cf-monitord is the monitoring daemon for CFEngine. It samples probes defined in policy using measurements type promises and attempts to learn the normal system state based on current and past observations. Current estimates are made available as special variables (e.g. $(mon.av_cpu)) to cf-agent, which may use them to inform policy decisions.

cf-monitord keeps the promises made in commonand monitor bundles, and is affected by common and monitor control bodies.


  • cf-monitord always considers the class monitor to be defined.

Command reference

  --help        , -h       - Print the help message
  --debug       , -d       - Enable debugging output
  --verbose     , -v       - Output verbose information about the behaviour of cf-monitord
  --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
  --no-lock     , -K       - Ignore system lock
  --file        , -f value - Specify an alternative input file than the default. This option is overridden by FILE if supplied as argument.
  --log-level   , -g value - Specify how detailed logs should be. Possible values: 'error', 'warning', 'notice', 'info', 'verbose', 'debug'
  --inform      , -I       - Print basic information about changes made to the system, i.e. promises repaired
  --diagnostic  , -x       - Activate internal diagnostics (developers only)
  --no-fork     , -F       - Run process in foreground, not as a daemon
  --histograms  , -H       - Ignored for backward compatibility
  --tcpdump     , -T       - Interface with tcpdump if available to collect data about network
  --color       , -C value - Enable colorized output. Possible values: 'always', 'auto', 'never'. If option is used, the default value is 'auto'
  --timestamp   , -l       - Log timestamps on each line of log output
  --ignore-preferred-augments, -        - Ignore def_preferred.json file in favor of def.json

Standard measurements:

The cf-monitord service monitors a number of variables as standard on Unix and Windows systems. Windows is fundamentally different from Unix and currently has less support for out-of-the-box probes.

  1. users: Users logged in
  2. rootprocs: Privileged system processes
  3. otherprocs: Non-privileged process
  4. diskfree: Free disk on / partition
  5. loadavg: % kernel load utilization
  6. netbiosns_in: netbios name lookups (in)
  7. netbiosns_out: netbios name lookups (out)
  8. netbiosdgm_in: netbios name datagrams (in)
  9. netbiosdgm_out: netbios name datagrams (out)
  10. netbiosssn_in: netbios name sessions (in)
  11. netbiosssn_out: netbios name sessions (out)
  12. irc_in: IRC connections (in)
  13. irc_out: IRC connections (out)
  14. cfengine_in: CFEngine connections (in)
  15. cfengine_out: CFEngine connections (out)
  16. nfsd_in: nfs connections (in)
  17. nfsd_out: nfs connections (out)
  18. smtp_in: smtp connections (in)
  19. smtp_out: smtp connections (out)
  20. www_in: www connections (in)
  21. www_out: www connections (out)
  22. ftp_in: ftp connections (in)
  23. ftp_out: ftp connections (out)
  24. ssh_in: ssh connections (in)
  25. ssh_out: ssh connections (out)
  26. wwws_in: wwws connections (in)
  27. wwws_out: wwws connections (out)
  28. icmp_in: ICMP packets (in)
  29. icmp_out: ICMP packets (out)
  30. udp_in: UDP dgrams (in)
  31. udp_out: UDP dgrams (out)
  32. dns_in: DNS requests (in)
  33. dns_out: DNS requests (out)
  34. tcpsyn_in: TCP sessions (in)
  35. tcpsyn_out: TCP sessions (out)
  36. tcpack_in: TCP acks (in)
  37. tcpack_out: TCP acks (out)
  38. tcpfin_in: TCP finish (in)
  39. tcpfin_out: TCP finish (out)
  40. tcpmisc_in: TCP misc (in)
  41. tcpmisc_out: TCP misc (out)
  42. webaccess: Webserver hits
  43. weberrors: Webserver errors
  44. syslog: New log entries (Syslog)
  45. messages: New log entries (messages)
  46. temp0: CPU Temperature core 0
  47. temp1: CPU Temperature core 1
  48. temp2: CPU Temperature core 2
  49. temp3: CPU Temperature core 3
  50. cpu: %CPU utilization (all)
  51. cpu0: %CPU utilization core 0
  52. cpu1: %CPU utilization core 1
  53. cpu2: %CPU utilization core 2
  54. cpu3: %CPU utilization core 3
  55. microsoft_ds_out: Samba/MS_ds name sessions (out)
  56. www_alt_in: Alternative web service connections (in)
  57. www_alt_out: Alternative web client connections (out)
  58. imaps_in: encrypted imap mail service sessions (in)
  59. imaps_out: encrypted imap mail client sessions (out)
  60. ldap_in: LDAP directory service service sessions (in)
  61. ldap_out: LDAP directory service client sessions (out)
  62. ldaps_in: LDAP directory service service sessions (in)
  63. ldaps_out: LDAP directory service client sessions (out)
  64. mongo_in: Mongo database service sessions (in)
  65. mongo_out: Mongo database client sessions (out)
  66. mysql_in: MySQL database service sessions (in)
  67. mysql_out: MySQL database client sessions (out)
  68. postgres_in: PostgreSQL database service sessions (in)
  69. postgres_out: PostgreSQL database client sessions (out)
  70. ipp_in: Internet Printer Protocol (in)
  71. ipp_out: Internet Printer Protocol (out)
  72. io_reads: Number of I/O reads
  73. io_writes: Number of I/O writes
  74. io_readdata: Aggregate mount of data read across all devices
  75. io_writtendata: Aggregate amount of data written across all devices
  76. mem_total: Total system memory
  77. mem_free: Free system memory
  78. mem_cached: Size of disk cache
  79. mem_swap: Total swap size
  80. mem_freeswap: Free swap size

