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Re: Other possible cfengine weak areas?

From: Tim Nelson
Subject: Re: Other possible cfengine weak areas?
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 09:46:44 +1100 (EST)

On 22 Jan 2004, David Douthitt wrote:

> On Thu, 2004-01-22 at 06:41, Systems Administrator wrote:
> > -   Packages.  This is only kind of a cfengine thing.  I wanted a
> >     multi-host package management system which would choose packages
> >     based on cfengine classes.  Hopefully I'll be able to post this
> >     sometime.  But it works.  PostgreSQL/Perl
> I do this already.  Set up a class (such as "web" for web servers) and
> put each host into each class.  Then, as I use apt-rpm, I do the
> following:
> web::
>     "apt-get -qyy <rpms....>"

        Hmm.  I hadn't considered doing it that way :).  But I can think
of a few advantages of my way versus what you've described.
-       My way will remove packages from the servers if you remove them
        from the list
-       My way will automatically install the newest version of the

        Although possibly, I've wasted my time here :).

> > -   Disks: I wanted basically just to:
> >     -       Be alerted when a disk is more than 80% full
> >     -       Be able to set fstab options
> >     -       List partitions that didn't fit a certain pattern
> >     ...and I wanted to be able to do this for non-NFS filesystems
> I don't know that cfengine is best for this; I use Nagios and SGI
> Performance CoPilot (PCP) - both can do this, and PCP offers
> considerable flexibility.

        Hmm.  You're right, in that monitoring software is better for
this.  My apologies all round (I'm still trying to get used to cfengine,
and maybe I have the "If you have a shiny new hammer, everything looks
like a nail" syndrome).  But the fstab one still seems to me like
cfengine's job :).

> > -   Service Management.  I wanted something that would do the
> >     following pseudocode:
> >     if(! service started) { start service }
> >     It wasn't too hard a script; I just called the Fedora "service"
> >     script, first with the "status" command, and then the "start"
> >     command.
> Why not just:
> servicename::
>     "service start zzz"
> If the service is already started, starting it again is supposed to be
> handled properly by the script...

        Doh!  Now that I've delved further into the functions section of
the init.d scripts, I see this to be true.  Allow me to shoot myself in
the foot!

        Thanks all,

Tim Nelson
Systems Administrator
Sunet Internet
Tel: +61 3 5241 1155
Fax: +61 3 5241 6187
Email: address@hidden

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