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GNU cfengine

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4.6.4 Special variables

Once you have mounted a resource on a unique directory, you have access to all of the relevant filesystems on your network -- but you really wanted the `local' filesystem to be mounted on /usr/local. All you need do now is to make a link:



      /usr/local  -> /$(site)/$(binserver)/local

The meaning of this is that, on any host, the directory /usr/local should be a link to the `nearest' binary server's `local' resource. The $(binserver) variable can in principle expand to any binary server in the list. In practice, cfagent goes through the list in order and picks the first filesystem resource which matches.

Could this lead to a collision? Suppose we are on the host `einstein' and we execute the above command. The host `einstein' has a filesystem /physics/einstein/local on its local disk -- it is in fact the binary server for the network, so it certainly doesn't need to mount any NFS filesystems. But this is no problem because cfagent automatically treats $(host) as the highest priority binary server for any host. That means that if you have a local filesystem, it will always have priority.

In contrast, if the host `schwinger' ran the command above, it would find no local filesystem called /physics/schwinger/local, so it would go along the list of defined binary servers, find `einstein' and try again. It will succeed in finding `einstein' provided all the binary servers were mounted before the link command is executed. This means that you should structure the actionsequence so that all filesystems are mounted before any links are made.

With a little practice, the cfengine model can lead to an enormous simplification of the issue of NFS-mountable resources.

NOTE: cfengine does not try to export filesystems, only mount already exported filesystems. If you want to automate this procedure also, you can use the editfiles facility to add entries to `/etc/exports' (see editfiles in the Reference manual). In practice this is very difficult to do and perhaps not desirable.

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