What is chef-apply?
One often overlooked tool that is installed with the ChefDK is
chef-apply. This tool basically allows you to execute chef to converge a single recipe on your local machine. There is no Chef server involved. Everything is local.
Note that chef-apply is not a tool for the deployment of production nodes. It's just a quick and easy way to use Chef to configure your local system.
Why is that useful?
One use case for chef-apply is to learn what a recipe does. You can use
chef-apply to run a recipe in a "test only" mode by using the
-W or --why-run parameter. This will converge the recipe, showing you everything that would happen with the recipe without making actual changes to your system.
You can also execute some one-liner scripts. ...