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sensu (48) Versions 4.0.2

Installs/Configures Sensu

cookbook 'sensu', '~> 4.0.2'
cookbook 'sensu', '~> 4.0.2', :supermarket
knife cookbook site install sensu
knife cookbook site download sensu


Build Status Cookbook VersionBuild Status


This cookbook provides custom resources and service recipes to install and configure Sensu, a monitoring framework.

The custom resources provide building blocks for creating a monitoring cookbook specific to your environment (wrapper). Without such a wrapper, no Sensu configuration files will be created for your nodes.

An example wrapper cookbook can be found HERE.

How to Write Reusable Chef Cookbooks


See, and documents.



  • Ubuntu/Debian
  • RHEL and derivatives
  • Fedora
  • Windows
  • AIX


  • Chef 12+


NOTE: This cookbook either constrains its dependencies optimistically (>=) or not at all. You're strongly encouraged to more strictly manage these dependencies in your wrapper cookbook.

Package versioning

This cookbook makes no attempt to manage the versions of its package dependencies. If you desire or require management of these versions, you should handle these via your wrapper cookbook.


SSL configuration

Running Sensu with SSL is recommended; by default this cookbook attempts to load SSL credentials from a data bag sensu, with an item ssl, containing the required SSL certificates and keys. These data bag items may be encrypted via native Chef encrypted data bags or via Chef Vault.

The data loaded from the data bag by default is expected to be formatted as follows:

  "server": {
    "cert": "CERTIFICATE_DATA",
    "key": "PRIVATE_KEY_DATA",
    "cacert": "CA_CERTIFICATE_DATA"
  "client": {
    "cert": "CERTIFICATE_DATA",
    "key": "PRIVATE_KEY_DATA"

All of the above values are expected to be strings comprised of PEM-formatted credentials with escaped line endings. See test/integration/data_bags/sensu/ssl.json for a more literal example.

If the attempt to load SSL credentials from a data bag fails, the cookbook will log a warning but proceed with the rest of the Chef run anyway, on the assumption that credentials will be inserted into the Chef "run state" (i.e. node.run_state['sensu']['ssl']) in the same format using the Sensu::ChefRunState helper methods, set_sensu_run_state and get_sensu_run_state.

Please see the documentation for the run state helper methods for more information.

This cookbook comes with a tool to generate the certificates and data bag items. If the integrity of the certificates is ever compromised, you must regenerate and redeploy them.

cd examples/ssl
./ generate
knife data bag create sensu

Use the plain-text data bag item:

knife data bag from file sensu ssl.json

Or, encrypt it with your data bag secret. See Encrypt a Data Bag for more information.

knife data bag --secret-file /path/to/your/secret from file sensu ssl.json
./ clean



Installs Sensu and creates a base configuration file, intended to be extended. This recipe must be included before any of the Sensu LWRP's can be used. This recipe does not enable or start any services.


Installs and configures RabbitMQ for Sensu, from configuring SSL to creating a vhost and credentials. This recipe relies heavily on the community RabbitMQ cookbook LWRP's.


Installs and configures Redis for Sensu. This recipe uses the RedisIO cookbook and installs Redis from source.


Installs and configures Sensu Enterprise.


Enables and starts the Sensu server.


Enables and starts the Sensu client.


Enables and starts the Sensu API.


Enables and starts Sensu Enterprise.


Installs and configures Sensu Enterprise Dashboard.


