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Installing .NET 4.6.1 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Chef

Recently I was lucky enough to take part in a ‘hackathon’ with Chef, Microsoft and a partner company based in Norway. It was a great week working with some amazing people! One of the challenges we faced was automating the installation of .NET 4.6.1; a requirement of the application that was the focus of the week long event. We struggled with automatically determining whether the package should be installed on the system, and then triggering a reboot in the correct order to allow IIS configuration to complete. Here’s the Windows package resource we used to install .NET originally.


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Bootstrapping Windows nodes behind a firewall with Knife

Using knife to bootstrap a node to be managed with Chef is a fundamental part of the Chef workflow, especially for dev and test purposes. When you bootstrap a node you are preparing the node to communicate with the Chef Server so it can download the cookbooks and recipes you have defined in its run-list, and eventually match the state you have defined in your Chef code.

As part of the bootstrapping process for Windows the chef-client package is retrieved from the website. You can see this in the process output.

If working in a locked down…

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Slow Knife? Speed up with Knife rehash

The Chef DK includes a tool called Knife. This is primarily used for interaction with remote resources in Chef, such as the Chef Server and Chef managed nodes, but can be used for managing other remote systems too. Here’s the description from the Chef Docs. knife is a command-line tool that provides an interface between a local chef-repo and the Chef server. It’s a great tool and a vital part of any Chef administration tasks. Unfortunately Ruby on Windows is slower than Linux and so Windows users sometimes experience performance issues. Check out the result of the following running…

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Install Posh Git on Windows 10 (x64)

Posh Git is a really helpful open-source project that includes a number of scripts offering Git and Powershell integration. When installed it allows tab auto completion for common Git operations along with showing the current branch and state of files. As you can see above, showing the current branch is neat. Installation Let’s get this bad boy installed. Firstly you need to install Git for Windows. Head to the Git page (not GitHub) and download the correct package for your version of Windows. Once the package has downloaded, click through the installation options. I went with the Windows command…

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View speaker notes whilst presenting over a screen share on OSX

I deliver many presentations over various teleconferencing software from my Mac Book Pro. If you like to use speaker notes in presenter view in Powerpoint then this poses a problem. You have a single screen so when sharing it how can you also view notes? You could aways just add second monitor and share the primary presentation screen, but what if you’re on the move or in a call booth? There is a workaround, but it requires an iOS device with iOS 7.0+. By using the Duest Display app you can turn your iOS device into a secondary screen. This…

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How to automate Varnish cache purge

This guide shows you how to use the varnishadm command in your system crontab to automate Varnish cache purging. Access your server as root or switch to the root user. If you installed Varnish from a repo you will have all the Varnish utility commands installed as well. You need to make sure that varnishadm is installed so run the command now. You will get an output asking you for switches and arguments. This is correct.

Before going any further you may wish to read over the varnishadm manual pages, just to familiarise yourself with the command.


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