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Regarding Configuration Management, Chef is a strong rival to Puppet. It's a staple in any DevOps training programme. Many major infrastructure companies rely on Chef. Because of this, it's likely that the company you're interviewing with uses Chef, and you'll be asked plenty of questions about it. To really live it up in your Chef interview, read this article on Chef Interview Questions. Here is the collection of frequently asked questions. You may count on this blog to help you ace that Chef interview.

We have categorized Chef interview questions and answers into 2 parts for better understanding:


Chef Interview Questions and Answers For Freshers

1. What is Chef?

The Chef is a useful tool for automating and managing configurations. The tool is useful because it offers procedures for translating physical structures into computer code. The Chef is perfect for creating scripts to automate many IT and business tasks. Machine configuration on the cloud, physical servers, and virtual machines are all aided by Chef. Facebook, Cheezburger, Expedia, and Etsy are well-known organisations that use Chef to manage and control their infrastructure.

2. What are the important components in Chef?

This inquiry is commonly included in lists of modern questions and answers for first-time chef interviews. The answer would focus on the three main parts: the chef-server, the chef node, and the chef workstation. This is a continuation of the first set of interview questions for a chef.

The nodes' configuration information is stored centrally in the Chef server. The Chef Node is a network client that facilitates information exchange. The node uses a chef-client structure. When making changes to cookbooks and configuration files, the host must use the Chef Workstation. Cookbooks and configuration information are sent from the workstation to the Chef server.

3. Define a chef resource and state its functions.

When interviewing for the position of Chef, common areas to add questions on include chef resources. Chef resource is a piece of hardware or software that must be in place before a service can be set up or maintained. The various roles that Chef's assets play are as follows:

  • The intended configuration item is stated as described.
  • Ability to pick from various services, packages, and premade designs.
  • Taking notes on the characteristics and other important data of the resource.
  • Insights into the process of getting something to a desired state.
  • The working setup is described by recipes, which combine various resources.


4. What are a Chef recipe and its uses?

This inquiry is commonly asked during interviews for positions as a chef. A Chef recipe is a set of Chef components that define an operational configuration and set of rules together. A recipe is a great tool for determining what settings are necessary when setting up a specific system. A Chef recipe serves these purposes primarily:

  • Chef Recipe can be used to set up several pieces of software.
  • Ability to adapt one recipe to the needs of another.
  • The file management and application distribution capabilities of Chef Recipe are likewise first-rate.


5. What is the difference between a recipe and cookbook in Chef?

This is a classic example of a question designed to gauge candidates' conceptual understanding of Chef and its capabilities. In answer to the question posed above, a Chef recipe is a set of instructions for adjusting the settings of some piece of software. Any aspect of the infrastructure can be configured with the help of a Chef recipe. However, a Cookbook is merely a compilation of dishes that individual chefs have perfected. Additionally, the supplementary data found in a Chef recipe simplifies configuration management.

6. What are the main advantages of Chef?

Every candidate for the position of Chef should be ready to answer this question. Among Chef's many benefits are those listed below.

  • The ability to easily automate deployment in a cloud setting.
  • Compatibility with facilities hosted in the cloud and on-premises data centres.
  • The option to use multiple cloud service providers for your infrastructure, increasing your options.
  • In the event of hardware failure, Chef automation increases availability by allowing for greater control or the initiation of supporting servers.


7. What is the run-list in Chef?

This is a typical example of an experience-based question asked during interviews for the position of Chef. Chef's run-list functionality allows users to select which recipes should be executed and in what sequence. If you have numerous cookbooks and the order in which you run the recipes matters, a run-list is the best option. Here are a few of Chef's run lists' most important features.

  • The term "run-list" describes required roles and recipes and the sequence in which they should be executed. Even if a recipe is mentioned multiple times in the run list, the chef-client will only execute it once.
  • Each node's run-list is unique to that node. It's interesting to note that nodes can share a run-list with others.
  • In the Chef server, the run list is kept as a property of the node object.
  • You can use a knife or the Chef Management interface to update a run list. When utilising a knife, the run-list must be sent from the workstation to the Chef server.


8. How can I apply an updated Cookbook to a node?

Questions aimed at testing a candidate's practical skills are prominent in Chef Interview questions and answers. There are three different approaches to updating a node's Cookbook in Chef. The first option requires a workstation with Knife SSH running. The alternative technique necessitates direct SSH access to the server and launching chef-client. The last option includes monitoring the Chef server at predetermined intervals via a service or daemon running chef-client.

