[NCLUG] what's a good configuration management tool ?

Bob Proulx bob at proulx.com
Wed May 10 01:19:40 MDT 2006

Gabriel Somlo wrote:
> the one
> remaining issue is how to handle the various config files specific to
> individual machines.
> I'd like to have these stored on some server, and be able to both push files
> to the repository (e.g., after tweaking a machine, I'd like to save the 
> modified
> config file), and pull (e.g., when I rebuild a box, I'd like to suck
> down all config
> files once everything else is in place).

You have taken the first step to a higher order of system design.
Please read this reference.  It is the seminal paper on the subject.


You would probably want to read other topics on that web site or join
the infrastructures mailing list.  Good stuff.

> Included here are also things such as various users' crontab files,
> the status of
> chkconfig for installed services, etc., in addition to things such as
> the /etc/raddb/
> directory (if the box happens to be a radius server).
> Any ideas what to look for, and what to avoid ?

What I do is to have a directory of shell scripts which are run on
every host.  When I make a configuration change I actually make the
change in the script and check it into version control.  The script is
run on every host on my network and the configuration change is

Others don't like the shell script approach and prefer to use
specialized programs such as cfengine.  I don't prefer this as much.
But there is certainly more written about it.



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