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Chef-server 11 and RabbitMQ

Quick notes on how I got chef-server 11 to work against rabbitmq server (3.1.1-1) so I don’t forget.

Chef-server 11 uses embedded services, unlike chef-server 10 where the services are externally managed. This is a very nice feature of chef-server 11 and the fact that it uses cookbooks to manage itself is pure genius on the Opscode part.

But I wanted to try some stuff with the message bus chef-server uses and to make those things easier I wanted to have the ability to add plugins and use other tools for ease of management and debugging.

While I could probably mod/hack the embedded rabbitmq, I would rather shut it off and use an external one so there’s less risk of my changes disappearing when I run a reconfigure on the chef-server, remember the cookbook thingy mentioned above.

Right off the bat I ran into issues, now this is most likely due to me using a newer version of rabbitmq than the chef-server 11 has in the embedded stack, but I wanted the newer shiny stuff.

Error I was seeing:

=ERROR REPORT==== 23-Jun-2013::06:36:54 ===
closing AMQP connection ( ->
"AMQPLAIN login refused: user 'chef' - invalid credentials",

Now, my first instinct was, oh the password was wrong, since the user is shown and is right.

Checking the commands I used to add the user it looked good, chefrocks, the default password.

So, quick test time.

I installed the amqp gem, did a quick google search for test code and fired it off:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'rubygems'
require 'amqp'

event_loop = Thread.new do
  EM.run do
    EM.add_timer(1) do

AMQP.start(:host => '', :user => 'chef', :password => 'chefrocks', :vhost => '/chef')


Connected just fine, I have the rabbitmq_management plugin running so I could see the connections.

Well, that’s not the issue.

After a bit of spinning in circles, I decided to see which PID the failed connections where coming from, turns out to be erchef, which makes sense, and in the process list it shows the config file:


which is a symlink to, /var/opt/chef-server/erchef/etc/app.config

Looking at that I can see a crypted password string, figuring that string might be getting passed as plain text to the rabbitmq, I changed it to chefrocks and restarted the chef-server. It connected right up, though there was still an error about the invalid credentials along with the successful connections. Both chef-client and knife worked, but still something is failing to authenticate and that’s probably bad.

Looking at, Chef Server Components, you can see where rabbitmq fits in.

So on a hunch, I took at look at chef-expander.


There’s that crypted string again, so I changed it to chefrocks.

Restarted chef-server and not more errors showed up in the rabbitmq log.

Good deal, I will now have to test the different functions in chef, like search, but hopefully things will be good.

NOTE: I did a another test before finding the crypted strings on if bunny would connect, since chef-expander uses it.
I did have an issue with bunny 0.8.0 authenticating. After updating to bunny 0.9.0.rc1 I didn’t have the issue anymore.
Since chef-expander has bunny 0.6.0, I did try updating to 0.9.0.rc1. This didn’t fix the issue, it wasn’t until I changed the cryted string that things started working. I redid my setup to verify that was the case, and the two password changes seemed to have fixed my issues.



One thought on “Chef-server 11 and RabbitMQ

  1. UPDATE:

    I found it’s easy just to copy the encrypted string and use it as the password when creating the user in the rabbitmq.

    The clear text version of the password will be overriden with the encrypted one on the next chef-server-ctrl reconfigure.

    Posted by koaps | August 13, 2013, 3:52 pm

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