9. What is the Starter Kit in Chef?

The starter kit is one of the main points of emphasis in every chef interview. Using Chef's Starter Kit, you may quickly and easily generate the configuration files you need to start interacting with Chef Server. Knife.rb, USER.pem, the chef directory, ORGANIZATION-validator.pem, and other files may all be part of the configuration set. Starter Kit's ease of use is another strong point. The starter kit can be used immediately after being downloaded and transferred to the workstation.

10. Which version of the cookbook is ideal when it is ready to use in production?

The same is true of the chef interview questions. According to the rules of Semantic Versioning, a cookbook's version number should be set to 1.0.0 once it is ready for usage in a live environment.

11. Which command helps in uploading a cookbook to the Chef server?

To save a recipe to the Chef server, type "knife cookbook upload" as the command.

12. What are the functions of the Test Kitchen?

Interview questions for chefs often revolve around their experiences in the test kitchen. The Test Kitchen serves many purposes, some of which include:

Using Test Kitchen, you may create local instances of containers or virtual machines using any of several supported virtualisation providers. The Test Kitchen can create instances on a workstation or the cloud, but both are better.

The test kitchen greatly accelerates the software creation process. Automatic provisioning and exclusion of test instances are how the kitchen accomplishes this. The test kitchen is also useful for figuring out how to apply cookbooks to models and dealing with their dependencies. 

13. What are handlers, and how many are there in Chef?

Handler-related interview questions for chefs are also included. During a chef-client run, handlers are essential for spotting any emergent issues. The handlers then brief the chef-client on the necessary procedures for dealing with the emergency. Chef has three distinct sorts of handlers: exception, start, and report.

Chef Interview Questions For Experienced

14. What is the difference between chef-apply and chef-client?

The list of questions to ask a prospective cook must have started with this one. Some interviewers might ask it even of the most seasoned applicants. A single recipe is used in Chef-apply, but in Chef-client, an entire cookbook is used. Chef-apply is great for learning because it helps you grasp the fundamentals of Chef much more rapidly. In contrast, the chef-client model works when multiple cookbooks need to be used in a single cooking session.

15. What details do you need to bootstrap on Chef?

To successfully bootstrap in Chef, you will need the following information.

  • The node's name and the user's password to access it.
  • The network address or hostname of the node.
  • Key-based authentication in place of traditional login credentials (username and password).


16. Can you explain the benefits of DevOps?

This is a question that may be asked too frequently. Experienced chefs may still be asked things that seem elementary at first. DevOps offers a variety of advantages, both technological and commercial. Quicker troubleshooting, less complicated issues, and constant updates to the software are just a few of the technical advantages. Faster product delivery, greater time for value addition, and more stable operating environments are just some of the commercial benefits that DevOps provides.

17. What are the important types of testing?

This item frequently appears in DevOps chef interview questions. Therefore it's easy for candidates to find. Unit testing, multivariate testing, early load testing, split testing, and test harnesses are just a few testing methods available.

18. How do you intend to manage projects?

A personal point of view is required to answer this question. You may say that success will depend on your familiarity with DevOps project management strategies. Setting up objects, organising the workflow, and keeping the project's scope stable are the other primary focuses of a project management strategy.

Research and developing innovative methods and systems should also receive your attention. However, the most important part of project management is turning requirements into actions. The benefits of utilising continuous integration, release management, and other tools for keeping an eye on cross-disciplinary projects should also be highlighted.

19. What is the most important scripting language for a DevOps engineer?

This is a specific topic for a DevOps Chef interview. The obvious solution is to go with a less complex scripting language. Familiarity with common development paradigms and design patterns should take precedence when deciding on a scripting language. The three best programming paradigms are functional, procedural, and object-oriented.

20. Could you tell me about your experience with CI tools?

Early feedback is obtained using CI, which is desirable because it reduces the costs of rectifying problems. Hudson, CruiseControl.NET, CruiseControl, and Jenkins are all open-source CI tools. Microsoft Team Foundation Server, ThoughtWorks Go, Jetbrain Team City, and Urbancode Anthill Pro are all examples of commercial CI technologies.