Enables and starts Sensu Enterprise Dashboard.



node["sensu"]["version"] - Sensu build to install.

node["sensu"]["use_unstable_repo"] - If the build resides on the "unstable" repository.

node["sensu"]["apt_repo_codename"] - Override LSB release codename detected by ohai for purposes of configuring the apt repository definition.

node["sensu"]["yum_repo_releasever"] - Override $releasever string used in yum repository definition.

node["sensu"]["directory"] - Sensu configuration directory.

node["sensu"]["log_directory"] - Sensu log directory.

node["sensu"]["log_level"] - Sensu log level (eg. "warn").

node["sensu"]["use_ssl"] - If Sensu and RabbitMQ are to use SSL.

node["sensu"]["user"] - The user who owns all sensu files and directories. Default "sensu".

node["sensu"]["group"] - The group that owns all sensu files and directories. Default "sensu".

node["sensu"]["use_embedded_ruby"] - If Sensu Ruby handlers and plugins use the embedded Ruby in the Sensu package (default: true).

node["sensu"]["service_max_wait"] - How long service scripts should wait for Sensu to start/stop.

node["sensu"]["loaded_tempfile_dir"] - Where Sensu stores temporary files. Set a persistent directory if you use hardened system that cleans temporary directory regularly.


Sensu requires Microsoft's .Net Framework to run on Windows. The following attributes influence the installation of .Net via this cookbook:

node["sensu"]["windows"]["install_dotnet"] - Toggles installation of .Net Framework using ms_dotnet cookbook. (default: true)

node["sensu"]["windows"]["dotnet_major_version"] - Major version of .Net Framework to install. (default: 4)

Adjusting the value of dotnet_major_version attribute will influence which recipe from ms_dotnet cookbook will be included. See ms_dotnet cookbook for additional details on using this cookbook.


node["sensu"]["transport"]["name"] - Name of transport to use for Sensu communications. Default "rabbitmq"


node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["hosts"] - Array of RabbitMQ hosts as strings, which will be combined with other RabbitMQ attributes to generate the Sensu RabbitMQ transport configuration as an array of hashes. Falls back to node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["host"] when empty. Defaults to an empty array.

node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["host"] - RabbitMQ host.

node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["port"] - RabbitMQ port, usually for SSL.

node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["ssl"] - RabbitMQ SSL configuration, DO NOT EDIT THIS.

node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["vhost"] - RabbitMQ vhost for Sensu.

node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["user"] - RabbitMQ user for Sensu.

node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["password"] - RabbitMQ password for Sensu.


node["sensu"]["redis"]["host"] - Redis host.

node["sensu"]["redis"]["port"] - Redis port.

Sensu API

node["sensu"]["api"]["host"] - Sensu API host, for other services to reach it.

node["sensu"]["api"]["bind"] - Sensu API bind address.

node["sensu"]["api"]["port"] - Sensu API port.

Sensu Enterprise

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["repo_protocol"] - Sensu Enterprise repo protocol (e.g. http, https)

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["repo_host"] - Sensu Enterprise repo host

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["version"] - Desired Sensu Enterprise package version

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["use_unstable_repo"] - Toggle use of Sensu Enterprise unstable repository

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["log_level"] - Configure Sensu Enterprise log level

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["heap_size"] - Configure Sensu Enterprise heap size

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["heap_dump_path"] - Configure path where Sensu Enterprise will store heap dumps. Directory path will be managed by Chef. Honored by Enterprise version 2.0.0 and newer.

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["java_opts"] - Specify additional Java options when running Sensu Enterprise

node["sensu"]["enterprise"]["max_open_files"] - Specify maxiumum number of file handles. Honored by Enterprise version 1.7.2 and newer.

Custom Resources (LWRPs)

Define a client

sensu_client node["name"] do
  address node["ipaddress"]
  subscriptions node["roles"] + ["all"]
  additional(:cluster => node["cluster"])

The sensu_client provider also supports the following optional attributes:

  • deregister
  • deregistration
  • keepalive
  • keepalives
  • redact
  • registration
  • safe_mode
  • socket

Define a handler

sensu_handler "pagerduty" do
  type "pipe"
  command "pagerduty.rb"
  severities ["ok", "critical"]

Define a check

sensu_check "redis_process" do
  command "check-procs.rb -p redis-server -C 1"
  handlers ["default"]
  subscribers ["redis"]
  interval 30
  additional(:notification => "Redis is not running", :occurrences => 5)

