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sanitize (19) Versions 1.0.2

Sanitizes system by providing a sane default configuration

cookbook 'sanitize', '~> 1.0.2', :supermarket
cookbook 'sanitize', '~> 1.0.2'
knife supermarket install sanitize
knife supermarket download sanitize
Quality 33%


This cookbook aims to normalize setup of a fresh server and set sane
defaults for global settings, and work with various initial
environments (tested on EC2 images, Hetzner "minimal" installations,
and debootstrap-created LXC images). At the moment it supports only
Ubuntu, Debian support is planned.

This cookbook is developed on GitHub at


  • apt
  • chef-client
  • iptables


  • sanitize.iptables -- if false, does not install and configure
    iptables; defaults to true.

  • sanitize.ip6tables -- if false, does not install base ip6tables
    rules along with iptables; defaults to true

  • sanitize.keep_access -- if true, don't disable direct access users
    (ubuntu user or root password); defaults to false.

  • sanitize.ports -- if sanitize.iptables is true, specifies TCP
    ports to open. It is a dictionary, where keys are port numbers or
    service names, and values can be:

    • true -- open port for any source address
    • false -- don't open port
    • a string -- will be used as --src argument to iptables
    • an array of strings -- for many different --src entries
    • TODO: It should be possible to specify a node search query

If the key is a list of ports (port,port) or a range
(port1:port2), then the multiport iptables module will be used.

If the value is true and sanitize.ip6tables is true, the port
will be open in ip6tables; ip6tables treats strings as false.


default['sanitize']['ports']['ssh'] = true
  • sanitize.accept_interfaces -- if sanitize.iptables is true, specifies interfaces to unconditionally accept traffic. It should be a dictionary, where key is name of interface, and value should be true to accept traffic, or false to not accept (which lets override true values). Default:
default['sanitize']['accept_interfaces']['lo'] = true
  • sanitize.apt_repositories -- dictionary of APT repositories to add. Key is repository name, value is remaining attributes of the apt_repository resource provided by the apt cookbook (see If you set distribution to "lsb_codename", node['lsb']['codename'] attribute will be used instead.:

Ubuntu's PPAs can be specified as a simple string, or as a ppa
key; the second form allows for customizing some of the attributes.

:sanitize => {
  :apt_repositories => {
    :percona => {
      :uri => '',
      :distribution => 'lsb_codename',
      :components => [ 'main' ],
      :deb_src => true,
      :keyserver => 'hkp://',
      :key => '1C4CBDCDCD2EFD2A'
    :ruby_ng => 'ppa:brightbox/ruby-ng',
    :nginx => {
      :ppa => 'nginx/stable',
      :distribution => 'precise' # force distribution regardless of lsb.codename
  • sanitize.install_packages -- a list of packages to install on all
    machines; defaults to an empty list.

  • sanitize.locale.default="en_US.UTF-8",
    sanitize.locale.available=[] -- list of locales to make available
    on the server, and a locale to set as default.


Include recipe[sanitize] in your run list after your user accounts
are created and sudo and ssh is configured, and otherwise as early as
possible. In particular, if you use omnibus_updater cookbook, it
should be after sanitize in the run list.


This is the default "base settings" setup. It should be called
after shell user accounts and sudo are configured, as it locks
default login user and direct root access.

  1. Deletes ubuntu system user
  2. Locks system password for root user (assumes that only sudo is used to elevate privileges)
  3. Ensure all FHS-provided directories exist by creating some that have been found missing on some of the installation (namely, /opt)
  4. Sets locale to en_US.UTF-8, generates this locale, sets time zone to UTC
  5. Deletes annoying motd.d files
  6. Installs vim and sets it as a default system editor
  7. Installs and configures iptables, opens SSH port (optional, but enabled by default)
  8. Installs can-has command as a symlink to apt-get
  9. Runs chef-client::config


Plans for future, in no particular order:

  • Depend on and include openssh-server; configure SSH known hosts, provide sane SSH server and client configuration defaults
  • Provide hooks (definitions / LWRP / library) for other cookbooks for commonly used facilities, such as opening up common ports, "backend" http service, SSL keys management, maybe some other "library" functions like helpers for encrypted data bags
  • Test with test-kitchen

Dependent cookbooks

apt >= 0.0.0
chef-client >= 0.0.0
iptables >= 0.0.0

Contingent cookbooks

There are no cookbooks that are contingent upon this one.



  • Update README and default attributes


  • Drop leftover dependencies


Not an "it's mature and stable" 1.0, but a major version bump due to

  • Breaking changes

    • Stop installing chef_gems (use gem declaration in some cookbook's metadata instead)
    • Drop support of Ubuntu below 14.04 and whatever was supported on OSX
    • Stop forcing log file mode (chef-client cookbook has a chef_client.log_perm attribute now)
    • Don't call omnibus_updater (which has been deprecated in favour of chef_client_updater anyway), leave it to the user
    • Depend on chef-client 12.14 for Ruby 2.3
  • Configure iptables prefix & suffix to work with new iptables

  • Add sanitize.accept_interfaces attribute

  • Add ip6tables

  • Deprecation fix on user resource

  • Follow Foodcritic & Rubocop suggestions


  • Install package tzdata, it is apparently missing too



  • sanitize.locale.available & sanitize.locale.default attributes


  • Fix dependencies


  • Drop helpers recipe, install gems instead


  • New recipe to install chef-helpers and chef-sugar.


  • Support Ubuntu PPAs


  • Refactor iptables code, support multiport module.
  • Don't bomb on OSX


  • Split into multiple cookbooks


  • Don't upload backup files


  • include recipe chef-client::config
  • add attribute sanitize.keep_access to enable debugging access problems
  • don't lock down logfile if it doesn't exist
  • don't include build-essential recipe, Omnibus Chef includes ruby-shadow
  • include recipe omnibus_updater
  • unbreak bootstrap: continue Chef run if deleting ubuntu user is not possible


  • Include trailing newline in /etc/timezone to avoid regeneration
  • Don't run locale-gen if system knows about en_US.UTF-8


  • Chef 11 compatibility
  • Configure iptables not only for ssh
  • Use user resource instead of usermod / userdel hacks


  • Initial release of sanitize

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Collaborator Number Metric

1.0.2 failed this metric

Failure: Cookbook has 1 collaborators. A cookbook must have at least 2 collaborators to pass this metric.

Contributing File Metric

1.0.2 failed this metric

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Foodcritic Metric

1.0.2 passed this metric

No Binaries Metric

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Testing File Metric

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Version Tag 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 include a tag that matches this cookbook version number