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I have a VM (hosted "in the cloud") that has been provisioned with chef using my organisation's own chef server.

I would like to replicate that VM locally (using a vagrant managed VM), in order to do some chef development.

I have been able to do what I want by creating a new node on chef server and manually copying the roles, recipes, attributes etc from the existing node.

It seems to me this would be a pretty common use case (i.e. to replicate a node/VM) and so there probably is a way to easily do it (without having to manually copy roles, recipes, attributes etc.) - but alas, I can't find one.

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What I do is setup a local VM (either via Vagrant or a simple VirtualBox VM) and then setup a complete Chef server installation there. Afterwards, I copy my normal knife.rb to an alternative knife.rb file (like knife.local.rb) where I change the Chef server's URL and upload all my data via

knife cookbook upload -a -c ~/.chef/knife.local.rb
knife data bag from file users users/* -c ~/.chef/knife.local.rb
etc etc...

Finally, when testing your cookbooks via Vagrant you can use the local Chef's address to do it! As a helper you can define an lknife function that can server as the knife tool for your local Chef. Just put in your user's .bashrc

function lknife { `which knife` "$@" -c "$HOME/.chef/knife.local.rb"; }
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

knife edit can do it:

knife edit <existing node name>  # Change "name" attribute to something unique

This will create a new node with same run list and attributes (except for the name) as the existing node.

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