Define a filter

sensu_filter "environment" do
  attributes(:client => {:environment => "development"})
    :all => [{ :begin => "05:00 PM", :end => "09:00 AM" }}],
    :saturday => [{ :begin => "09:00 AM", :end => "05:00 PM" }],
    :sunday => [{ :begin => "09:00 AM", :end => "05:00 PM" }]
  negate true

Define a mutator

sensu_mutator "opentsdb" do
  command "opentsdb.rb"

Define a custom configuration snippet

sensu_snippet "irc" do
  content(:uri => "irc://")

Helper modules and methods

Run State Helpers

The Sensu::ChefRunState module provides helper methods which populate node.run_state['sensu'] with arbitrary key/value pairs. This provides a means for wrapper cookbooks to populate the node.run_state with data required by the cookbook, e.g. SSL credentials, without cookbook itself enforcing source for that data.

NOTE: The node.run_state is not persisted locally nor on a Chef server. Data stored here exists only for the duration of the Chef run.


This method sets values inside the node.run_state['sensu'] Mash, and expects arguments in the following order:

  1. the Chef node object
  2. one or more keys, providing the path to walk
  3. the value to set at that path


set_sensu_state(node, 'food', 'nachos', true)

The above sets the value of node.run_state['sensu']['food']['nachos'] to true.


This method retrieves the value of a key inside the node.run_state['sensu'] Mash and expects arguments in the following order:

  1. the Chef node object
  2. one or more keys, providing the path to walk


get_sensu_state(node, 'food', 'nachos') would return true

When no value is set for a requested path, this method returns nil:

get_sensu_state(node, 'this', 'path', 'is', 'invalid') returns nil


Please visit for details on community and commercial support resources, including the official IRC channel.

Sensu cookbook changelog

This file is used to track changes made in recent versions of the Sensu cookbook. Please see for changes from older versions of this project.


4.0.2 - 2017-07-06


  • Tests now run via ChefDK


  • Updated node attribute syntax for Chef 13 compatibility
  • Updated recipes to allow for "amazon" platform family under Chef 13


  • When given a value, node["sensu"]["yum_repo_releasever"] attribute will be used in lieu of $releasever yum variable, restoring support for RHEL derivatives, e.g. Amazon Linux.

  • When given a value, node["sensu"]["apt_repo_codename"] attribute will be used in lieu of the LSB codename detected by ohai on Debian and Ubuntu.

4.0.0 - 2017-03-14


  • Due to sysv init scripts being replaced with systemd unit files on select platforms, upgrading Sensu package from version < 0.27 to >= 0.27 may leave Sensu services in an unexpected state. This cookbook does not attempt to address this condition. See the Sensu 0.27 changelog for further details.

As required to support Sensu 0.27 and later:

  • Configuration of yum and apt package repositories have changed to target per-platform version packages, using $releasever or release codename, respectively.

  • The init_style attribute has been removed from sensu_service resource. The sensu_service resource will now use Chef's default service provider on each platform.


The default version of Sensu is now 0.28.4

The default version of Sensu Enterprise is now 2.5.1

The default version of Sensu Enterprise Dashboard is now 2.3.0


  • sensu_check resources can now be deleted without requiring standalone or subscriptions attributes

  • The built-in Administrator group should now be usable for the value of node["sensu"]["group"] on Windows platforms.

3.2.0 - 2017-01-10


The runit init_style is now deprecated and will be removed in the next major version of this cookbook.


Added days parameter to sensu_filter resources. This parameter accepts a hash of time windows passed as the value of a filter's when attribute. See the filter reference doc for more detail on time windows.

Added new attributes added for configuring Sensu Enterprise max open files and heap dump path parameters.


The default version of Sensu is now 0.26.5

The default version of Sensu Enterprise is now 1.14.10

The default version of Sensu Enterprise Dashboard is now 1.12.0

The account created for Sensu on Windows now uses the node["sensu"]["user"] attribute instead of a hard-coded value.

Project changes

For purposes of releasing this cookbook, emeril has been replaced with stove.

