Too bad there’s no `knife node rename
Here’s what you gotta do instead:
knife client delete oldname knife node delete oldname
On the node itself:
rm /etc/chef/client.pem sed -i 's/oldname/newname/g' /etc/chef/client.rb ls /etc/chef/validation.pem # ensure it's there! chef-client -N newname
This will register the new node name with chef. The runlist will be empty, so you’ll have to rebuild it. Voila!