Slots with a higher number are used for custom measurement promises in CFEngine Enterprise.

These values collected and analyzed by cf-monitord are transformed into agent variables in the $( context.

Note: There is no way for force a refresh of the monitored data.

Data storage

cf-monitord records data in $(sys.statedir) (typically /var/cfengine/state).

  • cf_observations.lmdb
  • nova_measures.lmdb
  • ts_key
  • env_data
  • cf_incoming.<service id>
  • cf_outgoing.<service id>
  • cf_state.lmdb
  • history.lmdb

Statistical Classes

cf-monitord automatically defines classes based on the observation of the data is has collected. Classes defined are named for the measurement id (the promise handle in the case of custom measurement promises) with prefixes and or suffixes depending on the measurement.

The following suffixes may be used when defining classes:

  • _high :: The last measurement seemed high. It was greater than the average of all time and also greater than the recent average. This could indicate that the measured value is experiencing a "spike" or trending in a positive direction.
  • _low :: The last measurement was low. It was lower than the average of all time and also lower than the recent average. This could indicate that the measured value is experiencing a "dip" or trending in a negative direction.
  • _normal :: The value was neither high nor low, (as per how those are described above).
  • _ldt :: A leap (step) detected, meaning a distinct (significant) change in the average.
  • _dev1 :: The last measurement was at least 1 standard deviation higher/lower than the average.
  • _dev2 :: The last measurement was at least 2 standard deviations higher/lower than the average. These classes are persistently defined for a number of minutes.
  • _anomaly :: The last measurement was at least 3 standard deviations than the average. These classes are persistently defined for a number of minutes.
  • _microanomaly :: The last measurement was at least 2 standard deviations higher than the average.

The following prefixes may be used when defining classes:

  • entropy_ ::

Note: These suffixes and prefixes may be combined, resulting in a class like rootprocs_high, loadavg_high_ldt, cpu1_high_dev3, and entropy_postgresql_out_low.

Control Promises

Settings describing the details of the fixed behavioral promises made by cf-monitord. The system defaults will be sufficient for most users. This configurability potential, however, will be a key to developing the integrated monitoring capabilities of CFEngine.

body monitor control
    #version => "";

    forgetrate => "0.7";
    tcpdump => "false";
    tcpdumpcommand => "/usr/sbin/tcpdump -i eth1 -n -t -v";


Description: Decimal fraction [0,1] weighting of new values over old in 2d-average computation

Configurable settings for the machine-learning algorithm that tracks system behavior. This is only for expert users. This parameter effectively determines (together with the monitoring rate) how quickly CFEngine forgets its previous history.

Type: real

Allowed input range: 0,1

Default value: 0.6


body monitor control
forgetrate => "0.7";


Deprecated: Ignored, kept for backward compatibility

cf-monitord now always keeps histograms information, so this option is a no-op kept for backward compatibility. It used to cause CFEngine to learn the conformally transformed distributions of fluctuations about the mean.

Type: boolean

Default value: true


body monitor control
histograms => "true";


Description: Menu option for syslog facility

Type: (menu option)

Allowed input range:


Default value: LOG_USER


body monitor control
monitorfacility => "LOG_USER";


Description: true/false use tcpdump if found

Interface with TCP stream if possible.

Type: boolean

Default value: false

body monitor control
tcpdump => "true";


Description: Path to the tcpdump command on this system

If this is defined, the monitor will try to interface with the TCP stream and monitor generic package categories for anomalies.

Type: string

Allowed input range: "?(/.*)


body monitor control
tcpdumpcommand => "/usr/sbin/tcpdump -i eth1";