GIS Standardized Installation Tool - Chef Provisioning Cookbooks

Discussion created by pk_davidson on Aug 24, 2015
Latest reply on May 28, 2018 by pk_davidson

Esri has recently released a Chef Cookbook for creating what I would term an All In One Portal.

Here's the blog posting:

Chef Cookbook available to automate ArcGIS for Server configuration | ArcGIS Blog


From the blog:

"You can automate the installation and configuration of ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Server using a Chef Cookbook available on the Esri GitHub repository or Chef Supermarket. Download and run the tool to install and configure multiple GIS servers in a single site or install a full web GIS with the GIS server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Web Adaptor, and ArcGIS Data Store on a machine, and configure them to work together."


The all in one was the first task I think but they're expanding this into cookbooks for all Esri products.


With very little effort you can build a server for a Portal system.  Downside, it's all on one box but for a development setup?

And once you have this working, it's easily extended to build individual servers of each component:

  • Put your installation files, provisioning files, etc... onto your server
  • Pull (fork, whatever) the Chef Cookbook setup from GitHub & copy to your server
  • Modify a json file with your setup info (file locations, account names, logins, passwords)
  • Install Chef-client on your server
  • Open some ports in Windows Firewall (if that's active)
  • Open a cmd window and type in a line of code

Result: a Server running Portal, Data Store, IIS w/ two web adaptors setup correctly and a Hosting AGS

It's left in HTTPS and HTTP mode with Portal managed Users and Roles


Built one of these on a VM w/ WinSrvr2012R2 with not a lot of effort (ok, a couple of false starts....)

Read the Issues on GitHub for some potential gotchas


Chef is a provisioning tool (similar to Puppet, useful with Vagrant, etc...)

The advantage to using a provisioning tool is speed and consistency.

Get it working and create box after identical box.

And then use it to keep your servers in synch.


I'm now applying the same Chef Cookbook approach to setting up the Data Store and Portal servers in a four server configuration for a Test environment.  I spent 2-3 days setting up a Hosting Server with web adaptor (on two servers, AGS & IIS)

This tool would have saved me a lot of time.

I still would have had to do some hand work for WIA interaction, etc... but....


They just released version 1.1.2 which has cookbooks for Desktop & License Manager and now supports domain accounts.

I asked about Domain Accounts and it was released a day later... Maybe coincidental but the other issues have been answered just as quickly.


If you are an admin for WebGIS, check this out. 

Pavel Bobov and Jonathan An deserve some serious credit for this.