As this is a quick start guide, it doesn't assume any great familiarity with Chef or Ruby and takes you through the process of writing a Chef cookbook with automated testing as standard. In order to follow this guide, we'll need a few tools first.


In order to virtualize a 64 bit operating system, one must also be running a 64 bit operating system. Most importantly, the CPU itself must support hardware virtualization extensions and this must be enabled in the BIOS/EFI. Most modern processors support virtualization extensions in the form of VT-x (Intel) or AMD-V (AMD).

Windows and Hyper-V

Unfortunately Hyper-V doesn't like other hypervisors running at the same time and it must be disabled as a Windows Feature for VirtualBox to function properly.

First, install the ChefDK. This package includes Chef, Kitchen, Berkshelf, and a variety of useful tools for the Chef ecosystem.

$ chef --version
Chef Development Kit Version: 1.3.43
chef-client version: 12.19.36
delivery version: master (dd319aa632c2f550c92a2172b9d1226478fea997)
berks version: 5.6.4
kitchen version: 1.16.0

VirtualBox is a hypervisor that lets you run virtual machines on your local workstation. Obtain the correct installer for your platform here.

$ VBoxManage --version

Vagrant manages hypervisors such as VirtualBox and makes it easy to distribute pre-packaged virtual machines, known as "boxes". Obtain the correct installer for your platform here.

$ vagrant --version
Vagrant 1.9.4

We've just installed CheDK, VirtualBox, and Vagrant. The reason we have done so is that the default driver for test-kitchen is kitchen-vagrant which uses Vagrant to create, manage, and destroy local virtual machines. Vagrant itself supports many different hypervisors and clouds but for the purposes of this exercise we are interested in the default local virtualization provided by VirtualBox.

Kitchen is modular so that one may use a variety of different drivers (Vagrant, EC2, Docker), provisioners (Chef, Ansible, Puppet), or verifiers (InSpec, Serverspec, BATS) but for the purposes of the guide we're focusing on the default "happy path" of Vagrant with VirtualBox, Chef, and InSpec.