12. cdist type¶
Types are the main component of cdist and define functionality. If you use cdist, you’ll write a type for every functionality you would like to use.
__TYPE ID --parameter value [--parameter value ...] __TYPE --parameter value [--parameter value ...] (for singletons)
12.3. How to use a type¶
You can use types from the initial manifest or the type manifest like a normal shell command:
# Creates empty file /etc/cdist-configured __file /etc/cdist-configured --type file # Ensure tree is installed __package tree --state installed
A list of supported types can be found in the cdist reference manpage.
12.4. Singleton types¶
If a type is flagged as a singleton, it may be used only once per host. This is useful for types which can be used only once on a system. Singleton types do not take an object name as argument.
# __issue type manages /etc/issue __issue # Probably your own type - singletons may use parameters __myfancysingleton --colour green
12.5. How to write a new type¶
A type consists of
- parameter (optional)
- manifest (optional)
- singleton (optional)
- explorer (optional)
- gencode (optional)
Types are stored below cdist/conf/type/. Their name should always be prefixed with two underscores (__) to prevent collisions with other executables in $PATH.
To implement a new type, create the directory cdist/conf/type/__NAME.
12.6. Defining parameters¶
Every type consists of required, optional and boolean parameters, which must each be declared in a newline separated file in parameter/required, parameter/required_multiple, parameter/optional, parameter/optional_multiple and parameter/boolean. Parameters which are allowed multiple times should be listed in required_multiple or optional_multiple respectively. All other parameters follow the standard unix behaviour “the last given wins”. If either is missing, the type will have no required, no optional, no boolean or no parameters at all.
Default values for optional parameters can be predefined in parameter/default/<name>.
echo servername >> cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/required echo logdirectory >> cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/optional echo loglevel >> cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/optional mkdir cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/default echo warning > cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/default/loglevel echo server_alias >> cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/optional_multiple echo use_ssl >> cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/parameter/boolean
12.7. Using parameters¶
The parameters given to a type can be accessed and used in all type scripts (e.g manifest, gencode, explorer). Note that boolean parameters are represented by file existence. File exists -> True, file does not exist -> False
Example: (e.g. in cdist/conf/type/__nginx_vhost/manifest)
# required parameter servername="$(cat "$__object/parameter/servername")" # optional parameter if [ -f "$__object/parameter/logdirectory" ]; then logdirectory="$(cat "$__object/parameter/logdirectory")" fi # optional parameter with predefined default loglevel="$(cat "$__object/parameter/loglevel")" # boolean parameter if [ -f "$__object/parameter/use_ssl" ]; then # file exists -> True # do some fancy ssl stuff fi # parameter with multiple values if [ -f "$__object/parameter/server_alias" ]; then for alias in $(cat "$__object/parameter/server_alias"); do echo $alias > /some/where/usefull done fi
12.8. Input from stdin¶
Every type can access what has been written on stdin when it has been called. The result is saved into the stdin file in the object directory.
Example use of a type: (e.g. in cdist/conf/type/__archlinux_hostname)
__file /etc/rc.conf --source - << eof ... HOSTNAME="$__target_host" ... eof
If you have not seen this syntax (<< eof) before, it may help you to read about “here documents”.
In the __file type, stdin is used as source for the file, if - is used for source:
if [ -f "$__object/parameter/source" ]; then source="$(cat "$__object/parameter/source")" if [ "$source" = "-" ]; then source="$__object/stdin" fi ....
12.9. Writing the manifest¶
In the manifest of a type you can use other types, so your type extends their functionality. A good example is the __package type, which in a shortened version looks like this:
os="$(cat "$__global/explorer/os")" case "$os" in archlinux) type="pacman" ;; debian|ubuntu) type="apt" ;; gentoo) type="emerge" ;; *) echo "Don't know how to manage packages on: $os" >&2 exit 1 ;; esac __package_$type "$@"
As you can see, the type can reference different environment variables, which are documented in cdist reference.
Always ensure the manifest is executable, otherwise cdist will not be able to execute it. For more information about manifests see cdist manifest.
12.10. Singleton - one instance only¶
If you want to ensure that a type can only be used once per target, you can mark it as a singleton: Just create the (empty) file “singleton” in your type directory:
This will also change the way your type must be called:
__YOURTYPE --parameter value
As you can see, the object ID is omitted, because it does not make any sense, if your type can be used only once.
12.11. The type explorers¶
If a type needs to explore specific details, it can provide type specific explorers, which will be executed on the target for every created object.
The explorers are stored under the “explorer” directory below the type. It could for instance contain code to check the md5sum of a file on the client, like this (shortened version from the type __file):
if [ -f "$__object/parameter/destination" ]; then destination="$(cat "$__object/parameter/destination")" else destination="/$__object_id" fi if [ -e "$destination" ]; then md5sum < "$destination" fi
12.12. Writing the gencode script¶
There are two gencode scripts: gencode-local and gencode-remote. The output of gencode-local is executed locally, whereas the output of gencode-remote is executed on the target. The gencode scripts can make use of the parameters, the global explorers and the type specific explorers.
If the gencode scripts encounters an error, it should print diagnostic messages to stderr and exit non-zero. If you need to debug the gencode script, you can write to stderr:
# Debug output to stderr echo "My fancy debug line" >&2 # Output to be saved by cdist for execution on the target echo "touch /etc/cdist-configured"
12.13. Variable access from the generated scripts¶
In the generated scripts, you have access to the following cdist variables
but only for read operations, means there is no back copy of this files after the script execution.
So when you generate a script with the following content, it will work:
if [ -f "$__object/parameter/name" ]; then name="$(cat "$__object/parameter/name")" else name="$__object_id" fi
12.14. Hints for typewriters¶
It must be assumed that the target is pretty dumb and thus does not have high level tools like ruby installed. If a type requires specific tools to be present on the target, there must be another type that provides this tool and the first type should create an object of the specific type.
If your type wants to save temporary data, that may be used by other types later on (for instance __file), you can save them in the subdirectory “files” below $__object (but you must create it yourself). cdist will not touch this directory.
If your type contains static files, it’s also recommended to place them in a folder named “files” within the type (again, because cdist guarantees to never ever touch this folder).