Learning CFEngine 3
Automated system administration for sites of any size
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: March 2012
Pages: 250

Get up to speed on CFEngine 3, the open source configuration management software that enables you to automate everything from one-server shops to enterprise computer networks. This hands-on introduction shows you how to use CFEngine 3 to implement and manage and your IT infrastructure in a sustainable, scalable, and efficient manner.

Through numerous examples, you’ll learn how to use CFEngine to perform tasks such as user management, software installation, and security. You’ll also learn how to focus on higher-level issues of design, implementation and maintenance, knowing that CFEngine is handling the lower-level details for you automatically.

  • Discover how far you can go with system automation, using CFEngine
  • Become familiar with the software’s principles, components, and policy structure
  • Configure CFEngine step-by-step to perform routine tasks on your system
  • Specify custom machine configuration without making changes by hand
  • Get tricks and patterns that you can use in your own CFEngine policies
  • Maintain separate CFEngine environments for development, testing, production, or other uses
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oreillyLearning CFEngine 3
 
4.9

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (7)
  • Well-written (7)
  • Accurate (6)
  • Helpful examples (6)
  • Concise (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (7)
    • Novice (5)
    • Student (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Sys admin (6)

    Reviewed by 7 customers

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    5.0

    An essential read to understand CFEngine

    By JeremyW

    from Sydney, Australia

    About Me Sys Admin

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

      I am experienced in administration of CFEngine 2, and need to learn CFEngine 3 in order to migrate us to the current, and much superior, version.

      After struggling with the online documentation, I purchased this book based on several mentions in articles by other IT professionals.

      The book is excellent. It explains CFEngine 3 in a manner which is easy to understand. The examples are practical and can be adapted for production use at our site. After reading the book, the online documentation finally made sense.

      I know I will use the book as long as I manage CFEngine 3. It complements the online reference manuals perfectly. I also highly recommend the PDF version for quick browsing.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent Timesaver

      By Scott

      from Tacoma, WA

      About Me Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

        I've been trying to learn to use cf-engine in my limited spare time and have been having a tough time trying to learn using the mash-up of cfe2 & cfe3 documentation I've found online.

        After about 1 hour with this book I had some basics up and running on CentOS 6, and feel pretty confident that I'm doing things the right way.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        best book since a long time

        By save the whales

        from Berlin, Germany

        About Me Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Long expected
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

          A brilliant book!
          (best book since friedl's mastering reg ex ;-)
          Diego Zamboni delivers here on just 160 Pages, short and sharp, an intense introduction to CFEngine and the underlying "promise theory".

          For sys admins the tasks have changed over the years.
          Gone are the days of tinkering and pottering on our networks and services with bash, perl and clusterssh to satisfy a big handful of controlled users.
          With system virtualization the number of systems is increasing dramatically, user devices have multiplied and gone mobile, ipv6 name-space is big.
          Service Level Agreements(SLA) and policy's have to be developed in human comprehensible form and implemented into the very system in automatically audit-able ways.
          On many bigger sites, systems should be comprehensible and adoptable over many generations of administrator live times, archiving asks for 100y+.

          Diego Zamboni explains in a very well written way,
          why and how "promise theory" and its implementation in CFEngine, enables us to do exactly all of the above
          (yes, and all the other stuff like simply configure and monitor) and why we want it even in smaller environments of just a few nodes.

          With the "promise theory" Mark Burgess and his team delivers a very strong model for managing an arbitrary number of autonomous systems.
          With CFEngine we have an elegant and powerfull implementation for automated system administration.

          Respect nd thnx!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Well-written introduction to CFEngine 3

          By jblaine

          from St. Petersburg, FL

          About Me Sys Admin

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate

            Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

            The author does an excellent job covering the quite complicated topic. CFEngine 3 is not for the faint of heart, and I had found myself quite frustrated with its syntax in 2011 when I performed an initial evaluation of the community version. This book is exactly what I wish I had back then, but better late than never.

            The writing and editing done on this book is excellent. The author is very skilled at delivering complex information in a readable and approachable manner. That said, especially for the topic, this is not a book for casual reading (yes, some technical books are). If you carefully proceed through the many examples with detailed explanations, you will surely understand the basis of CFEngine 3.

            My only complaint is that I wish it was twice as long, and I'd have gladly paid twice as much for that. The CFEngine world is in sore need of Complete Bible, written at the author's level of clarity.

            If you have struggled with CFEngine 3 in the past, or are strongly considering deploying it in any way, I highly recommend this book (as my rating shows).

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Best CFEngine 3 Book I've Found

            By gjb

            from Philadelphia, PA

            About Me Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

              I found this book on O'Reilly after several attempts to make sense of all of the vast information in the CFEngine 3 Reference.

              This book is a perfect guide to getting started with CFEngine 3, and once you've gone through the example code and the explanations of what is happening, the pieces really start to fit together.

              This book is very well-written, easy to understand, and most importantly - the examples actually work!

              This book covers the most basic configuration to some more advanced configurations, so you'll really get a feel for how everything in the CFEngine 3 system operates overall.

              I can't wait for the final version of the book to come out!

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              preview looks great

              By Brian

              from Dallas, TX

              About Me Sys Admin

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

                I've read through the preview of the first four chapters and must say that this book looks great. It explains the terminology of CFEngine very well. I've used CFEngine 2 for several years, but the change to version 3 had a large learning curve. This book definitely helped to lessen the curve and help me to develop new promises quickly. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone trying to learn CFEngine 3.

                (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                good book, excellent work

                By roadtest

                from Toronto, CA

                About Me Designer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Easy to understand
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice

                  Comments about oreilly Learning CFEngine 3:

                  I read the early release of the first four chapters and it is very well organized with clear explanation of additional options in CFEngine3. I just started using CFEngine and this book helps a lot!

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