cf-execd is the scheduling daemon for cf-agent. It runs cf-agent locally according to a schedule specified in policy code (executor control body). After a cf-agent run is completed, cf-execd gathers output from cf-agent, and may be configured to email the output to a specified address. It may also be configured to splay (randomize) the execution schedule to prevent synchronized cf-agent runs across a network.

cf-execd keeps the promises made in common bundles, and is affected by common and executor control bodies.

Command reference

--help, -h
    Print the help message

--debug, -d
    Enable debugging output

--verbose, -v
    Output verbose information about the behaviour of the agent

--dry-run, -n
    All talk and no action mode - make no changes, only inform of promises not kept

--version, -V
    Output the version of the software

--file, -f
    Specify an alternative input file than the default

--define, -D
    Define a list of comma separated classes to be defined at the start of execution

--negate, -N
    Define a list of comma separated classes to be undefined at the start of execution

--no-lock, -K
    Ignore locking constraints during execution (ifelapsed/expireafter) if "too soon" to run

--inform, -I
    Print basic information about changes made to the system, i.e. promises repaired

--no-fork, -F
    Run as a foreground processes (do not fork)

--once, -O
    Run once and then exit (implies no-fork)

--no-winsrv, -W
    Do not run as a service on windows - use this when running from a command shell (CFEngine Nova only)

--ld-library-path, -L
    Set the internal value of LD_LIBRARY_PATH for child processes

--legacy-output, -l
    Use legacy output format

--color, -C
    Enable colorized output. Possible values: 'always', 'auto', 'never'. Default is 'never'

Control Promises

These body settings determine the behavior of cf-execd,including scheduling times and output capture to WORKDIR/outputs and relay via email.

     body executor control
         splaytime  => "5";
         mailto     => "";
         mailfrom   => "cfengine@$(host)";
         smtpserver => "localhost";
         schedule   => { "Min00_05", "Min30_35" }


Description: Maximum agent runtime (in minutes)

Sets a maximum time on any run of the command in exec_command. If no data is received from the pipe opened to the process created with exec_command after the time has elapsed, the process gets killed.

Note that if you have long-running jobs, they may get killed with this setting. Therefore, you should ensure it is higher than any run of cf-agent that you want to leave alone. Alternatively, you can make your jobs output something to STDOUT at least as often as this threshold. This will reset the timer.

Type: int

Allowed input range: 0,10080

Default value: 10080


    body executor control
    agent_expireafter => "120";

Notes: The setting will effectively allow you to set a threshold on the number of simultaneous agents that are running. For example, if you set it to 120 and you are using a 5-minute agent schedule, a maximum of 120 / 5 = 24 agents should be enforced.


Description: Menu option for syslog facility level

Type: (menu option)

Allowed input range:


See the syslog manual pages.

Default value: LOG_USER


    body executor control
    executorfacility => "LOG_USER";


Description: The full path and command to the executable run by default (overriding builtin)

The command is run in a shell encapsulation so pipes and shell symbols may be used if desired.

Type: string

Allowed input range: "?(/.*)


exec_command => "$(sys.workdir)/bin/cf-agent -f && $(sys.workdir)/bin/cf-agent";


Description: Email-address cfengine mail appears to come from

Type: string

Allowed input range: .*@.*


    body executor control
        mailfrom => "";


Description: Maximum number of lines of output to send by email

This limit prevents anomalously large outputs from clogging up a system administrator's mailbox. The output is truncated in the email report, but the complete original transcript is stored in WORKDIR/outputs/* where it can be viewed on demand. A reference to the appropriate file is given.

Type: int

Allowed input range: 0,1000

Default value: 30


    body executor control
    mailmaxlines => "100";


Description: Email-address cfengine mail is sent to

The address to whom email is sent if an smtp host is configured.

Type: string

Allowed input range: .*@.*


    body executor control
        mailto => "";


Description: The class schedule used by cf-execd for activating cf-agent

The list should contain class expressions comprised of classes which are visible to the cf-execd daemon. In principle, any defined class expression will cause the daemon to wake up and schedule the execution of the cf-agent. In practice, the classes listed in the list are usually date- and time-based.

The actual execution of cf-agent may be delayed by splaytime, and may be deferred by promise caching and the value of ifelapsed. Note also that the effectiveness of the splayclass function may be affected by changing the schedule.

Type: slist

Allowed input range: (arbitrary string)

Default value:

schedule => { "Min00", "Min05", "Min10", "Min15", "Min20", "Min25",
          "Min30", "Min35", "Min40", "Min45", "Min50", "Min55" };


    body executor control
    schedule => { "Min00", "(Evening|Night).Min15_20", "Min30", "(Evening|Night).Min45_50" };


Description: Name or IP of a willing smtp server for sending email

This should point to a standard port 25 server without encryption. If you are running secured or encrypted email then you should run a mail relay on localhost and point this to localhost.

Type: string

Allowed input range: .*


  body executor control
      smtpserver => "";


Description: Time in minutes to splay this host based on its name hash

Whenever any class listed in the schedule attribute is present, cf-execd can schedule an execution of cf-agent. The actual execution will be delayed an integer number of seconds between 0-splaytime minutes. The specific amount of delay for "this" host is based on a hash of the hostname. Thus a collection of hosts will all execute at different times, and surges in network traffic can be avoided.

A rough rule of thumb for scaling of small updates is set the splay time between 1-5 minutes for up a few thousand hosts. The splaytime should not be set to a value larger than the cf-execd scheduling interval, else multiple clients might contend for data.

Type: int

Allowed input range: 0,99999999999

Default value: 0

The CFEngine default policy sets splaytime to 1.


  body executor control
      splaytime => "2";

See also: The splayclass() function for a task-specific means for setting splay times.