The first step toward using CFEngine is getting it installed on at least one machine so that you can start playing with it. CFEngine has fairly simple requirements, so you should be able to build it yourself easily. In this chapter we will go through the process of installing CFEngine on your machine, setting it up, and writing and running your first policy. Don’t worry if you do not understand at first glance what all the different pieces mean—the idea of this chapter is to get you going. We will step back in Chapter 3 to examine all the different CFEngine components.
I will mention one concept that you need to understand before we start. Your first CFEngine host will act as the policy hub, which is a server from where other CFEngine clients fetch their policy files. If you are just going to start playing with CFEngine, most likely you will be using it on a single host at the beginning, so the hub and the client can be on the same machine. As you grow your CFEngine installation, other machines will connect to the hub as well. Most CFEngine installations use a “star” configuration, with a single hub serving multiple machines. However, this is not a requirement—CFEngine allows you to connect its components in any architecture you desire.
Remember that CFEngine exists in two versions: community edition and commercial edition. Therefore, I will describe three options for installing CFEngine:
Community edition (free), installed ...