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Re: ctime vs checksum in copies

From: Mark Burgess
Subject: Re: ctime vs checksum in copies
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 20:54:26 +0100

One thing you could do would be to make a class dependent option, so you
could override with cfagent -Dinstall where you use a checksum and have
the default behaviour ctime


On Wed, 2005-11-30 at 13:13 -0600, Paul Krizak wrote:
> I've got a question about what you guys think the best solution is in 
> this situation.
> I've got some files that must be customized on a per-host basis, but are 
> based on a common "root" file.  My goal is to have the following system:
> * When the system is first installed, or if the file on the system is 
> wildly different than the master, a copy: statement pulls down a fresh 
> copy of the file, which an edifiles: stanza corrects for that specific host.
> * Later, if the master file changes, the clients should "know" to pull 
> down a new copy of the file, and then perform the same editfiles: stanza 
> again.
> Using "checksum" for the copy statement doesn't really work, since once 
> you make a change to the file using editfiles:, the checksums don't 
> match and thus the file gets copied every time.  On the upside, you're 
> guaranteed to always have the correct version of the file on the target 
> system.
> Using "ctime" for the copy statement *sounds* good, as the copy only 
> happens when the "master" file updates on the server.  Where this falls 
> flat, however, is on freshly installed systems, where the ctime of the 
> *incorrect*, freshly-installed file is *later* than the ctime of the 
> "master" file.  In this situation, the "master" file is not copied (and 
> I wouldn't expect it to).
> I've got several cases in my (very lengthy) cfengine config where I run 
> into this type of issue.  For small files, I can put the entire contents 
> of the file into an editfiles: block and avoid using copy: at all.  This 
> doesn't work for large files, however, as I don't want a cf.* file to 
> have a 5,000-line config file in it with Append statements.
> For large files, I use checksum copies and just accept the fact that 
> they will get copied every time cfagent runs.
> I'm looking to improve convergence in my config files...anybody else 
> have clever workarounds for this problem?

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