Category: ‘CFEngine’

Discover the new package management implementation in Rudder

Rudder 3.2, starting from 3.2.8, offers a new package management implementation. It is new, and not as tested as the previous one, but already usable. This article explains the reason for this change, and will give an overview of the features and their usage. Why? As you may have noticed, the current package management implementation […] Read more

Mustache templating with ncf and CFEngine

Why use mustache template When you start a configuration management project, you promptly discover that there are are two ways of managing your configuration files. You can either edit the existing ones or use templates to replace them all. Editing pros and cons: it is more complex and more bug prone it is easier when […] Read more

CFEngine vs Puppet vs Chef vs Ansible vs Salt

Last month Infoworld published an article titled “Review: Puppet vs. Chef vs. Ansible vs. Salt” written by Paul Venezia, that prompted many people in the configuration management community to get in touch with us to ask why CFEngine was not included. Our answer was simple: “No, we have no clear reason as to why this […] Read more

Speed up your CFEngine by using a RAM disk!

When using CFEngine on a daily basis with a heavy set of promises, it is possible that one day you will encounter the following problem, especially on older releases of CFEngine: the underlying databases can get slow over time and eat some I/O. On a “standard” machine it will not cause any harm, but on […] Read more

Avoid CFEngine hanging on start with the ignore_interfaces.rx file

Using CFEngine on a regular basis (and training people to use it), I often have to deploy CFEngine agents on virtual machines. Trouble is that often virtual machines (especially the ones cloned a bit hastily) have broken network configurations (incorrect hosts file, stray network interfaces …). While CFEngine is quite tolerant about network failures, it […] Read more

CFEngine Community Event in Montreal

During the CFEngine training session in Montreal two weeks ago, Normation and CFEngine organized a community event, to reach CFEngine users in the French speaking Canada. The event was a success, and we even met some potential CFEngineers there, eager to join the community. This event was fully sponsored by CFEngine, who we thank extensively […] Read more

May, 31, 2012



Rudder and Android working together

After a hard couple of days trying to get it done with our friends from Genymobile, we finally managed to craft a lovely Android compatible Rudder prototype ! Thanks to CFEngine flexibility, we are now able to manage Android-based systems from a standard Rudder server. Thus, we are currently the only user-friendly oriented configuration management […] Read more

Normation: our mission, why Rudder and our offer

Yesterday, we held a seminar in our offices titled IT infrastructure: Balancing best practices and everyday constraints. Mark Burgess, pioneer of software configuration management and founding CTO of CFEngine AS, was our guest star, and gave a very interesting talk about the Third Wave of IT Management. We took the opportunity to introduce Normation, presenting […] Read more

Barcamp Rudder 2.4.0 – Portes ouvertes

Cette semaine, de mercredi à mercredi (du 22 au 29 février donc), Normation va faire son premier Barcamp Rudder ! Mais qu’est-ce qu’un barcamp ? D’après Wikipedia : Un BarCamp est une rencontre, une non-conférence ouverte qui prend la forme d’ateliers-événements participatifs où le contenu est fourni par les participants qui doivent tous, à un […] Read more

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

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

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

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