Google Cloud Platform

kitchen-google is a Test Kitchen driver for Google Cloud Platform.


Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Project

A Google Cloud Platform account is required. If you do not already have an appropriate “project” in which to run your test-kitchen instances, create one, noting the “project id”.

Authentication and Authorization

The underlying API this plugin uses relies on the Google Auth Library to handle authentication to the Google Cloud API. The auth library expects that there is a JSON credentials file located at:


The easiest way to create this is to download and install the Google Cloud SDK and run the gcloud auth application-default login command which will create the credentials file for you.

If you already have a file you’d like to use that is in a different location, set the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable with the full path to that file.

SSH Keys

Project Level Keys

In order to bootstrap Linux nodes, you will first need to ensure your SSH keys are set up correctly. Ensure your SSH public key is properly entered into your project’s Metadata tab in the GCP Console. GCE will add your key to the appropriate user’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file when Chef first connects to perform the bootstrap process.

  • If you don’t have one, create a key using ssh-keygen
  • Log in to the GCP console, select your project, go to Compute Engine, and go to the Metadata tab.
  • Select the “SSH Keys” tab.
  • Add a new item, and paste in your public key.
    • Note: to change the username automatically detected for the key, prefix your key with the username you plan to use to connect to a new instance. For example, if you plan to connect as “chefuser”, your key should look like: chefuser:ssh-rsa AAAAB3N...
  • Click “Save”.

Alternatively, the Google Cloud SDK (a.k.a. gcloud) will create a SSH key for you when you create and access your first instance:

  1. Create a small test instance: gcloud compute instances create instance1 --zone us-central1-f --image-family=debian-8 --image-project=debian-cloud --machine-type g1-small
  2. Ensure your SSH keys allow access to the new instance gcloud compute ssh instance1 --zone us-central1-f
  3. Log out and delete the instance gcloud compute instances delete instance1 --zone us-central1-f

You will now have a local SSH keypair, ~/.ssh/google_compute_engine[.pub] that will be used for connecting to your GCE Linux instances for this local username when you use the gcloud compute ssh command. You can tell Test Kitchen to use this key by adding it to the transport section of your .kitchen.yml:

    - ~/.ssh/google_compute_engine

You can find more information on configuring SSH keys in the Google Compute Engine documentation.

Instance Level Keys

It is possible to add keys that are not included in the project’s metadata to an instance. Do this by listing additional keys in custom metadata (see below for more about setting metadata).

For example, given a workspace that has environment variables set for USER (the username to connect as) and SSH_KEY (the path to the private key to use):

  name: gce
    ssh-keys: <%= ENV['USER'] + ':' + IO.binread("#{ENV['SSH_KEY']}.pub").rstrip! %>

  username: <%= ENV['USER'] %>
  ssh_key: <%= ENV['SSH_KEY'] %>



Required. The project ID of the GCP project into which Test Kitchen instances will be launched. This can be found on the “Manage All Projects” screen, found under the “Select a Project” drop-down at the top of the GCP console.

Note that this parameter requires the “Project ID”, not the “Project Name.”

Example: “funky-penguin-12345”


The project ID of the GCP project to search for the configured image or image family. This must be specified to find either public images or your own images that exist in another project.

Example: “ubuntu-os-cloud”


The family of the image to initialize your boot disk from, the latest non-deprecated image will be used.

Note that this parameter will be ignored if image_name is also specified.

Example: “ubuntu-1604-lts”


The name of the disk image to use as the source image for the boot disk.

Example: centos-7-v20170124

This parameter will override image_family if they are both specified.

If image_project is not specified, only the GCP project specified in project will be searched.


Required if region is left blank. The name of the GCE zone in which to launch your instances.

Example: us-east1-b


Required if zone is left blank. The name of the region in which to launch your instances. A zone in the region will be randomly selected.

Example: us-central1

This parameter will be ignored if zone is specified.


Optional Name to give to instance. If given, must be under 63 characters in length. Any character that is not alphanumeric or a hyphen will be converted to a hyphen. Unlike EC2’s “Name” tag, this is used as an instance identifier and must be unique. By default, a unique name will be auto-generated; note that auto-generated names must be used if there is more than one test suite. Default: tk-<suite>-<platform>-<UUID>


Boolean specifying whether or not to automatically migrate the instance to a host in the event of host maintenance. Default: false


Required for Windows instances. The email address of the currently-logged-in GCP user.

While the credentials file specified in the Authentication and Authorization section is used for all API interactions, the email address is required when performing the necessary password reset prior to bootstrapping the instance.


Hash of labels to associate with instance; default: {}


GCE instance type (size) to launch; default: n1-standard-1


GCE network that instance will be attached to; default: default.

Windows instances. The default network does not permit WinRM connections. You’ll need to specify a network that allows WinRM so that Test Kitchen can connect to these instances.


