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Re: Radmind vs CFengine

From: Mark . Burgess
Subject: Re: Radmind vs CFengine
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 23:15:58 +0100 (MET)

On  7 Jan, Chris Kacoroski wrote:
> Hi,
> I am looking to implement an enterprise infrastructure (see 
> and am trying to decide between radmind and 
> cfengine.  Searching the archives and google, The only thing I could 
> find was a transcript from a LISA '03 BoF session on configuration 
> management.  After looking at both it seems that cfengine allows a 
> person to program into it semantics of the system files (e.g. the 
> editfiles command) while radmind does not have any idea of what may be 
> in a file.  As such radmind can only replace files which makes it much 
> simpler to use (e.g. no scripts to write).  In addition, radmind 
> enables a person to install software on a machine and then it will 
> automatically figure out what files were changed and create a script to 
> replication the installation on other machines.
> Question1: Does anyone have examples of when just replacing a file will 
> not work?

This is not really the point. The point is that sometimes you do not want
to manage the entire content of a file. e.g. you might have very different
versions of inetd.conf on each host, and just want to make sure that no host
has ftp enabled, or that all machines should definitely have a web server, or 
i.e. both complete and differential management is possible with cfengine.

> Question2: Does cfengine have any way to determine changes to a machine 
> and create a install scripts or is it preferred to use a third party 
> software installer for this functionality?

There are many ways to install software. You can copy files or create
a special subroutine to unpack, compile and install files, you can install
from packages etc etc.

Cfengine does not tell you how you should do it - it just tries to provide
a flexible framework for your own choices. It has tripwire-like
change management too, if that is of interest for tracking changes.


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