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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  CFAGENT (8)


cfagent - system configuration agent


Command Line Options


/usr/local/sbin/cfagent [options]


cfengine is a language based system specifically designed for testing and configuring unix-like systems attached to a TCP/IP network. You can think of cfengine as a very high level language -- much higher level than Perl or shell. A single statement can result in many hundreds of links being created, or the permissions of many hundreds of files being set. The idea of cfengine is to create a single file or set of configuration files which will describe the setup of every host on your network.

cfagent runs on every host and parses one file (or file-set), the configuration of the host is checked against this file and, if desired, any deviations are fixed. cfagent reads a configuration file called cfengine.conf in a directory pointed to by the environment variable CFINPUTS. cfagent performs host integrity and security checks as well as installing and repairing system configuration.


-a (--sysadm) Print only the name of the system administrator then quit.
-b (--force-net-copy) Forces net copy even if remote server is localhost
-c (--no-check-files) Do not check access rights on file systems
-C (--no-check-mounts) Check mount points for consistency. If this option is set then directories which lie in the ”mount point“ area are checked to see whether there is anything mounted on them.
-d (--debug) Enable debugging output. (parsing -d1,run, -d2, lite -d3)
-D (--define) Define a compound class symbol of the form alpha.beta.gamma.
-e (--no-edits) Suppress file editing.
-E (--enforce-links) Globally force links to be created where plain files or links already exist. You have to use this in interactive mode and answer a yes/no query before cfagent will run like this.
-f (--file) Parse filename after this switch. By default cfagent looks for a file called cfengine.conf in the current directory.
-h (--help ) Help information. Display version banner and options summary.
-H (--no-hard-classes) Prevents cfagent from generating any internal class name information. Can be used for emulation purposes.
-i (--no-ifconfig) Do not attempt to configure the local area network interface.
-I (--inform) Switches on the inform output level, whereby cfagent reports everything it changes..
-k (--no-copy) Do not copy/image any files.
-K (--no-lock) Ignore locks when running.
-l (--traverse-links) Normally cfagent does not follow symbolic links when recursively parsing directories. This option will force it to do so.
-L (--delete-stale-links) Delete links which do not point to existing files (except in user home directories, which are not touched).
-m (--no-mount) Do not attempt to mount file systems or edit the filesystem table.
-M (--no-modules) Ignore modules in actionsequence.
-n (--recon,--dry-run,--just-print) No action. Only print what has to be done without actually doing it.
-N (--negate,--undefine) Cancel a set of classes, or undefine (set value to false) a compound class of the form alpha.beta.gamma.
-p (--parse-only) Parse file and then stop. Used for checking the syntax of a program.
-P (--no-processes) Do not test the existence of processes, signal processes or optionally restart them.
-q (--no-splay) Switch off host splaying (sleeping).
-s (--no-commands) Do not execute scripts or shell commands.
-S (--silent) Silence run time warnings.
-t (--no-tidy) Do not tidy file systems.
-u (--use-env) Causes cfagent to generate an environment variable CFALLCLASSES which can be read by child processes (scripts). This variable contains a summary of all the currently defined classes at any given time. This option causes some system 5 systems to generate a Bus Error or segmentation fault.
-U (--underscore-classes) When this option is set, cfagent adds an underscore to the beginning of all hard system classes (like _sun4, _linux etc.) This can be used to avoid naming conflicts if you are so injudicious as to name a host by the name of a hard class. Other classes are not affected.
-v (--verbose) Verbose mode. Prints detailed information about actions and state.
-V (--version) Print only the version string and then quit.
-x (--no-preconf) Do not execute the cf.preconf net configuration file.
-X (--no-links) Do not execute the links section of a program.
-w (--no-warn,--quiet) Do not print warning messages.


Mark Burgess, Oslo University College


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