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AWS OpsWorks
User Guide (API Version 2013-02-18)

Example 7: Running Commands and Scripts

Chef resources can handle a wide variety of tasks on an instance, but it is sometimes preferable to use a shell command or a script. For example, you might already have scripts that you use to accomplish certain tasks, and it will be easier to continue using them rather than implement new code. This section shows how to run commands or scripts on an instance.

Running Commands

The script resource runs one or more commands . It supports the csh, bash, Perl, Python, and Ruby command interpreters, so it can be used on either Linux or Windows systems as long as they have the appropriate interpreters installed. This topic shows how to run a simple bash command on a Linux instance. Chef also supports powershell_script and batch resources to run scripts on Windows. For more information, see Running a Windows PowerShell Script.

To get started

  1. Inside the opsworks_cookbooks directory, create a directory named script and navigate to it.

  2. Add a metadata.rb file to script with the following content.

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    name "script" version "0.1.0"
  3. Initialize and configure Test Kitchen, as described in Example 1: Installing Packages, and remove CentOS from the platforms list.

  4. Inside script, create a directory named recipes.

You can run commands by using the script resource itself, but Chef also supports a set of command interpreter-specific versions of the resource, which are named for the interpreter. The following recipe uses a bash resource to run a simple bash script.

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bash "install_something" do user "root" cwd "/tmp" code <<-EOH touch somefile EOH not_if do File.exists?("/tmp/somefile") end end

The bash resource is configured as follows.

  • It uses the default action, run, which runs the commands in the code block.

    This example has one command, touch somefile, but a code block can contain multiple commands.

  • The user attribute specifies the user that executes the command.

  • The cwd attribute specifies the working directory.

    For this example, touch creates a file in the /tmp directory.

  • The not_if guard attribute directs the resource to take no action if the file already exists.

To run the recipe

  1. Create a default.rb file that contains the preceding example code and save it to recipes.

  2. Run kitchen converge, then log in to the instance to verify that the file is in /tmp.

Running Scripts

The script resource is convenient, especially if you need to run only one or two commands, but it's often preferable to store the script in a file and execute the file. The execute resource runs a specified executable file, including script files, on Linux or Windows. This topic modifies the script cookbook from the preceding example to use execute to run a simple shell script. You can easily extend the example to more complex scripts, or other types of executable file.

To set up the script file

  1. Add a files subdirectory to script and a default subdirectory to files.

  2. Create a file named touchfile that contains the following and add it to files/default. A common Bash interpreter line is used in this example, but substitute an interpreter that works for your shell environment if necessary.

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    #!/usr/bin/env bash touch somefile

    The script file can contain any number of commands. For convenience, this example script has only a single touch command.

The following recipe executes the script.

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cookbook_file "/tmp/touchfile" do source "touchfile" mode 0755 end execute "touchfile" do user "root" cwd "/tmp" command "./touchfile" end

The cookbook_file resource copies the script file to /tmp and sets the mode to make the file executable. The execute resource then executes the file as follows:

  • The user attribute specifies the command's user (root in this example).

  • The cwd attribute specifies the working directory (/tmp in this example).

  • The command attribute specifies the script to be executed (touchfile in this example), which is located in the working directory.

To run the recipe

  1. Replace the code in recipes/default.rb with the preceding example.

  2. Run kitchen converge, then log in to the instance to verify that /tmp now contains the script file, with the mode set to 0755, and somefile.

When you are finished, run kitchen destroy to shut down the instance. The next section uses a new cookbook.