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multipackage (14) Versions 5.0.0

Accumulated installation of multiple packages across multiple cookbooks

cookbook 'multipackage', '= 5.0.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'multipackage', '= 5.0.0'
knife supermarket install multipackage
knife supermarket download multipackage
Quality 50%

Multipackage Cookbook

Build Status
+Code Climate
Cookbook Version

Chef Package Installation Nirvana

  • Leverages Chef 12.1.0 multipackage installation
  • Back-compat with Chef 12.0.x
  • Compatible with package provider that do not support multipackage
  • Accumulate packages across all cookbooks and install with one resource
  • Duplicated packages do not generate CHEF-3694 resource cloning errors

Chef 11.x Compat

  • The last version of this that supported Chef 11.x was 2.0.4

Note that in that version you have to use multipackage_install to do
scatter-gather and multipackage is the resource which was renamed to


This cookbook supplies an LWRP multipackage_internal which provides a
backwards-compatability layer around supplying an array of packages to the
package resource which was introduced in Chef 12.1.0. By using this LWRP a
cookbook will execute a single resource with an array argument on Chef 12.1.0,
but will dispatch multiple resources to handle each individual resource to
maintain compatibility with previous versions of Chef. You should not use it,
instead use the multipackage definition.

This cookbook also supplies a definition multipackage which wraps
multipackage with additional functionality not present in core chef which
implements an accumulator pattern to gather packages from many different
cookbooks and install them in a single resource call (assuming it runs on Chef
12.1.0 or greater).


This should run fine on any distro on any version of Chef. For installing
multiple packages in a single resource call the core chef provider that is
being used will need to support that (as of Chef 12.1.0 this is only apt on
Ubuntu and yum on RHELs/Fedora).

Cookbook Dependencies




This takes an array of packages and installs them. On chef versions that do
not support array arguments to the package resource it will explode the
package_name argument into multiple package resources for backwards


This installs three packages and shows the parameters which the definition supports:

multipackage_internal [ "lsof, "tcpdump", "zsh" ] do
  version [ "1.1.1", "2.2.2", "3.3.3" ]
  options { "some" => "options" }
  per_package_timeout 30


  • :install - install the packages
  • :remove - remove the packages
  • :upgrade - upgrade the packages
  • :reconfig - reconfigure the packages
  • :purge - purge the packages


  • package_name - This must be an array
  • version - This must be an array and, if present, must have the same number of elements as package_name
  • options - Options to pass to package provider(s).
  • per_package_timeout - Timeout to pass to package provider(s). Will be multiplied times the number of total packages.



This implements an accumulator pattern to gather all its arguments across every
cookbook and issue a single multipackage_internal resource to install all of
the gathered packages. The resource will be placed in the resource collection
at the point where the first definition is encountered -- in other words it
will run very early in converge phase as opposed to being implemented as a
delayed notification which would run too late for cookbooks to depend upon the
packages being installed.


On Chef >= 12.1.0 and Ubuntu/RHEL these files will result in a single resource
that installs all 4 packages at once.

In my_zlib/default.rb:

multipackage "zlib-dev"

In my_zsh/default.rb:

multipackage "zsh"

In my_xml/default.rb:

multipackage [ "xml2-dev", "xslt-dev" ]

The definition with no arguments will create the multipackage_internal
resource in the resource collection at the point where this line is evaluated
(if this is the first recipe line your chef client run parses, then the first
thing that will happen in your chef-client run is that all packages will be


In Chef 12 (Chef-11 definitions do not support this behavior) this definition
returns the resource it creates so you can hang notifies and subscribes off of

multipackage.notifies :write, "log[foo]", :immediately


  • package_name - This must be an array
  • version - This must be an array and, if present, must have the same number of elements as package_name
  • options - Options to pass to package provider, currently there is no merging, last-writer-wins
  • timeout - Timeout to pass to package provider, last-writer-wins






Put 'depends multipackage' in your metadata.rb to gain access to the LWRP and
definition in your code.

NOTE on Using Definitions

This cookbook uses a definition for a specific purpose to implement an
accumulator or scatter-gather pattern so that many statements across multiple
recipes and cookbooks produce one resource which is executed. This is done
with a definition so that the accumulating/gathering process occurs at
compile-time. When compile-time is finished all of the data has been
accumulated. This lets a resource run very early in the run-list and do its
work early.

If this was implemented as an LWRP it would have to do its accumulation work
late, at converge time in the provider That would make it impossible to install
the packages early. An LWRP implementation is possible in conjunction with a
delayed notification to a resource to consume the accumulated data, but then
recipe code could not depend on the packages having been installed. Since a
definition is a compile-time macro this cookbook takes advantage of that
distinction to more elegantly solve this problem without forcing providers to
run at compile_time which is more of an antipattern than definitions are.

Definitions also do not have a "CHEF-3694" "resource cloning" issue. That
makes it easy for the definition to roll its own logic to handle collisions.

In general LWRPs should always be used over definitions. This is the one case
where they should be used.

Bugs and Edge Conditions

  • options could be merged in the definition
  • timeout could update the timeout in the definition only if its larger than the current one or something like that
  • there's other parameters to package, yum_package, etc that are not implemented
  • to suppress CHEF-3694 errors the first declaration of installing a package 'wins' with regards to options/version/etc


Just open a PR or Issue on GitHub.

License and Author

Copyright:: 2015 Lamont Granquist

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Dependent cookbooks

This cookbook has no specified dependencies.

Contingent cookbooks

zsh Applicable Versions

Collaborator Number Metric

5.0.0 failed this metric

Failure: Cookbook has 0 collaborators. A cookbook must have at least 2 collaborators to pass this metric.

Contributing File Metric

5.0.0 failed this metric

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

5.0.0 passed this metric

No Binaries Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric

Testing File Metric

5.0.0 failed this metric

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

Version Tag Metric

5.0.0 passed this metric