Richard Bucker

Chef installation : you gotta be kidding me!

Posted at — Jul 22, 2011

Last night I started working on puppet and things were iffy. At least the server and client installed from their ubuntu packages. Admittedly there were errors in the end but they might have been mine… and there are some compatibility issues that have been documented. So I switched to chef with good intentions.Before I get to the details… in hindsight I must have been nuts to try chef. My first clue was the list package dependencies; there must have been 50+. What were the designers thinking?First of all they need a DB and an MQ; and I think I like the idea that they are using packages that exist in the open source environment… but I am amazed that they would use such beheamoths. First of all CouchDB and RabbitMQ both depend on erlang and all those extra packages. When a standard SQL-type DB like SQLite or if they really need a document repo then MongoDB would be fine. At least the packages are small, available in binary form and they have a REST interface that is easy enough to write too. Of course there are so many other DBs that are integrated directly into Ruby or with shallow dependencies.The same can be said for their choice of MQ. RabbitMQ is the thousand pound gorilla. There are two strong candidates in ZeroMQ and beanstalkd. Both are extremely lightweight to install and deploy. They are fast and reasonably functional.So even though I have a personal dislike for all things ruby (based on personal experience in the Birmingham Alabama area) it can do the same job that other dynamic and non-dynamic languages can. Performance and some of the edge cases not withstanding… I hate deep dependencies… (same reason I dislike most package managers including maven).