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Top 21 Chef Interview Questions and Answers for DevOps Engineers

Hello guys, if you are preparing for DevOps or SysOps interviews where Chef skills are required then you should prepare about common Chef Interview questions. If you already know this and looking for popular Chef Questions then you have come to the right place. Earlier, I have shared Interview questions on essential DevOps Tools like Docker Questions, Kubernetes Questions, Ansible Questions and in general DevOps questions and in this article, I am going to share common Chef interview questions and their answers. If you have used Chef in your project then most likely you will know the answers of all these questions but if you struggle to answer them then you can always checkout these Chef online courses to refresh your knowledge. 

21 Chef Interview Questions and Answers for DevOps Engineers

If you are tired of being stressed up with interviews every now and then, you have done the right thing to come here and seek information. You deserve to pass your interview and therefore you should also try your best to avoid failing. 

In this case, you will only avoid it if you know what you will tackle during the interview. For that reason, the top 20 Chef interview questions with answers are listed below. Take a look.

1. What is Chef?
Answer: Chef is a powerful configuration management tool and automation tool. It converts the infrastructure of the company into a structured format of code. Thanks to Chef you can develop scripts that can be used for automating the IT and business processes.

What is Chef? Benefits

2. What is the DevOps Life Cycle?
Answer: DevOps Life Cycle is made up of stages such as Continuous Development, Integration, Testing, Deployment, and Monitoring. We explain the stages below.

3. What is the importance of Chef Inspec in compliance with automation?
Answer: Chef Inspec provides security and compliance rules across security engineers, operations, and software developers. It enforces consistent standards in the managed environment and in each stage of development by running automated tests for compliance, security, and other policy requirements across servers, containers, and cloud APIs.

4. How is Chef Automate utilized?
Answer: Chef Automate offers an analytics dashboard for developers, operations, and security personnel in one place, delivering changes in infrastructure and applications. It also offers actionable insights on performance and scaling across multiple data centers and cloud providers.

Top 20 Chef Interview Questions and Answers for DevOps Engineers

5. What are the products offered by Chef for DevOps operations?
Answer: Products offered include:

  • Chef Desktop
  • Chef Compliance
  • Chef Infra
  • Chef Habitat
  • Chef Inspec
  • Chef Automate

6. What is the role of OHAI in Chef?
Answer: OHAI is a tool that Chef Infra runs and collects system configuration data used within Cookbooks. It detects common configuration details with help of built-in plug-in. It also collects attributes from Operating System, Network, Memory, Disk, CPU, Kernel, Hostnames, and Cloud provider metadata.

7. What are the types of handlers in Chef?
Answer: the three handlers in Chef are as follows:

  • Exception Handler
  • Start Handler
  • Report Handler

8. What is Test Kitchen?
Answer: Test kitchen is a built-in tool that tests the recipe – (code to configure an infrastructure), in an isolated environment, for any potential defects, that may change the production environment. It allows testing code to configure infrastructure over any platform or operating system using Chef Inspec.

9. What are the major components of Chef?

  • Chef Server – You can think of the Chef Server as the central store for that accumulates all the data that is necessary for configuring the nodes.
  • Chef Node – The Chef Node can be thought of as a client responsible for sharing data across a network and it is based on the chef-client architecture.
  • Chef Workstation – The Chef Workstation can be thought of as the host for modifying the configuration data and cookbooks which are then forwarded to the Chef Server.

10. What is a Chef Node and what is its importance?
Answer: We can think of the node as a physical server or a virtual machine that is a constituent of the Chef architecture. You can execute any resource with Chef.

11. Why are SSL certificates used in Chef?
Answer: You need the SSL certificate for the initial configuration of the Chef and for creating the certificate and private keys in Nginx. This ensures that the right data can be accessed between the Chef Client and Chef Server.

12. What is the significance of a Signed Header?
Answer: The Signed Header is needed for the validation of the interaction between the Chef node, server, and signed header authentication.

13. What is the importance of Chef starter kit?
Answer: The starter kit is needed for creating the configuration files in Chef. It gives you the information for interacting with the server and defining the configuration file. You can easily download the starter kit and use it at the desired place on the workstation.

14. What is the process for updating a Chef Cookbook?

  • From the Workstation run the Knife SSH
  • Run the SSH and Chef-client on the server directly
  • You can use the Chef-client as a daemon for restarting the service as needed.

15. Which command helps in uploading a cookbook to the Chef server?
Answer: The command for uploading a cookbook to the Chef server is “knife cookbook upload”.

chef architecture and interview questions

16. What is Data Bags in Chef?
Answer: Data Bags are global variables stored in the form of JSON data. Data Bags are accessible from Chef Server. The indexing of data bags helps in easily searching for it or access it through a recipe.

17. How does Chef-apply differ from Chef-client?

  • Chef-apply is an executable program that runs a single Recipe from the command line. It is a part of the Chef development kit and a great way to explore resources.
  • Chef-client applies a Cookbook. It is used for production purposes where you typically run Chef-client to apply one or more cookbooks.

18. What would you set your cookbook’s version to once it is ready to use in production?
Answer: According to Semantic Versioning, you should set your cookbook’s version number to 1.0.0 once it is ready to use in production.

19. How does a Cookbook differ from a Recipe in Chef?
Answer: A Recipe is a collection of Resources, and primarily configures a software package or some piece of infrastructure. A Cookbook groups together Recipes and other information in a way that is more manageable than having just Recipes alone.

20. What is the difference between a recipe and cookbook in Chef?
Answer: Chef recipe is a combination of resources for configuration of a software package. Chef recipe is also ideal for configuring a certain part of the infrastructure. However, a Cookbook is a collection of Chef Recipes. Also, a Chef cookbook contains supporting information that improves the ease of configuration management.

21 What is difference between Chef and Puppet?
While both Chef and Puppet is used for server automation, this diagram from Edureka explains the difference between Chef and Puppet clearly:

What is difference between Chef and Puppet?

That's all about the 21 Chef Interview Questions for DevOps Interviews. These questions covers essential Chef concepts and they are great to both learn and revise them. You now have no reason to worry or complain because you have all you have been lacking for all this while. Just get out of your comfort zone and be ready for the interview because this time round you will pass and you won’t believe it. Your time to grab that success has finally come. Go for it without hesitation. Wish you the very best.

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Thanks for reading this article so far. All the best for your DevOps or Chef interviews and if you have any questions which don't know answer or any doubt feel free to ask in comments. You can also drop a comment if you have any doubts about Ansible, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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