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1.3.1 Configuration files and registries

One of the endearing characteristics of BSD and system 5 systems is that they are configured through human-readable text files. To add a new user to the system you edit `/etc/passwd', to add a new disk you must edit `/etc/fstab' etc. Many applications are also configured with the help of text files. When installing a new system for the first time, or when changing updating the setup of an old system you are faced with having to edit lots of files. In some cases you will have to add precisely the same line to the same file on every system in your network as a change is made, so it is handy to have a way of automating this procedure so that you don't have to load every file into an editor by hand and make the changes yourself. This is one of the tasks which cfagent will automate for you.

On Windows systems, configuration data are stored in a system registery. This can also be edited by cfengine, with the right tools, but this requires more care.

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