Hard and Soft Classes

Classes fall into hard (discovered) and soft (defined) types. This reference documents the hard classes that might be set by CFEngine, and soft classes used by CFEngine's default policy.

Listing Classes

To see all of the classes defined on a particular host, run

$ cf-promises -v

as a privileged user. Note that some of the classes are set only if a trusted link can be established with cf-monitord, i.e. if both are running with privilege, and the /var/cfengine/state/env_data file is secure.

You can use https://github.com/cfengine/design-center/tree/master/tools/hcgrep to obtain this list in a format suitable for other tools like grep (one class per line).

You can also use the built-in classesmatching function to get a list of all the defined classes in a list, inside CFEngine policy itself.

Hard Classes

  • Operating System Classes
  • Network Classes
  • Time Classes

    • note ALL of these have a local and a GMT version. The GMT classes are consistent the world over, in case you need global change coordination.
    • Day of the Week - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,...GMT_Monday, GMT_Tuesday, GMT_Wednesday,...
    • Hour of the Day in Current Time Zone - Hr00, Hr01,... Hr23 and Hr0, Hr1,... Hr23
    • Hour of the Day in GMT - GMT_Hr00, GMT_Hr01, ...GMT_Hr23 and GMT_Hr0, GMT_Hr1, ...GMT_Hr23.
    • Minutes of the Hour - Min00, Min17,... Min45,... and GMT_Min00, GMT_Min17,... GMT_Min45,...
    • Five Minute Interval of the Hour - Min00_05, Min05_10,... Min55_00 and GMT_Min00_05, GMT_Min05_10,... GMT_Min55_00. Note the second number indicates up to what minute the interval extends and does not include that minute.
    • Quarter of the Hour - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 and GMT_Q1, GMT_Q2, GMT_Q3, GMT_Q4
    • An expression of the current quarter hour - Hr12_Q3 and GMT_Hr12_Q3
    • Day of the Month - Day1, Day2,... Day31 and GMT_Day1, GMT_Day2,... GMT_Day31
    • Month - January, February,... December and GMT_January, GMT_February,... GMT_December
    • Year - Yr1997, Yr2004 and GMT_Yr1997, GMT_Yr2004
    • Period of the Day - Night, Morning, Afternoon, Evening and GMT_Night, GMT_Morning, GMT_Afternoon, GMT_Evening (six hour blocks starting at 00:00 hours).
    • Lifecycle Index - Lcycle_0, Lcycle_1, Lcycle_2 and GMT_Lcycle_0, GMT_Lcycle_1, GMT_Lcycle_2 (the year number modulo 3, used in long term resource memory).
    • See also: sys.cdate, sys.date.
  • The unqualified name of a particular host (e.g., www). If your system returns a fully qualified domain name for your host (e.g., www.iu.hio.no), CFEngine will also define a hard class for the fully qualified name, as well as the partially-qualified component names iu.hio.no, hio.no, and no.

  • An arbitrary user-defined string (as specified in the -D command line option, or defined in a classes promise or body, restart_class in a processes promise, etc).

  • The IP address octets of any active interface (in the form ipv4_192_0_0_1<!-- /@w -->, ipv4_192_0_0<!-- /@w -->, ipv4_192_0<!-- /@w -->, ipv4_192<!-- /@w -->), provided they are not excluded by a regular expression in the file WORKDIR/inputs/ignore_interfaces.rx.

  • The names of the active interfaces (in the form net_iface_xl0, net_iface_vr0).

  • System status and entropy information reported by cf-monitord.

  • On Solaris-10 systems, the zone name (in the form zone_global, zone_foo, zone_baz).

Soft Classes

The following classes can be set via

$ cf-agent -Dclass


$ cf-runagent -Dclass

to change the behavior of CFEngine without having to edit the policy.


Description: Disable a CFEngine Enterprise daemon component persistently.

DAEMON can be one of cf_execd, cf_monitord or cf_serverd.

This will stop the AGENT from starting automatically.


Description: Re-enable a previously disabled CFEngine Enterprise daemon component.

DAEMON can be one of cf_execd, cf_monitord or cf_serverd.