[clug] cfengine2 (debian) and max_file_size for editing

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Tue Oct 19 07:32:40 MDT 2010

Andrew Janke <a.janke at gmail.com> writes:

>>> FWIW, cfengine2 is the bomb (if you ask me) hard to learn but infinitely
>>> powerful.
>> I generally recommend puppet, these days, in the role that cfengine2 used
>> to play.  It is a generally better implementation of the same concepts,
>> with less rough or unuseful edges for most commercial sites.
> Most interesting, do tell more (please).

Generally I would point folks at the mailing lists and documentation,
although I am quite happy to answer questions.  I don't really have a "sales
pitch" or anything, other than that puppet was the least-worst tool when I
started using it some years back.

The biggest thing I found with cfengine2 was that it had a whole lot of
features that were simply not useful in the environments I deployed it.  Sure,
they would be valuable if we were going to use it in something like a
traditional university environment, but we didn't use NFS model they did, the
alerts didn't do much, editfiles was too risky for most use, and that was
about it.

puppet won, basically, because we could build a better set of abstractions,
and because it was easier to reuse abstractions that other people wrote to
manage services and configuration.

Now, instead of doing stuff by "copy file, install package, run shell cmd" we
talk about apache::site and standard::project things with a fairly rich

> I am about to embark upon setting up another Debian/Ubuntu based cluster and
> haven't looked back at the "competition" in a while from my FAI + cfengine2
> based management.
> Does puppet do unattended install (via PXE or some other method) now
> or is it still just a management doverlackie?

Just management, though a bunch of people are using it from cobbler, FAI,
kickstart, and jumpstart.  At my present job we don't do that: our install
process is manual for a machine[1], then install and run puppet.

>> (OTOH, I now work for Puppet Labs, so I might be biased. :)
> This is a good thing, we have a horse with a mouth.

Mostly just a happy user right now.  In three months time I have more claim to
that. :)


[1]  Almost exclusively this means "click in the VM management GUI" which
     unpacks a tarball and fiddles it a bit, however.

✣ Daniel Pittman            ✉ daniel at rimspace.net            ☎ +61 401 155 707
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