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I have a handful of servers who have not checked into the (in-house open-source) chef server in some time. When running chef-client as root, I get the message

WARN: Can not find config file: /etc/chef/client.rb, using defaults.

Running with the "-c /path/to/config" option yields the same result.

But as you can see, the files are in-place with both read and execute permissions:

root@client:~# ls -lah /etc/chef
total 24K
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4.0K 2011-08-19 09:24 .
drwxr-xr-x 91 root root 4.0K 2012-03-12 14:55 ..
-rw-rw-r--  1 root root  148 2010-09-15 13:14 client.json
-rw-------  1 root root 1.7K 2010-09-20 13:14 client.pem
-rwxr-xr--  1 root root  765 2011-08-19 09:24 client.rb
-rw-rw-r--  1 root root  145 2010-08-25 16:18 solo.rb

Y U NO SEE FILES, chef-client?!

share|improve this question
What happens if you explicitly specify the config file with chef-client -c /etc/chef/client.rb ? As a side note, my perms on that file are 644, but that shouldn't be an issue with that error. – cjc Mar 12 '12 at 19:28
Good try, but the same results. – gWaldo Mar 12 '12 at 19:53
Hmm. strace -o chef-y-u-no-work.txt chef-client ? – cjc Mar 12 '12 at 19:59
What is the version of chef gem being used ? – Shyam Sundar C S Mar 13 '12 at 5:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is likely a load error of some kind in your /etc/chef/client.rb. For example, if you're using a report or exception handler and the the library file they're trying to load isn't available, Chef will report the error you're seeing.

You don't need +x on client.rb.

If this isn't enough information, please post your /etc/chef/client.rb contents.

share|improve this answer
The next error is WARN: no such file to load -- pony. Yup, Chef is lying (saying that it can't find the config) because it want's a freaking pony... – gWaldo Mar 14 '12 at 19:11
The fix was gem install pony --no-ri --no-rdoc – gWaldo Mar 14 '12 at 19:12

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