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cdist-type__file - Manage files.


This cdist type allows you to create files, remove files and set file attributes on the target.

If the file already exists on the target, then if it is a:

replace it with the source file if they are not equal
do nothing

replace it with the source file
replace it with the source file

One exception is that when state is pre-exists, an error is raised if the file would have been created otherwise (e.g. it is not present or not a regular file).

In any case, make sure that the file attributes are as specified.




'present', 'absent', 'exists' or 'pre-exists', defaults to 'present' where:
the file is exactly the one from source
the file does not exist
the file from source but only if it doesn't already exist
check that the file exists and is a regular file, but do not create or modify it

Group to chgrp to.
Unix permissions, suitable for chmod.
User to chown to.
If supplied, copy this file from the host running cdist to the target. If not supplied, an empty file or directory will be created. If source is '-' (dash), take what was written to stdin as the file content.
The code to run if file is modified.


Changed group membership
Changed owner
Changed mode
Empty file was created (no --source specified)
File exists, but state is absent, file will be removed by generated code.
File was uploaded


# Create  /etc/cdist-configured as an empty file
__file /etc/cdist-configured
# The same thing
__file /etc/cdist-configured --state present
# Use __file from another type
__file /etc/issue --source "$__type/files/archlinux" --state present
# Delete existing file
__file /etc/cdist-configured --state absent
# Supply some more settings
__file /etc/shadow --source "$__type/files/shadow" \

--owner root --group shadow --mode 0640 \
--state present # Provide a default file, but let the user change it __file /home/frodo/.bashrc --source "/etc/skel/.bashrc" \
--state exists \
--owner frodo --mode 0600 # Check that the file is present, show an error when it is not __file /etc/somefile --state pre-exists # Take file content from stdin __file /tmp/whatever --owner root --group root --mode 644 --source - << DONE
Here goes the content for /tmp/whatever DONE


Nico Schottelius <>


Copyright (C) 2011-2013 Nico Schottelius. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


ungleich GmbH 2019

June 23, 2019 5.1.2