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Re: Newbie question

From: Mark . Burgess
Subject: Re: Newbie question
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 21:56:20 +0200 (MET DST)

On 31 Jul, Vivek Sharma wrote:
> Hi,
> I came across cfengine while i was looking for a automation engine. 
> I'm very impressed with what cfengine can do and went over the
> reference and the tutorial.
> I'm a bit confused on how cfengine works. 

You are probably thinking too traditionally. Cfengine has an "attitude"
which you might say is that it "abhors the network". Everything cfengine
does it host centric. 

> If some one could describe the questions .. i would be grateful..
> 1. How do we define the cfengine server?

Hosts which cfrun cfd *can be* servers. Hosts which don't
cfd cannot be cfengine servers. (cfd will be called cfservd in version
2) This program is optional.

> 2. How do we define the clients?

There is little or no difference between a client and a server
in cfengine. Its more like a community of peers. You decide
if you want one host to have a master source of the configuration policy
or other data. But then you have to tell cfengine to copy the files from
that place.

> 3. How does the cfengine clients know about the server?

Because you tell it:


   bla dest=blah server=myhost

> 4. Does each client has a configuration file on what needs to be done
> on them or is it defined on the server?

Again, you are thinking incorrectly. There is only one set of
configuration files, but there might be many copies, ideally a copy
on each host. The configuration contains everything that is to do done
on every machine. The agent (cfengine) picks out what is relevant on
each machine. Let the machine do the work.
> and the last one ,
> 5. What files go onto the server and the client.

Every host needs a copy of the config which it can read. Best way
is to copy it all from some central location:


  /masterfiles/cfengine.conf dest=/usr/local/cfengine/cfengine.conf

But, you *could* edit every file by hand on every machine. That would
waste a lot of time though. Cfengine is "define once-run many times".
Write rules which can handle all your machines at the same time,
and you will save a lot of effort.

Forget about clients and servers, you don't *need* them. They
are only a convenience.


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