Policy Deployment

Table of Contents

By default CFEngine policy is distributed from /var/cfengine/masterfiles on the policy server. It is common (and recommended) for masterfiles to be backed with a version control system (VCS) such as git or subversion. This document details usage with git, but the tooling is desinged to be flexible and easily modified to support any upstream versioning system.

CFEngine Enterprise ships with tooling to assist in the automated deployment of policy from a version control system to /var/cfengine/masterfiles on the hub.

Ensure policy in upstream repository is current

This is critical. When you deploying policy, you will overwrite your current /var/cfengine/masterfiles. So take the current contents thereof and make sure they are in the Git repository you chose in the previous step.

For example, if you create a new repository in GitHub by following the instructions from https://help.github.com/articles/create-a-repo, you can add the contents of masterfiles to it with the following commands (assuming you are already in your local repository checkout):

cp -r /var/cfengine/masterfiles/* .
git add *
git commit -m 'Initial masterfiles check in'
git push origin master

Configure the upstream VCS

To configure the upstream repository. You must provide the uri, credentials (passphraseless ssh key) and the branch to deploy from.

Configuring upstream VCS via Mission Portal

In the Mission Portal VCS integration panel. To access it, click on "Settings" in the top-left menu of the Mission Portal screen, and then select "Version control repository".

Settings menu

VCS settings screen

Configuring upstream VCS manually

The upstream VCS can be configured manually by modifying /opt/cfengine/dc-scripts/params.sh

Manually triggering a policy deployment

After the upstream VCS has been configured you can trigger a policy deployment manually by defining the cfengine_internal_masterfiles_update for a run of the update policy.

For example:

[root@hub ~]# cf-agent -KIf update.cf --define cfengine_internal_masterfiles_update
    info: Executing 'no timeout' ... '/var/cfengine/httpd/htdocs/api/dc-scripts/masterfiles-stage.sh'
    info: Command related to promiser '/var/cfengine/httpd/htdocs/api/dc-scripts/masterfiles-stage.sh' returned code defined as promise kept 0
    info: Completed execution of '/var/cfengine/httpd/htdocs/api/dc-scripts/masterfiles-stage.sh'

This is useful if you would like more manual control of policy releases.

Configuring automatic policy deployments

To configure automatic deployments simply ensure the cfengine_internal_masterfiles_update class is defined on your policy hub.

Configuring automatic policy deployments with the augments file

Create def.json in the root of your masterfiles with the following content:

  "classes": {
    "cfengine_internal_masterfiles_update": [ "hub" ]

Configuring automatic policy deployments with policy

Simply edit bundle common update_def in controls/update_def.cf.

bundle common update_def
# ...
# ...

    "cfengine_internal_masterfiles_update" expression => "policy_server";
# ...

Troubleshooting policy deployments

Before policy is deployed from the upstream VCS to /var/cfengine/masterfiles the policy is first validated by the hub. If this validation fails the policy will not be deployed.

For example:

[root@hub ~]# cf-agent -KIf update.cf --define cfengine_internal_masterfiles_update
    info: Executing 'no timeout' ... '/var/cfengine/httpd/htdocs/api/dc-scripts/masterfiles-stage.sh'
   error: Command related to promiser '/var/cfengine/httpd/htdocs/api/dc-scripts/masterfiles-stage.sh' returned code defined as promise failed 1
    info: Completed execution of '/var/cfengine/httpd/htdocs/api/dc-scripts/masterfiles-stage.sh'
R: Masterfiles deployment failed, for more info see '/var/cfengine/outputs/dc-scripts.log'
   error: Method 'cfe_internal_masterfiles_stage' failed in some repairs
   error: Method 'cfe_internal_update_from_repository' failed in some repairs
    info: Updated '/var/cfengine/inputs/cfe_internal/update/cfe_internal_update_from_repository.cf' from source '/var/cfengine/masterfiles/cfe_internal/update/cfe_internal_update_from_repository.cf' on 'localhost'

Policy deployments are logged to /var/cfengine/outputs/dc-scripts.log. The logs contain useful information about the failed deployment. For example here I can see that there is a syntax error in promises.cf near line 14.

[root@prihub ~]# tail -n 5 /var/cfengine/outputs/dc-scripts.log
/opt/cfengine/masterfiles_staging_tmp/promises.cf:14:46: error: Expected ',', wrong input '@(inventory.bundles)'
   error: There are syntax errors in policy files
The staged policies in /opt/cfengine/masterfiles_staging_tmp could not be validated, aborting.: Unknown Error