Upgrading to 3.7

Table of Contents

This guide documents our recommendation on how to upgrade an existing installation of CFEngine Community 3.5/3.6 and CFEngine Enterprise 3.5/3.6 to CFEngine 3.7.x.

Summary of the upgrade process

In short, the steps are the following:

  1. Before upgrading any package, upgrade your masterfiles on the hub (suggested download is the "Masterfiles ready-to-install tarball")
    • Make sure you port whatever changes you had in the old masterfiles, to the new masterfiles version
    • Test that the new policy works properly before putting it in /var/cfengine/masterfiles directory and deploying it
  2. Wait until the new masterfiles have propagated to all clients, and ensure there are no errors
  3. Upgrade the CFEngine package on the hub with the new version
  4. Upgrade the CFEngine package on all clients

NOTE: This is also the recommended way for upgrades between minor releases for example 3.10.0 to 3.10.2.

NOTE: Upgrading between major LTS releases is safest to be done step-by-step from one LTS version to the next, for example from 3.6.x to 3.7.x to 3.10.x. Try not to do multi-version upgrade at once.

Detailed upgrade process

Upgrade masterfiles and Policy Server (3.7.X to 3.7.X+1)

If you are doing a minor-minor 3.7 upgrade (e.g. from 3.7.0 to 3.7.1), the upgrade is easier. We would however still recommend to perform a masterfiles upgrade (ideally in a test environment first) to get all the enhancements and fixes.

The masterfiles are available in the hub package and separately on the download page (Community and Enterprise editions share masterfiles as of 3.6).

Normally most files can be replaced with new ones, the only ones that are likely changed by you are def.cf and promises.cf. For these two files, we would need to do a diff between your version and the new version and integrate the diff instead of replacing the whole file.

When the new masterfiles have been created and cf-promises promises.cf and cf-promises update.cf succeeds, you are ready to upgrade the Policy Server. That entails to

  • stop the CFEngine services
  • upgrade the hub package
  • replace /var/cfengine/masterfiles with your new integrated masterfiles
  • replace (or merge with your changes) /var/cfengine/state/pg/data/postgresql.conf with /var/cfengine/share/postgresql/postgresql.conf.cfengine to update your database configuration.
  • restart the CFEngine services

Check the version with /var/cfengine/bin/cf-promises -V, and if you are running Enterprise, the Mission Portal About page.

If your clients get promise failures (not kept) similar to "Can't stat file '/var/cfengine/master_software_updates/cf-upgrade/linux.x86_64/cf-upgrade' on '' in files.copy_from promise" you can download and unpack cf-upgrade.tar.gz on your Policy Server. This is caused by a known issue where some host packages lacked this utility, which is resolved in recent versions.

If everything looks good, you are ready to upgrade the clients, please skip to Prepare Client upgrade (all versions) followed by Complete Client upgrade (all versions) below.

Prepare masterfiles and the Policy Server for upgrade (3.6 to 3.7)

  1. Merge your masterfiles with the CFEngine 3.7 policy framework on an infrastructure separate from your existing CFEngine installation.

    • Identify existing modifications to the masterfiles directory. If patches from version control are unavailable or require verification, a copy of /var/cfengine/masterfiles from a clean installation of your previous version can help identify changes which will need to be applied to a new 3.7 install.
    • The 3.7 masterfiles can be found in a clean installation of CFEngine (hub package on Enterprise), under /var/cfengine/masterfiles. Apply any customizations against a copy of the 3.7 masterfiles in a well-known location, e.g. /root/3.7/masterfiles.
    • Use cf-promises to verify that the policy runs with 3.7, by running cf-promises /root/3.7/masterfiles/promises.cf and cf-promises /root/3.7/masterfiles/update.cf.
    • Use cf-promises to verify that the policy runs with you previous version of CFEngine (e.g. 3.6), by running the same commands as above on a node with that CFEngine version.
    • The merged masterfiles should now be based on the 3.7 framework, include your policies and work on both the version you are upgrading from and with 3.7.
  2. On your existing Policy Server, stop the CFEngine services.

    • service cfengine3 stop
    • Verify that the output of ps -e | grep cf is empty.

    Note: Clients will continue to execute the policy that they have.

  3. Make a backup of the Policy Server, a full backup of /var/cfengine (or your WORKDIR equivalent) is recommended.

    • cp -r /var/cfengine/ppkeys/ /root/3.6/ppkeys
    • tar cvzf /root/3.6/cfengine.tar.gz /var/cfengine
  4. Save the list of hosts currently connecting to the Policy Server.

    • cf-key -s > /root/3.6/hosts

Perform the upgrade of the Policy Server (3.6 to 3.7)

  1. Ensure the CFEngine services are still stopped (only on the Policy Server).

    • Verify that the output of ps -e | grep cf is empty.
  2. Install the new CFEngine Policy Server package (you may need to adjust the package name based on CFEngine edition, version and distribution).

    • rpm -U cfengine-nova-hub-3.7.8-1.x86_64.rpm # Red Hat based distribution
    • dpkg --install cfengine-nova-hub_3.7.8-1_amd64.deb # Debian based distribution
  3. Copy the merged masterfiles from the perparation you did above.

    • rm -rf /var/cfengine/masterfiles/*
    • cp /root/3.7/masterfiles/* /var/cfengine/masterfiles/
  4. Bootstrap the Policy Server to itself.

    /var/cfengine/bin/cf-agent -B <POLICY-SERVER-IP>

    Any error messages regarding processes can be corrected by running

    cf-agent -f update.cf -IK
  5. Take the Policy Server online.

    • Verify with cf-key -s that connections from all clients have been established within 5-10 minutes.
    • Select some clients to confirm that they have received the new policy and are running it without error.

Prepare Client upgrade (all versions)

  1. Make client packages available on the Policy Server in /var/cfengine/master_software_updates, under the appropriate directories for the OS distributions you use.
  2. Turn on the auto-upgrade policy by setting the trigger_upgrade class. Set masterfiles/controls/CLIENT_VER/update_def.cf (where CLIENT_VER is the minor version your clients are on, e.g. 3.7) or the augments_file (also known as def.json) for a small set of clients. For example in the appropriate update_def.cf file(s) change !any to an appropriate class like an IP network ipv4_10_10_1|ipv4_10_10_2 or in def.json

      "classes": {
       "trigger_upgrade": [ "ipv4_10_10_1", "ipv4_10_10_2" ]
  3. Verify that the selected hosts are upgrading successfully.

    As an Enterprise user, confirm that the hosts start appearing in Mission Portal after 5-10 minutes. The easiest way to do this is to use an Inventory Report and add the "CFEngine Version" column. Otherwise, log manually into a set of hosts to confirm the successful upgrade.

Complete Client upgrade (all versions)

  1. Widen the group of hosts on which the trigger_upgrade class is set.
  2. Continue to verify from cf-key -s or in the Enterprise Mission Portal that hosts are upgraded correctly and start reporting in.
  3. Verify that the list of hosts you captured before the upgrade, e.g. in /root/3.6/hosts correspond to what you see is now reporting in.