21. When hiring a DevOps specialist, what do you look for regarding their multitasking ability?

Reducing misunderstandings between operations and development teams is crucial to the success of DevOps workers. In addition, those working in DevOps need a broad knowledge of development from various angles. For instance, learning about software development from the perspective of a programmer or system administrator.

22. What does OHAI mean in Chef?

In Chef, OHAI is used to gather configuration information for a system and send it to the chef-client. Every time a Chef run begins, the chef-client invokes OHAI to get a status report on the system. OHAI has several pre-installed plugins that aid in identifying common settings. In addition, OHAI provides a plugin paradigm for developing user-specific add-ons.

23. Why are SSL certificates necessary in Chef?

To generate a certificate and private keys, an SSL certificate is required. These certificates encrypt communications between the Chef Server and the Chef-client. With an SSL certificate, every node would have access to the right information.

24. What exactly are Chef's Data Bags?

Data Bags are global variables that hold JSON information. You can get to your data bags through Chef Server. Data bags can be quickly located using indexing or accessed via a recipe.

25. The knife in Chef serves what purpose?

A knife is a command-line tool used to connect a local chef-repo to the Chef server. Nodes, cookbooks, recipes, roles, data bags, and environments can all be easily managed thanks to the knife. Additionally, a knife is a promising tool for controlling resources in various cloud settings. The knife also facilitates searching the indexed data on the Chef server and controlling the installation of the chef-client on nodes.

Most Common Chef Interview FAQs

1. Just what does "chef technology" entail?

Chef is a free and open-source software for managing and automating cloud-based systems. Once known as Opscode, the company rebranded as Chef after developing the configuration management tool. With Chef, server deployment and management can be automated by turning infrastructure into code.

2. Preparing for an IT Job Interview: What to Expect?

Interviewees at this round usually meet with a human resources representative or an IT recruiting manager. You can anticipate standard interview questions to gauge your level of education, work background, and technical expertise.

3. Chef is a tool, but what kind?

Chef is a DevOps tool for configuration management that automates, tests, and deploys code for managing infrastructure rather than relying on a human method.

4. Does the term "continuous integration" apply to Chef?

Chef is a machine configuration management programme that may be used with physical servers, virtual machines, and cloud infrastructure. It facilitates collaboration between software engineers and IT operations staff during application deployment.

5. Just what is the chef language for programming?

Chef scripts, often known as recipes, are constructed from reusable definitions written in Ruby.

6. Does Docker replace Chef?

Actually, Docker and Chef can work together for mutual benefit; while Docker is used for rapidly deploying new servers, Chef is used for rolling out minor, precise updates to existing machines, a task for which Docker may be unsuitable.

7. What is Chef tool in agile?

With DevOps, you can automate tasks with Chef. It's a CM solution allows you to easily automate operations across your entire network's servers and other devices. An organisation can greatly benefit from adopting such a framework.

8. For which AWS service is Chef used?

With AWS OpsWorks, you can run Chef and Puppet in a managed environment.

9. Explain the Exception handler in Chef.

This handler can be utilised at any point throughout a Chef Infra Client run in which a recipe containing the chef handler resource has been added to the node's run-list in the event of a failure. The run_status object is passed to the exception handler, and the 'failed?' field is set to true.

10. Explain Report handler in Chef.

This handler can be used when the Chef Infra Client completes a run and sends a report. The node list is executed using a recipe that includes the chef handler resource. The'success?' field of the run_status object is set to true when the report handler has completed its run.

11. Explain Start handler in Chef.

These handlers, as their name suggests, are implemented in the client.rb configuration file for launching the Chef Infra Client, running events, or utilising the gem resources provided by the chef-client cookbook recipe.

12. Explain Handler DSL in Chef.

Handler DSL is used to attach a callback to events like sending an email when a Chef Infra Client run fails or updating StatsD with aggregated statistics about resources while a Chef Infra Client run is in progress.


Businesses with many customers need to keep their systems and servers running, whether in the company's own data centre or the cloud. Chef, an automated solution for configuration management, should be installed to manage and configure new systems and servers and to maintain the current infrastructure to keep it healthy. Continuous deployment is aided by Chef, which checks the infrastructure for flaws and fixes them before it is released on-premises or in the cloud.

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About Author


Liam Plunkett

Solution Architect

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