cfengine stands for configuration engine, and it is an agent/software robot that can you can configure through high-level policy language. This allows you to build a system to administer and configure large computer networks. The language is on a much higher level than Perl or Shell. The desired end results will be described, and cfengine is capable of automatically choosing the appropriate configuration actions, according to the operating system it runs on. Especially on heterogeneous environments, this approach avoids the huge if ... then ... else constructs that would otherwise be needed. Configuration can be greatly simplified and harmonized. And, of course, you can reapply the configuration at any desired time; this is quite helpful when reinstalling a machine.
cfengine works with classes that describe how a network should be configured. It runs on every network host and checks the current system configuration against the desired configuration and modifies the system accordingly. cfengine is also capable of performing some common administration issues such as setting symbolic links, checking network interfaces, editing configuration files, or serving as a systemwide front-end for the cron daemon.
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