3.1.2 - 2016-09-29


The _enterprise_repo recipe now configures yum repos for both noarch and $basearch so that sensu-enterprise-dashboard package can be installed.

Due to upstream repository changes, the default value of node['sensu']['enterprise-dashboard]['version'] has changed from 1:1.4.0-1 to 1.4.0-1.

3.1.0 - 2016-09-23


The default version of Sensu installed by this cookbook is now 0.26.3-1.

Eliminated resource cloning warnings when calling rabbitmq_credentials definition.

Replaced librarian-chef with Berkshelf.

Updated test-kitchen configuration for windows platforms.

Updated metadata to depend on Chef >= 12.

Updated dependencies for yum, apt and windows cookbooks to make sense for Chef >= 12.


Added support for AIX platform

Added support for configuring SENSU_LOADED_TEMPFILE_DIR via node["sensu"]["loaded_tempfile_dir"]

Added logic for detecting gem binary path on Windows platform


Using baseurl attribute for yum_repository instead of url property

Fixed broken tests for availability of sensitive attribute

3.0.0 - 2016-08-09


This cookbook now supports Chef version 12+. Earlier versions may work but are not supported.

The default version of Sensu installed by this cookbook is now 0.25.6-1.

The default value of node["sensu"]["use_embedded_ruby"] is now true.

The rabbitmq recipe now installs Erlang via the Erlang Solutions repository on all platforms.

Behavior changes

Installation of the .NET Framework is now handled by the ms_dotnet cookbook.


Sensu Enterprise repository URL is now configurable via attributes.

Sensu Enterprise JVM options are now configurable via attributes.

Sensu transport name is now configurable via attributes.

The sensu_base_config provider now honors node["rabbitmq"]["hosts"] attribute, providing an array of hosts to use for configuring rabbitmq transport with multiple brokers. When hosts attribute has no value, we fall back to value of node["sensu"]["rabbitmq"]["host"] attribute.

The sensu_client provider now honors the following additional client attributes, as defined in the Sensu Client Reference Documentation:

  • deregister
  • deregistration
  • keepalives
  • redact
  • registration
  • safe_mode
  • socket

Check definition LWRP has been updated to support named aggregates (added in Sensu 0.25) and multiple named aggregates (coming in Sensu 0.26).

Integration tests for Windows now use the new Chef Zero Scheduled Task provider which makes testing this platform much easier.

Expanded unit tests in many areas, including sensu_base_config, sensu_client, sensu_json_file and other LWRPs.


Directories created by the sensu_json_file provider now assume the mode defined by the value of node["sensu"]["directory_mode"] attribute.

The method used to look up sensu_service_trigger ruby block in the resource collection has been updated to eliminate conditions where Sensu services may not be notified to restart.

Resources are now created by the sensu_json_file provider unconditinally, unblocking the use of library cookbooks like zap to clean up unmanaged files on disk.

2.12.0 - 2016-03-14

Project changes

The Sensu cookbook project has adopted a new contribution workflow and a new code of conduct policy. Please see the relevant documents in repo for details.

Behavior changes

Values for owner and group properties on sensu_json_file resources now default to lazy evaluation of node attributes sensu.admin_user and respectively. (#426)

Data bags remain default source of SSL certificates, but are now optional:

With the addition of Sensu state helpers in #410 recipes which
access credentials via data bags (i.e. `default`, `rabbitmq` and
`enterprise` recipes) have been updated to make these data bag
items optional.

Please see the readme and integration test suite for examples of
using these helpers.

Testing notes have been added in to describe some of the platform/suite combinations which are disabled or otherwise require special configuration.


Added ChefSpec test coverage for the following:

  • default and client_service recipes
  • sensu_gem LWRP
  • Sensu::Helpers library #select_attributes and #gem_binary methods

Added source attribute to sensu_gem resource Added upgrade action to sensu_gem resource Added helpers for storing key/value pairs which persist for duration of the Chef run


Allow "standard" as a value of type attribute on sensu_check resources, as described in Sensu documentation.

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