Capistrano vs Chef vs Fabric

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Capistrano

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Chef

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1K
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Fabric

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Advice on Capistrano, Chef, and Fabric
Rogério R. Alcântara
Needs advice
on
AnsibleAnsibleChefChef
and
Puppet LabsPuppet Labs
in

Personal Dotfiles management

Given that they are all “configuration management” tools - meaning they are designed to deploy, configure and manage servers - what would be the simplest - and yet robust - solution to manage personal dotfiles - for n00bs.

Ideally, I reckon, it should:

  • be containerized (Docker?)
  • be versionable (Git)
  • ensure idempotency
  • allow full automation (tests, CI/CD, etc.)
  • be fully recoverable (Linux/ macOS)
  • be easier to setup/manage (as much as possible)

Does it make sense?

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Replies (3)
terry chay
Principal Engineer at RaiseMe · | 9 upvotes · 49.7K views
Recommends
AnsibleAnsible

I recommend whatever you are most comfortable with/whatever might already be installed in the system. Note that, for personal dotfiles, it does not need to be containerized or have full automation/testing. It just needs to handle multiple OS and platform and be idempotent. Git will handle the heavy lifting. Note that you'll have to separate out certain files like the private SSH keys and write your CM so that it will pull it from another store or assist in manually importing them.

I personally use Ansible since it is a serverless design and is in Python, which I prefer to Ruby. Saltstack was too new when I started to port my dotfile management scripts from shell into a configuration management tool. I think any of the above is fine.

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Recommends
SaltSalt

You should check out SaltStack. It's a lot more powerful than Puppet, Chef, & Ansible. If not Salt, then I would go Ansible. But stay away from Puppet & Chef. 10+ year user of Puppet, and 2+ year user of Chef.

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Attila Fulop
Management Advisor at artkonekt · | 3 upvotes · 13.9K views
Recommends

Chef is a definite no-go for me. I learned it the hard way (ie. got a few tasks in a prod system) and it took quite a lot to grasp it on an acceptable level. Ansible in turn is much more straightforward and much easier to test.

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Needs advice
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AnsibleAnsibleChefChef
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Puppet LabsPuppet Labs

I'm just getting started using Vagrant to help automate setting up local VMs to set up a Kubernetes cluster (development and experimentation only). (Yes, I do know about minikube)

I'm looking for a tool to help install software packages, setup users, etc..., on these VMs. I'm also fairly new to Ansible, Chef, and Puppet. What's a good one to start with to learn? I might decide to try all 3 at some point for my own curiosity.

The most important factors for me are simplicity, ease of use, shortest learning curve.

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Replies (2)
Recommends
AnsibleAnsible

I have been working with Puppet and Ansible. The reason why I prefer ansible is the distribution of it. Ansible is more lightweight and therefore more popular. This leads to situations, where you can get fully packaged applications for ansible (e.g. confluent) supported by the vendor, but only incomplete packages for Puppet.

The only advantage I would see with Puppet if someone wants to use Foreman. This is still better supported with Puppet.

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Gabriel Pa
Recommends
KubernetesKubernetes
at

If you are just starting out, might as well learn Kubernetes There's a lot of tools that come with Kube that make it easier to use and most importantly: you become cloud-agnostic. We use Ansible because it's a lot simpler than Chef or Puppet and if you use Docker Compose for your deployments you can re-use them with Kubernetes later when you migrate

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Pros of Capistrano
Pros of Chef
Pros of Fabric
  • 121
    Automated deployment with several custom recipes
  • 63
    Simple
  • 23
    Ruby
  • 11
    Release-folders with symlinks
  • 9
    Multistage deployment
  • 2
    Cryptic syntax
  • 2
    Integrated rollback
  • 1
    Supports aws
  • 110
    Dynamic and idempotent server configuration
  • 76
    Reusable components
  • 47
    Integration testing with Vagrant
  • 43
    Repeatable
  • 30
    Mock testing with Chefspec
  • 14
    Ruby
  • 8
    Can package cookbooks to guarantee repeatability
  • 7
    Works with AWS
  • 3
    Has marketplace where you get readymade cookbooks
  • 3
    Matured product with good community support
  • 2
    Less declarative more procedural
  • 2
    Open source configuration mgmt made easy(ish)
  • 23
    Python
  • 21
    Simple
  • 5
    Low learning curve, from bash script to Python power
  • 5
    Installation feedback for Twitter App Cards
  • 3
    Easy to add any type of job
  • 3
    Single config file
  • 3
    Agentless
  • 3
    Easy on maintainance
  • 3
    Installation? pip install fabric... Boom
  • 2
    Easily automate any set system automation
  • 1
    Backward compatibility
  • 1
    Flexible
  • 1
    Remote sudo execution
  • 1
    Crash Analytics

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What is Capistrano?

Capistrano is a remote server automation tool. It supports the scripting and execution of arbitrary tasks, and includes a set of sane-default deployment workflows.

What is Chef?

Chef enables you to manage and scale cloud infrastructure with no downtime or interruptions. Freely move applications and configurations from one cloud to another. Chef is integrated with all major cloud providers including Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.

What is Fabric?

Fabric is a Python (2.5-2.7) library and command-line tool for streamlining the use of SSH for application deployment or systems administration tasks. It provides a basic suite of operations for executing local or remote shell commands (normally or via sudo) and uploading/downloading files, as well as auxiliary functionality such as prompting the running user for input, or aborting execution.

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Jobs that mention Capistrano, Chef, and Fabric as a desired skillset
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What are some alternatives to Capistrano, Chef, and Fabric?
Shipit
Shipit is an automation engine and a deployment tool written for node / iojs. Shipit was built to be a Capistrano alternative for people who don't know ruby, or who experienced some issues with it. If you want to write tasks in JavaScript and enjoy the node ecosystem, Shipit is also for you.
Docker
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
Ansible
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
Jenkins
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
Mina
Mina works really fast because it's a deploy Bash script generator. It generates an entire procedure as a Bash script and runs it remotely in the server. Compare this to the likes of Vlad or Capistrano, where each command is run separately on their own SSH sessions. Mina only creates one SSH session per deploy, minimizing the SSH connection overhead.
See all alternatives