Policy Manager for COS(Container-Optimized OS) Image


Policy Manager is the client for the COS control plane. It is responsible for reporting current instance status and fetching device update config.

It is designed to be a system daemon that's started immediately after boot. It sends status update to an update manager, which will respond with the appropriate update config.

Using the update config, it will generate the appropriate update policy blobs to enforce the update strategy set by the user.

How to run

  • Policy Manager must be run with root privileges in order to access update_engine status and control device policy.
  • It continuously reports status and fetches update policy from metadata server under monitor mode.

What's up with update [policy, strategy, config]?

Part of Policy Manager's features is to allow users to control the OS update behavior of their COS instances.

Instances will only receive updates within their major release version. For example, if both 12.1.0 and 13.0.0 are available, an instance running 12.0.0 will only get updated to 12.1.0 if it has this strategy.

The actual enforcement of the strategies are done by the update policy, which is a Chrome OS feature. An update policy is a protobuf blob that contains the parameters that will be used to fetch updates from Omaha. Policy Manager is responsible for deciding when to enable or disable the update engine.


  • To build and test Policy Manager, please run FEATURES=test emerge-lakitu policymanager


  • To compile protobuf definitions, run ./gen_proto.sh.
  • Do NOT submit the generated protobufs into the repo.