An IPv4 internal IP address to assign to the instance. If not specified, an unused internal IP is automatically assigned.


GCE project which network belongs to; default is same as project


GCE subnetwork that instance will be attached to. Only applies to custom networks.


GCE project which subnet belongs to. Only applies when subnet is used; default is same as project


If set to true, GCE instance will be brought up as a preemptible virtual machine, that runs at a much lower price than normal instances. However, Compute Engine might terminate (preempt) these instances if it requires access to those resources for other tasks; default: false


The name of the service account to use when enabling account scopes. This is usually an email-formatted service account name created via the “Permissions” tab of the GCP console.

This is ignored unless you specify any service_account_scopes.

Default: “default”


An array of scopes to add to the instance, used to grant additional permissions within GCP.

The scopes can either be a full URL (i.e., the short-name (i.e. devstorage.read_write), or a gcloud alias (i.e. storage-rw).

See the output of gcloud compute instances create --help for a full list of scopes.


Array of tags to associate with instance; default: []


Boolean indicating whether or not to connect to the instance using its private IP address. If true, kitchen-google will also not provision a public IP for this instance. Default: false


Amount of time, in seconds, to wait for any API interactions. Default: 600


Amount of time, in seconds, to refresh the status of an API interaction. Default: 2


Allows custom instance metadata to be set. The following metadata is set by default if no metadata configuration is provided: Default:

"created-by"            => "test-kitchen",
"test-kitchen-instance" => <>,
"test-kitchen-user"     => <env_user>,

Disk configuration

NOTE: In order to support multiple disks in this driver, the disk configuration has been reworked. However, old .kitchen-files will keep working and simply be adapted automatically.

      autodelete_disk: false
      disk_size: 30
      disk_size: 50
      image_name: custom_image # optionally, non-boot disks can also be based from an image instead of blank

In the above example the disk0 would be automatically be used as the bootdisk (/dev/sda), disk1 would be mounted as /dev/sdb and be 30 gigabytes in size. disk2 would be mounted as /dev/sdc and 50 gigabytes in size. Any of these disks could be the bootdisk (see below), but since none is specified, disk0 is automatically elected. Note that if disk1 would be set as bootdisk using boot: true it will be mounted as /dev/sda.


Specifies wether or not a disk should be used as the boot disk for the instance. By default the first disk will be used as boot disk.

autodelete_disk - deprecated as standalone option

Boolean specifying whether or not to automatically delete boot disk for test instance. Default: true

This option is deprecated as a standlone configuration, but can be applied on a per disk level.

NOTE: If you set this to false, once Test Kitchen destroys your instance, the boot disk used will remain in your project. You will need to manually delete it to avoid consuming unused resources by either using the gcloud compute disks delete command in the GCP SDK or by using knife google disk delete from knife-google.

disk_size - deprecated as standalone option

Size, in gigabytes, of boot disk. Default: 10.

This option is deprecated as a standlone configuration, but can be applied on a per disk level.

Some images, such as windows images, have a larger source image size and require the disk_size to be the same size or larger than the source. An error message will be displayed to you indicating this requirement if necessary.

disk_type - deprecated as standalone option

Type of the disk. Default: pd-standard.

This option is deprecated as a standlone configuration, but can be applied on a per disk level.

Valid disk types:

  • pd-standard: Attached magnetic hard drive
  • pd-ssd: Attached SSD
  • local-ssd: Local scratch SSD. NOTE: You cannot specify their size. They always are 375 GB!

Transport Settings

Beginning with Test Kitchen 1.4, settings related to the transport (i.e. how to connect to the instance) have been moved to the transport section of the config, such as the username, password, SSH key path, etc.

Therefore, you will need to update the transport section with the username configured for the SSH Key you imported into your project metadata as described in the “SSH Keys” section above. For example, if you are connecting as the “chefuser”, your .kitchen.yml might have a section like this:

  username: chefuser

Additionally, if you do not wish to use the standard default SSH key (~/.ssh/id_rsa), you can set the ssh_key parameter in the transport section of your .kitchen.yml. For example, if you want to use the SSH key auto-generated by the GCP SDK:

    - ~/.ssh/google_compute_engine

Example kitchen.yml

  name: gce
  project: mycompany-test
  zone: us-east1-c
    - devteam
    - test-kitchen
    - devstorage.read_write

  name: chef_infra

  name: inspec

  username: chefuser

  - name: centos-7
      image_project: centos-cloud
      image_name: centos-7-v20170124
        application: centos
        release: a
        version: 7
  - name: ubuntu-16.04
      image_project: ubuntu-os-cloud
      image_family: ubuntu-1604-lts
        application: ubuntu
        release: a
        version: 1604
  - name: windows
      image_project: windows-cloud
      image_name: windows-server-2012-r2-dc-v20170117
      disk_size: 50
        application: windows
        release: a
        version: cloud

  - name: default
      - recipe[my_cookbook::default]