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consul (79) Versions 3.0.0

Application cookbook which installs and configures Consul.

cookbook 'consul', '= 3.0.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'consul', '= 3.0.0'
knife supermarket install consul
knife supermarket download consul
Quality 57%

Consul Cookbook

Build Status
Code Quality
Cookbook Version

Application cookbook which installs and configures Consul.

Consul is a tool for discovering and configuring services within your
infrastructure. This is an application cookbook which takes a
simplified approach to configuring and installing
Consul. Additionally, it provides Chef primitives for more advanced

Basic Usage

For most infrastructure we suggest first starting with the default
recipe. This installs and configures Consul from the latest supported
release. It is also what is used to certify platform support through
the use of our integration tests.

This cookbook provides node attributes which are used to fine tune
the default recipe which installs and configures Consul. These values
are passed directly into the Chef resource/providers which are exposed
for more advanced configuration.

Out of the box the following platforms are certified to work and are
tested using our Test Kitchen configuration. Additional platforms
may work, but your mileage may vary.

  • RHEL/CentOS 5.11, 6.8, 7.3
  • Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04, 16.04
  • Debian 7.11, 8.7
  • Windows Server 2012 R2


Out of the box the default recipe installs and configures the Consul
agent to run as a service in client mode. The intent here is that
your infrastructure already has a quorum of servers. In order
to configure Consul to connect to your cluster you would supply an
array of addresses for the Consul agent to join. This would be done
in your wrapper cookbook:
node.default['consul']['config']['start_join'] = %w{}


This cookbook is designed to allow for the flexibility to bootstrap a
new cluster. The best way to do this is through the use of a
wrapper cookbook which tunes specific node attributes for a
production server deployment.

The Consul cluster cookbook is provided as an example.

Advanced Usage

As explained above this cookbook provides Chef primitives in the form
of resource/provider to further manage the install and configuration
of Consul. These primitives are what is used in the default recipe,
and should be used in your own wrapper cookbooks for more
advanced configurations.


It is very important to understand that each resource/provider has
defaults for some properties. Any changes to a resource's default
properties may need to be also changed in other resources. The best
example is the Consul configuration directory.

In the example below we're going to change the configuration file from
the default (/etc/consul.json) to one that may be on a special volume.
It is obvious that we need to change the path where consul_config
writes its file to, but it is less obvious that this needs to be
passed into consul_service.

Inside of a recipe in your wrapper cookbook you'll want to do
something like the following block of code. It uses the validated
input from the configuration resource and passes it into the service
resource. This ensures that we're using the same data.
config = consul_config '/data/consul/default.json'
consul_service 'consul' do
config_file config.path


The default recipe makes the Consul configuration writable by the consul service
user to avoid breaking existing implementations. You can make this more secure
by setting the node['consul']['config']['owner'] attribute to root, or set
the owner property of consul_config explicitly:

# attributes file
default['consul']['config']['owner'] = 'root'


recipe file

consul_config '/etc/consul/consul.json' do
owner 'root'


In order to provide an idempotent implementation of Consul
watches and definitions. We write these out as
a separate configuration file in the JSON file format. The provider
for both of these resources are identical in functionality.

Below is an example of writing a Consul service definition for
the master instance of Redis. We pass in several parameters and tell
the resource to notify the proper instance of the Consul service to
consul_definition 'redis' do
type 'service'
parameters(tags: %w{master}, address: '', port: 6379)
notifies :reload, 'consul_service[consul]', :delayed

A check definition can easily be added as well. You simply have
to change the type and pass in the correct parameters. The definition
below checks memory utilization using a script on a ten second interval.
consul_definition 'mem-util' do
type 'check'
parameters(script: '/usr/local/bin/', interval: '10s')
notifies :reload, 'consul_service[consul]', :delayed

A service definition with an integrated check can also be created. You will have to define a regular service and then add a check as a an additional parameter. The definition below checks if the vault service is healthy on a 10 second interval and 5 second timeout.
consul_definition 'vault' do
type 'service'
port: 8200,
address: '',
tags: ['vault', 'http'],
check: {
interval: '10s',
timeout: '5s',
http: ''
notifies :reload, 'consul_service[consul]', :delayed

Finally, a watch is created below to tell the agent to monitor to
see if an application has been deployed. Once that application is
deployed a script is run locally. This can be used, for example, as a
lazy way to clear a HTTP disk cache.
consul_watch 'app-deploy' do
type 'event'
parameters(handler: '/usr/local/bin/')
notifies :reload, 'consul_service[consul]', :delayed

A keen eye would notice that we are delaying the reload of the Consul
service instance
. The reason we do this is to minimize the number of
times we need to tell Consul to actually reload configurations. If
there are several definitions this may save a little time off your
Chef run.


The consul_acl resource allows management of Consul ACL rules. Supported
actions are :create and :delete. The :create action will update/insert
as necessary.

The consul_acl resource requires the Diplomat Ruby API gem to be
installed and available to Chef before using the resource. This can be
accomplished by including consul::client_gem recipe in your run list.

In order to make the resource idempotent and only notify when necessary, the
id field is always required (defaults to the name of the resource).
If type is not provided, it will default to "client". The acl_name
and rules attributes are also optional; if not included they will be empty
in the resulting ACL.

The example below will create a client ACL token with an ID of the given UUID,
Name of "AwesomeApp Token", and Rules of the given string.
consul_acl '49f06aa9-782f-465a-becf-44f0aaefd335' do
acl_name 'AwesomeApp Token'
type 'client'
rules <<-EOS.gsub(/^\s{4}/, '')
key "" {
policy = "read"
service "" {
policy = "write"
auth_token node['consul']['config']['acl_master_token']


The command-line agent provides a mechanism to facilitate remote
execution. For example, this can be used to run the uptime command
across your fleet of nodes which are hosting a particular API service.
consul_execute 'uptime' do
options(service: 'api')

Warning on git based installs

Consul states that Go 1.7 is a requirement. The default go installation uses
1.5, so you may need to override a ['go']['version'] attribute to allow the
git installation to work reliably.

All of the options available on the command-line can be passed
into the resource. This could potentially be a very dangerous
operation. You should absolutely understand what you are doing. By the
nature of this command it is impossible for it to be idempotent.

Collaborator Number Metric

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Contributing File Metric

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Failure: To pass this metric, your cookbook metadata must include a source url, the source url must be in the form of, and your repo must contain a file

Foodcritic Metric

3.0.0 failed this metric

FC069: Ensure standardized license defined in metadata: consul/metadata.rb:1
Run with Foodcritic Version 11.1.0 with tags metadata,correctness ~FC031 ~FC045 and failure tags any

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Failure: To pass this metric, your cookbook metadata must include a source url, the source url must be in the form of, and your repo must contain a file

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