Prototype: splayclass(input, policy)

Return type: boolean

Description: Returns whether input's time-slot has arrived, according to a policy.

The function returns true if the system clock lies within a scheduled time-interval that maps to a hash of input (which may be any arbitrary string). Different strings will hash to different time intervals, and thus one can map different tasks to time-intervals.

This function may be used to distribute a task, typically on multiple hosts, in time over a day or an hourly period, depending on the policy (that must be either daily or hourly). This is useful for copying resources to multiple hosts from a single server, (e.g. large software updates), when simultaneous scheduling would lead to a bottleneck and/or server overload.

The function is similar to the splaytime feature in cf-execd, except that it allows you to base the decision on any string-criterion on a given host.


  • input: string - Input string for classification - in the range: .*
  • policy: - Splay time policy - one of
    • daily
    • hourly

The variation in input determines how effectively CFEngine will be able to distribute tasks. CFEngine instances with the same input will yield a true result at the same time, and different input will yield a true result at different times. Thus tasks could be scheduled according to group names for predictability, or according to IP addresses for distribution across the policy interval.

The times at which the splayclass will be defined depends on the policy. If it is hourly then the class will be defined for a 5-minute interval every hour. If the policy daily, then the class will be defined for one 5-minute interval every day. This means that splayclass assumes that you are running CFEngine with the default schedule of "every 5 minutes". If you change the executor schedule control variable, you may prevent the splayclass from ever being defined (that is, if the hashed 5-minute interval that is selected by the splayclass is a time when you have told CFEngine not to run).


bundle agent example

  "my_turn" expression => splayclass("$($(sys.ipv4)","daily");



    "Load balanced class activated";

See also: hash_to_int()