Getting started with InSpec

InSpec is an open-source testing framework to verify your infrastructure satisfies the design requirements.

In this article, we will learn to install and use InSpec with Chef.

Install InSpec

  1. Navigate to, and download the installer for the operating system of your workstation,
  2. Execute the downloaded installer.

Allow InSpec to verify Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances

InSpec needs “sudo” access to execute the tests, but Red Hat Enterprise Linux prevents that access. Execute the following code on every instance when it runs in Test Kitchen:

if (node.chef_environment == "_default")
  # Running in Test Kitchen

  # Ensure sudo is installed
  package 'Install sudo' do
    package_name 'sudo'
    action :install

  file '/etc/sudoers' do
    mode 0440
    owner 'root'
    group 'root'
    action :create

  delete_lines 'remove hash-comments from /some/file' do
    path '/etc/sudoers'
    pattern '^.*requiretty'



Start to use InSpec

To use InSpec as the default integration testing tool in Chef Test Kitchen

  1. Open the .kitchen.yml file of the cookbook,
  2. Delete the following lines from the platform section if exist:
      sudo: true
  3. Add the following lines to the file between provisioner: and platforms:
      name: inspec
  4. Place the test files into the default location of the InSpec integration test. The “verify” command executes all files in the directory.
  5. To execute the test file with the verify command, add these lines to every suite. This will execute all test files in the default folder.
            - test/smoke/default
  6. To execute only one test file, specify the file name:
            - test/smoke/default/MY_RECIPE_test.rb
  7. To execute the test file of another suite, use relative path, you can use tests from other cookbooks (../ANOTHER_COOKBOOK/test/recipes/ANOTHER_SUITE_NAME).
            - ../ANOTHER_COOKBOOK/test/smoke/default
  8. Create an integration test for your recipe. Create a new file in the test/recipes/THE_SUITE_NAME folder. The name does not matter, if you are planning to create only one test file for the suite, name the file after the suite: default_test.rb,
  9. The following is a simple example of an InSpec integration test:
    # # encoding: utf-8
    # Inspec test for recipe my_cookbook::default
    # The Inspec reference, with examples and extensive documentation, can be
    # found at
     describe user('root') do
     it { should exist }
     skip 'This is an example test, replace with your own test.'
    describe port(80) do
     it { should_not be_listening }
     skip 'This is an example test, replace with your own test.'

As you can see, the syntax of InSpec is (intentionally) very similar to ServerSpec, that it replaces. It is very easy to convert existing ServerSpec integration tests to InSpec compliance tests.

Differences between ServerSpec and InSpec

ServerSpec “process”

Does not work on a Windows host.

On Linux the syntax changed from

 describe process('PROCESS_NAME') do
   it { should be_running }


describe processes('PROCESS_NAME') do
  its('states') { should eq ['R<'] }


The :dword comparison uses the decimal value with no quotes instead of the hex value with quotes

changed from

describe registry_key('HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full') do
  it { should have_property_value('Release', :dword, '70805') } # 460805 decimal


describe registry_key('HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full') do
  it { should have_property_value('Release', :dword, 460805) } # For dword use the decimal value, no quotes



For more information

For more information on the Kitchen InSpec verifier visit

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1 Comment

  1. I would like to validate Nuget provider using inspec in winodws environment. But not able to test the same getting an error “package undefined”
    The actual code is : describe package(Nuget) do
    it {should be_installed}.

    Errorr: Package undefined.

    Help me to validate this.

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