Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adventures with chef-server and Gentoo, part 1

I had been circling around chef-server and Gentoo for a while. There are three ways to install Chef-server:

  1. Install it manually

  2. Use chef-solo to bootstrap chef-server

  3. Use system packages

Needless to say, (1) was not fun. While (2) invokes the mystical recursive experience of Lisp-written-in-Lisp or maybe, the Stand Alone Complex, as someone who is more excited about using Chef, I just want to get on with it.

Option (3) depends on how good your favorite distro is. And in Gentoo's case, this has been somewhat lacking. Fortunately, someone has put together a chef-overlay and update it for Chef 0.8.10. The instruction in the README works.

What does not work is if, you are like me, decide to be clever and use autounmask instead of downloading the gists. After the tenth gem I had to "auto" unmask, I gave up and used the gist version. If you are building a new chef-server on Gentoo, you should too.

We'll see how this experience goes. As I dive deeper into the rabbit hole, I'll post back here. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. To clarify my comment about the "stand alone complex" and "getting on with it": when I first watched it, I was also reading a great many of Paul Graham's essays. That was where I first encountered the idea of the Y Combinator. I vaguely knew there was a connection between a "stand alone complex" and a Y Combinator (I've met many people way smarter than me; they'd get the connection). It wasn't until trying to code a Y Combinator from scratch and use it that I got it, that (1) you use it to create anonymous recursive functions and (2) it works by pulling the scaffolding with it. This is exactly the theme that both seasons of Ghost in the Shell SAC was talking about.

    This also happens to relate to extropy. In a sense, we're effectively anonymous functions bootstrapping ourselves.

    The fact that there is that sublime meta-ness of bootstrapping Chef-server with Chef-server is that, although it touches on a sort of Platonic ideal of anonymous recursion, at the same time, if you are not using Chef (or something like Chef), you are already obsolete, and you don't even know it.

    That is why I just want to get on with it. Or maybe I've already touched on that Platonic ideal, and this is merely yet another manifestation.