are required for the default behavior of the cookbook, such as to support an uncommon platform, secondary recipe, etc.

Please do ensure that your changes do not break or modify behavior for other platforms supported by the cookbook. For example if your changes are for Debian, make sure that they do not break on CentOS.

Please do not modify the version number in the metadata.rb, Opscode will select the appropriate version based on the release cycle information above.

Please do not update the for a new version. Not all changes to a cookbook may be merged and released in the same versions. Opscode will update the when releasing a new version of the cookbook.