Filenames and Paths

Filenames in Unix-like operating systems use the forward slash '/' character for their directory separator. All references to file locations must be absolute pathnames in CFEngine, i.e. they must begin with a complete specification of which directory they are in. For example:


The only place where it makes sense to refer to a file without a complete directory specification is when searching through directories for different kinds of file, e.g. in pattern matching

leaf_name => { "tmp_.*", "output_file", "core" };

Here, one can write core without a path, because one is looking for any file of that name in a number of directories.

The Windows operating systems traditionally use a different filename convention. The following are all valid absolute file names under Windows:

      "c:\spaced name"

The 'drive' name "C:" in Windows refers to a partition or device. Unlike Unix, Windows does not integrate these seamlessly into a single file-tree. This is not a valid absolute filename:


Paths beginning with a backslash are assumed to be win32 paths. They must begin with a drive letter or double-slash server name.

Note in recent versions of Cygwin you can decide to use the /cygdrive to specify a path to windows file E.g /cygdrive/c/myfile means c:\myfile or you can do it straight away in CFEngine as c:\myfile.