cf-serverd [OPTION]... [FILE]


cf-serverd is a socket listening daemon providing two services: it acts as a file server for remote file copying and it allows an authorized cf-runagent to start a cf-agent run. cf-agent typically connects to a cf-serverd instance to request updated policy code, but may also request additional files for download. cf-serverd employs role based access control (defined in policy code) to authorize requests.


--help, -h

Print the help message

--debug, -d

Enable debugging output

--verbose, -v

Output verbose information about the behaviour of the agent

--version, -V

Output the version of the software

--file, -f

Specify an alternative input file than the default

--define, -D

Define a list of comma separated classes to be defined at the start of execution

--negate, -N

Define a list of comma separated classes to be undefined at the start of execution

--no-lock, -K

Ignore locking constraints during execution (ifelapsed/expireafter) if "too soon" to run

--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 as a foreground processes (do not fork)

--ld-library-path, -L

Set the internal value of LD_LIBRARY_PATH for child processes

--generate-avahi-conf, -A

Generates avahi configuration file to enable policy server to be discovered in the network

--legacy-output, -l

Use legacy output format

--color, -C

Enable colorized output. Possible values: 'always', 'auto', 'never'. If option is used, the default value is 'auto'


CFEngine provides automated configuration management of large-scale computer systems. A system administrator describes the desired state of a system using CFEngine policy code. The program cf-agent reads policy code and attempts to bring the current system state to the desired state described. Policy code is downloaded by cf-agent from a cf-serverd daemon. The daemon cf-execd is responsible for running cf-agent periodically.

Documentation for CFEngine is available at


CFEngine is built on principles from promise theory, proposed by Mark Burgess in 2004. Promise theory is a model of voluntary cooperation between individual, autonomous actors or agents who publish their intentions to one another in the form of promises. A promise is a declaration of intent whose purpose is to increase the recipient's certainty about a claim of past, present or future behaviour. For a promise to increase certainty, the recipient needs to trust the promiser, but trust can also be built on the verification that previous promises have been kept, thus trust plays a symbiotic relationship with promises.

For an introduction to promise theory, please see


cf-serverd is part of CFEngine.

Binary packages may be downloaded from

The source code is available at


Please see the public bug-tracker at

GitHub pull-requests may be submitted to

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Mark Burgess and CFEngine AS