This function is only available in CFEngine Enterprise.

Prototype: remotescalar(id, server, encrypt)

Return type: string

The return value is cached.

Description: Returns a scalar value identified by id from a remote CFEngine server. Communication is encrytped depending on encrypt.

If the identifier matches a persistent scalar variable then this will be returned preferentially. If no such variable is found, then the server will look for a literal string in a server bundle with a handle that matches the requested object.

The remote system's cf-serverd must accept the query for the requested variable from the host that is requesting it. Access must be granted by making an access promise with resource_type set to literal.

CFEngine stores the value of this function on the calling host, so that, if the network is unavailable, the last known value will be used. Hence use of this function is fault tolerant. Care should be taken in attempting to access remote variables that are not available, as the repeated connections needed to resolve the absence of a value can lead to undesirable behavior. As a general rule, users are recommended to refrain from relying on the availability of network resources.


  • id: string - Variable identifier - in the range: [a-zA-Z0-9_$(){}\[\].:]+
  • server: string - Hostname or IP address of server - in the range: .*
  • encrypt: - Use enryption - one of
    • true
    • false
    • yes
    • no
    • on
    • off



 "remote" string => remotescalar("test_scalar","","yes");
bundle server access
  "value of my test_scalar, can expand variables here - $("
    handle => "test_scalar",
    comment => "Grant access to contents of test_scalar VAR",
    resource_type => "literal",
    admit => { "" };

Notes: Note that this function assumes that you have already performed a successful key exchange between systems, (e.g. using either a remote copy or cf-runagent connection). It contains no mechanism for trust establishment and will fail if there is no trust relationship established in advance.

See also: hubknowledge(), remoteclassesmatching(), hostswithclass()