It turns out that cloning and managing private git repo’s in Chef is not as easy as it looks. That said, I have a method that works. I have no idea if this is the preferred method or if there are any easier ways but this worked for me, so let me know if there is an easier way and I will be glad to update this post.
The first issue is that when you connect to github via SSH it wants the Chef client to accept its public fingerprint. By default, if you don’t modify anything SSH will just sit there waiting for the fingerprint to be accepted. That is why the SSH Git wrapper is used, it tells SSH on the Chef client that we don’t care about the authentication to the github server, just accept the key. Here’s what my ssh git wrapper looks like:
#!/bin/bash exec ssh -o "StrictHostKeyChecking=no" -i "/home/vagrant/.ssh/id_rsa" $1 $2
You just need to tell your Chef recipe to use this wrapper script:
# Set up github to use SSH authentication cookbook_file "/home/vagrant/.ssh/wrap-ssh4git.sh" do source "wrap-ssh4git.sh" owner "vagrant" mode 00700 end
The next problem is that when using key authentication, you must specify both a public and a private key. This isn’t an issue if you are running the server and configs by hand because you can just generate a key on the fly and hand that to github to tell it who you are. When you are spinning instances up and down you don’t have this luxury.
To get around this, we create a couple of templates in our cookbook to allow our Chef client to connect to github with an already established public and private key, the id_rsa and id_rsa.pub files that are shown. Here’s what the configs look like in Chef:
# Public key template "/home/vagrant/.ssh/id_rsa.pub" do source "id_rsa.pub" owner "vagrant" mode 0600 end # Private key template "/home/vagrant/.ssh/id_rsa" do source "id_rsa" owner "vagrant" mode 0600 end
After that is taken care of, the only other minor caveat is that if you are cloning a huge repo then it might timeout unless you override the default timeout value, which is set to 600 seconds (10 mins). I had some trouble finding this information on the docs but thanks to Seth Vargo I was able to find what I was looking for. This is easy enough to accomplish, just use the following snippet to override the default value
That should be it. There are probably other, easier ways to accomplish this and so I definitely think the adage “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” applies here. If you happen to know another way I’d love to hear it.