Chef-zero Is Broken in Ubuntu 14.04
I was playing a bit with applying chef cookbooks locally, without a chef server and found that version of Chef from Ubuntu repo is way too low for normal operation in local mode.
# apt-cache policy chef chef: Installed: 11.8.2-2 date = "" Version table: *** 11.8.2-2 0 500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty/universe amd64 Packages
There is a bug resolved in recent versions of Chef related to the way in which chef-zero parses json files. If there is metadata.json file instead of metadata.rb in a cookbook chef-zero fails to parse this file expecting just a filename instead of full file content.