CFEngine training course in Brussels – 1-2-3 February (before FOSDEM)

Need to automate your system administration tasks like installing and configuring servers? Want to ensure policy compliance across your IT infrastructure? Already using CFEngine but interested in learning more? Going to Brussels for FOSDEM already and could spare a few days before hand to learn a new skill? Or just need a good reason to […] Read more

Jan, 04, 2012


Interactive key exchange with CFEngine

Here at Normation, we use CFEngine 3 extensively for configuration management across Linux and Windows servers. CFEngine 3 is a very secure tool, that relies on keys to identify hosts and authorize connections. To set up a secure CFEngine infrastructure, you ought to exchange keys between hosts (note that if you don’t have confidential data […] Read more

A quick initiation to the Debian package construction

While attenting at this year’s RMLL conferences, I had the opportunity to listen to a great presentation of the APT package management system by Lucas Nussbaum. I then had the idea to create this post as a quick reference on how to quickly build someone’s first Debian package. You are kindly invited to take a […] Read more

Configuration management tools for cloud computing (Open World Forum 2011)

The Open World Forum 2011 edition took place last week in Paris. I was invited to present a workshop in the Cloud Computing track. This gave me the opportunity to outline the importance of optimizing the “setup” phase of machines when using cloud computing. Today’s tools and APIs make it very easy to create and […] Read more

Cfengine 3.1.5 is nearly out, what can we expect from it?

Here at Normation, we use Cfengine 3 extensively for configuration management across Linux and Windows servers. Cfengine 3 is an open source project, and as every good open source project, the trunk version is always available (but not always very reliable) and stable versions are released regularly. Prior to the release of a new version, […] Read more

Scala Pitfalls For Java Refugees (SP4JR) #0: because what you think you know might be a hammer waiting for a thumb

Java++… or something else? This article is the first of what should be a really short series, because as you know, Scala is just Java++, and so the differences between the two are almost non-existent. OK, I don’t think I could have said more wrong things in one sentence, so now, let’s be serious! Scala […] Read more

Apr, 15, 2011


Mounting partitions stored in a logical volume (or a disk image)

With the increased use of virtualization has come the increased use of disk images (.iso, .vmdl, .qcow2, .vdi, etc) and LVM’s logical volumes (LV), as dedicated storage for Virtual Machines (VM). Frequently, when setting up a VM, several partitions are created within these disk images. So, you end up with a machine (the virtualization host), […] Read more

Why we use Cfengine: file editing

Here at Normation, we use Cfengine 3 extensively for configuration management across Linux and Windows servers. A question we get often is why Cfengine? I’d like to focus this post on file editing. Since Configuration Management has a lot to do with configuration files, file editing (either from a template, or just setting parameters) is […] Read more

Cfengine tip: Keeping cf-execd alive (whatever happens)

As good as your configuration management tool may be, it can only do it’s job if it’s running. Some tips on making sure this is the case, whatever happens. Why just cf-execd? With Cfengine, the “heavy lifting” is done by cf-agent, which is normally run on a regular interval by cf-execd (a daemon that runs […] Read more

Why we use Cfengine: memory footprint

Here at Normation, we use Cfengine 3 extensively for configuration management across Linux and Windows servers. A question we get often is why Cfengine? This is phrased either as What is so great about Cfengine? or What is the difference between Cfengine and Puppet or Chef? (as a reminder of how these 3 projects are […] Read more

FOSDEM: Configuration Management wishlist

We were at FOSDEM in Brussels last weekend (OK, like every year, and like thousand of others – yes it’s that good an event!). Alongside a huge number of interesting talks, events and people, of particular interest to us was the Configuration Management DevRoom, organized by James and Nigel from Puppet Labs. It hosted brilliant […] Read more

Set up Eclipse workspace in RAM

In the last article, we covered basic optimization paths for Eclipse. But it remains that Eclipse spend an awful amount of time performing I/O, reading and writing big amounts of (often small) files – and you can’t imagine how numerous theses files are. Of course, there is all the class resources file you are editing […] Read more

Jul, 27, 2010


Java LDAP SDK for SyncRepl replication showcase

Java LDAP reborn As you may know, I’m rather fond of the LDAP protocol and its open source server and client implementations. But I’m also found of the JVM, and in a not so far past, the only maintained Java LDAP SDK was Sun’s LDAP-JNDI, which is at best a call for masochists to make […] Read more

Jul, 18, 2010



Cfengine 3 presentation @ RMLL 2010

From the 6 to 11 July 2010, the 11th RMLL are hosted in Bordeaux, a great meeting for anyone interested with Free Software and their uses. Among the numerous very interesting presentations and round tables, I gave a presentation about the advantages of configuration management, and how Cfengine 3 works to help you deal with […] Read more

Scala dreaded underscore @ PSUG

On the evening of June 30th 2010, the Paris Scala User Group organized its second event. This time, there were two presentations: in the first one, Alexis Agahi, our kind user group leader, made a feedback after one year of scala experience. It’s available here. the second one was given by your servitor, and deals […] Read more

Jul, 01, 2010


Managing configuration with Cfengine 3: concepts & theories

In December 2009, Mark Burgess, the author of Cfengine, was in France. This was a great opportunity to arrange a talk with members of the French Cfengine community. Cfengine[0] is a policy-based configuration management system written by Mark Burgess at Oslo University College. Its primary function is to provide automated configuration and maintenance of computers, […] Read more

Optimizing Eclipse performances

Especially for Scala projects We love Eclipse. I mean, it’s clearly the best IDE around[1]. And we love to hate it. It is bloated. To make it useful, you have to cherry pick among hundreds of modules, and figure out how to make them work together. And it’s slow. OK, at the beginning, everything is […] Read more

May, 24, 2010


Hello world!

Welcome to Normation’s blog We are a software company based in Paris developing IT management solutions, and providing expertise in the configuration and identity management fields. This blog will contain articles on subjects that matter to us: Technical: configuration management, Cfengine, identity management, LDAP, software development, Scala, Java, Eclipse … and whatever else comes up! Business: […] Read more

May, 17, 2010


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