For Emacs users, editing CFEngine policies is easy with the built-in CFEngine 3 mode in the cfengine.el library. For an overview of the capabilities, see the webinar by Ted Zlatanov or Appendix A of Diego Zamboni’s “Learning CFEngine” book.

Emacs Screenshot


Spacemacs has a CFEngine layer that configures many of the features shown in the Emacs webinar above out of the box. It’s a great way for vi lovers to leverage the power of Emacs.

 spacemacs screenshot


Vi/Vim users can edit CFEngine policies with Neil Watson’s CFEngine 3 scripts, available as GPL-software on GitHub. Neil’s vi mode is also described in Appendix B of Diego Zamboni’s “Learning CFEngine” book.

Vim Screenshot

Visual Studio Code:

Microsoft VS Code users have syntax highlighting thanks to AZaugg. Install the syntax highlighting and snippets directly from within Visual Studio Code by running ext install vscode-cfengine.

Visual Studio Code screenshot

Sublime Text:

Sublime Text 2 and 3 users have syntax highlighting and snippets thanks to Valery Astraverkhau. Get the syntax highlighting and snippets from his github repository. Aki Vanhatalo has contributed a beautifier to automatically re-indent policy in Sublime Text.

 Sublime Screenshot


Using Githubs hackable editor? You can get syntax highlighting with the language-cfengine3 package.



Interested in syntax highlighting for your CFEngine policy in Eclipse? Try this  contributed syntax definition.

Want more out of your Eclipse & CFEngine experience? Itemis Xtext expert Boris Holzer developed a CFEngine workbench for Eclipse. They even published a brief screen-cast highlighting many of its features. For more information about their workbench please contact them using this form.

Eclipse Screenshot


Users of the editor of the KDE desktop, Kate, have syntax highlighting available thanks to Jessica Greer, John Coleman, and Panos Christeas. The syntax highlighting definition can be found with the CFEngine source in contrib.

Kate Screenshot