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    Ongoing observations by End Point Dev people

    The ‘name’ attribute is required in cookbook metadata: Solving a Vagrant/Chef Provisioning Issue

    Greg Davidson

    By Greg Davidson
    April 21, 2015

    When Vagrant/Chef Provisioning Goes South

    I recently ran into the following error when provisioning a new vagrant machine via the vagrant up command:

    [2015-04-21T17:10:35+00:00] FATAL: Stacktrace dumped to /var/chef/cache/chef-stacktrace.out
    [2015-04-21T17:10:35+00:00] ERROR: Cookbook loaded at path(s) [/tmp/vagrant-chef/path/to/my-cookbook] has invalid metadata: The 'name' attribute is required in cookbook metadata
    [2015-04-21T17:10:35+00:00] FATAL: Chef::Exceptions::ChildConvergeError: Chef run process exited unsuccessfully (exit code 1)

    After some googling and digging I learned version 12 of chef-client introduced a breaking change. From version 12 on, every cookbook requires a name attribute in their metadata.rb file. A quick grep through the metadata.rb files in the project revealed several did not include name attributes. You would be correct at this point to suggest I could have added name attributes to the cookbook metadata files and been done with this. However, in this case I was a consumer of the cookbooks and was not involved in maintaining them so an alternate solution was preferable.

    Selecting a Specific Version of Chef in Vagrant

    My idea for a solution was to install the most recent chef-client release prior to version 12. I was not sure how to do this initially but along the way I learned that by default, Vagrant will install the most recent release of chef-client. The Vagrant documentation for Chef provisioners described what I needed to do. The Chef version could be specified in config.vm.provision block in the Vagrantfile:

    config.vm.provision :chef_solo do |chef|
          chef.version = "11.18"
          chef.cookbooks_path = "cookbooks"
          chef.data_bags_path = "data_bags"
          # List of recipes to run
          chef.add_recipe "vagrant_main::my_project"

    With this configuration change, chef-client 11.18 completed the provisioning step successfully.

    chef devops sysadmin vagrant