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Chef is a domain-specific language for describing system configuration management. Chef uses code written in its Ruby-based scripting language, which describes how a machine should be set up to run a required service or application. The scripts, often referred to as “recipes” or "cookbooks", can declare package dependencies, install applications and create users. Once the code is written, it’s distributed by chef-client software running on each node that needs to be configured. When chef-client runs on the node, it ensures that the system remains in the desired state defined by the script through continuous automation and monitoring changes over time.

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