Airgapped Installation


An airgapped host is one that has no direct inbound or outbound internet traffic. To install or upgrade Chef Automate on an airgapped host, create an Airgap Installation Bundle (AIB) on an internet-connected host. Transfer the Airgap Installation Bundle and the chef-automate binary used to create it to the airgapped host for use.

Obtain a License

Contact your Chef account representative to obtain a license for Chef Automate; Chef Automate’s trial license feature requires internet connectivity and cannot be used on an airgapped host.

Create an Airgap Installation Bundle

On an internet-connected host, download the Chef Automate command-line tool and use it to prepare an Airgap Installation Bundle.

Obtain Chef Automate installation and admin tool

Download the Chef Automate command-line tool from the current release channel.

curl | gunzip - > chef-automate && chmod +x chef-automate

Put the chef-automate command line tool in a directory that is in your $PATH.

Prepare Airgap Installation Bundle

To download and bundle the software included in a Chef Automate release, run:

chef-automate airgap bundle create

A successful execution of this command produces an Airgap Installation Bundle named automate-<timestamp>.aib.

Deploy the Airgap Installation Bundle

Transfer the chef-automate binary and the Airgap Installation Bundle to the airgapped host. Put the chef-automate command line tool in a directory that is in your $PATH.

Create Default Configuration

sudo chef-automate init-config --upgrade-strategy none

creates a config.toml file with default values. Setting an upgrade strategy of none prevents Chef Automate from checking its release channel for updates via the internet.

Edit config.toml to make changes to FQDN and other configuration settings. See Configuring Chef Automate for more information on configuration settings.

Deploy Chef Automate

sudo chef-automate deploy config.toml --airgap-bundle </path/to/airgap-install-bundle>

Deployment takes a few minutes. The first step is accepting the terms of service in the command line, after which the installer performs a series of pre-flight checks. Unsuccessful checks have information for resolving issues or skipping the check. After resolving any pre-flight issues, run the deploy command again.

At the end of the deployment process you will see:

Deploy complete

The deployment process writes login credentials to the automate-credentials.toml in your current working directory.

Open Chef Automate

Navigate to https:// in a browser and log in to Chef Automate with the credentials provided in automate-credentials.toml.

Once you log in, Chef Automate prompts you for a license.

Configure Data Collection

To send data from your Chef Server or Chef Clients to Chef Automate 2, the process is the same as Chef Automate 1. See Configure Data Collection for more information.


On an internet-connected host, follow the steps in Create an Airgap Installation Bundle to upgrade your Chef Automate command-line tool and prepare an Airgap Installation Bundle. Transfer the bundle and Chef Automate command-line tool to the airgapped host and run:

sudo chef-automate upgrade run --airgap-bundle </path/to/bundle>

Upgrades can be taken safely. We’ve committed to ensuring the stability of the upgrade process to support Chef Automate’s automatic upgrades feature.

Common Problems

If you are unable to open Chef Automate, check that the config.toml contains the host’s public DNS name as the FQDN.

# This is a default Chef Automate configuration file. You can run
# 'chef-automate deploy' with this config file and it should
# successfully create a new Chef Automate instance with default settings.

# The external fully qualified domain name.
# When the application is deployed you should be able to access 'https://<fqdn>/'
# to login.
fqdn = "<_Public DNS_name_>"

Once you correct and save the FQDN, run

sudo chef-automate config patch config.toml

and retry opening Chef Automate in your browser.