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

Step 16: Update the Cookbook to Use Community Cookbooks

Finally, update the cookbook to use functionality provided in an external cookbook provided by the Chef community. The external cookbook that you will use for this walkthrough is available through the Chef Supermarket, a popular location for accessing external Chef cookbooks. This external cookbook provides a custom resource that lets you download and install applications, similar to what you did in Step 4: Update the Cookbook to Install a Package. However, this resource can install web applications and other application types in addition to packages.

When a cookbook depends on another cookbook, you must specify a dependency on the other cookbook. To declare and manage cookbook dependencies, we recommend that you use a tool called Berkshelf. To complete this step, install Berkshelf on your local workstation by following the instructions at Berkshelf.

After you install Berkshelf, follow these procedures to declare the cookbook dependency and then create a recipe that calls the resource in the external cookbook:

To declare the cookbook dependency

  1. On your local workstation, in the opsworks_cookbook_demo directory, add the following line at the end of the metadata.rb file:

    depends "application", "5.0.0"

    This declares a dependency on a cookbook named application, version 5.0.0.

  2. From the root of the opsworks_cookbook_demo directory, run the following command:

    berks init .

    (Don't forget the period at the end of the command.) Berkshelf creates a number of folders and files that you can use later for more advanced scenarios. The only file that we need for this walkthrough is the file named Berksfile.

  3. Add the following line at the end of the Berksfile file:

    cookbook "application", "5.0.0"

    This informs Berkshelf that you want to use application cookbook version 5.0.0, which Berkshelf can access through the Chef Supermarket.

  4. At the terminal or command prompt, run the following command from the root of the opsworks_cookbook_demo directory:

    berks install

    Berkshelf then creates a list of the dependencies for both your cookbook and the application cookbook. Berkshelf will use this list of dependencies in the next procedure.

To update the cookbook on the instance and to run the new recipe

  1. In the recipes subdirectory in the opsworks_cookbook_demo directory, create a file named dependencies_demo.rb that contains the following code:

    application "Install NetHack" do
      package "nethack.x86_64"

    This recipe depends on the application resource from the application cookbook to install the popular text-based adventure game NetHack on the instance. (You can, of course, subtitute any other package name you want, provided the package is readily available to the package manager on the instance.)

  2. From the root of the opsworks_cookbook_demo directory, run the following command:

    berks package

    Berkshelf uses the list of dependencies from the previous procedure to create a file named cookbooks-timestamp.tar.gz, which contains the opsworks_cookbook_demo directory and its updated contents, including the cookbook's dependent cookbooks. Rename this file opsworks_cookbook_demo.tar.gz.

  3. Upload the updated, renamed opsworks_cookbook_demo.tar.gz file to your S3 bucket.

  4. Follow the procedures in Step 5: Update the Cookbook on the Instance and Run the Recipe to update the cookbook on the instance and to run the recipe. In the "To run the recipe" procedure, for Recipes to execute, type opsworks_cookbook_demo::dependencies_demo.

  5. After you run the recipe, you should be able to log in to the instance and then type nethack at the command prompt to begin playing. (For more information about the game, see NetHack and the NetHack Guidebook.)

In the next step, you can clean up the AWS resources that you used for this walkthrough. This next step is optional. You may want to keep using these AWS resources as you continue to learn more about AWS OpsWorks Stacks. However, keeping these AWS resources around may result in some ongoing charges to your AWS account. If you want to keep these AWS resources around for later use, you have now completed this walkthrough, and you can skip ahead to Next Steps.