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Old 06-08-2008, 03:55 AM
Donald
 
Default conf management for many debian boxes

Hi,

I was wondering if there was an application that was a repository for
managing files/configs across many Debian and/or Linux boxes. I'd
like to not reinvent the wheel if such an application exists, and if
not, get to work on one as it seems like it would be a very handy
tool.

I manage about 30 debian instances with multiple debian versions
(Sarge, Etch, Lenny). I found myself having to dig around boxes to
understand what my predecessors did and also manage configurations on
the boxes. For most of us, I think once a config is set, it's doesn't
change, but maintaining a unified and branched set of configs/file
changes on a singular machine might make life a tad bit easier.

Here are some of the things I'd like to do or are looking for:
- Automatically version files/configs based on changed files.
- Allow changes to go upstream to repository of files/configs and/or
go downstream when changed on a repository.
- Client hosts that don't break with or without the presence of a
config/file repository. Allow a machine/config to be given away or
accepted with minimal effort.

Perhaps one could use a custom set of scripts using
git/cvs/subversion, rsync, ssh, but why not have a standard tool that
does it without thinking?

Thanks,

Donald


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Old 06-08-2008, 09:55 AM
Gilles Mocellin
 
Default conf management for many debian boxes

Le Sunday 08 June 2008 05:55:44 Donald, vous avez écrit :
> Hi,

Hi,

> I was wondering if there was an application that was a repository for
> managing files/configs across many Debian and/or Linux boxes. I'd
> like to not reinvent the wheel if such an application exists, and if
> not, get to work on one as it seems like it would be a very handy
> tool.

At first, I'd recommend you to look at puppet or cfengine.

> I manage about 30 debian instances with multiple debian versions
> (Sarge, Etch, Lenny). I found myself having to dig around boxes to
> understand what my predecessors did and also manage configurations on
> the boxes. For most of us, I think once a config is set, it's doesn't
> change, but maintaining a unified and branched set of configs/file
> changes on a singular machine might make life a tad bit easier.

Common place, and sometime with other distributions, and even, other Unix, and
why not Windows server...

> Here are some of the things I'd like to do or are looking for:
> - Automatically version files/configs based on changed files.
> - Allow changes to go upstream to repository of files/configs and/or
> go downstream when changed on a repository.
> - Client hosts that don't break with or without the presence of a
> config/file repository. Allow a machine/config to be given away or
> accepted with minimal effort.

Some kind of Grall...

> Perhaps one could use a custom set of scripts using
> git/cvs/subversion, rsync, ssh, but why not have a standard tool that
> does it without thinking?

You always need to think, else, bad things always find a way to happen !

So, that's why I think a good system administrator is needed at first, after
that, it's better if he manage how to use scripts, tools like svn/git and
puppet for example.

But, I'm OK with you, If a tool could exist to simplify that kind of
management, it will be great.
A web interface, a modular design, plugins, a great community...
 
Old 06-08-2008, 10:02 PM
Steve Kemp
 
Default conf management for many debian boxes

On Sun Jun 08, 2008 at 11:55:17 +0200, Gilles Mocellin wrote:

> At first, I'd recommend you to look at puppet or cfengine.

Seconded.

There is a brief introduction to this here:

http://www.debian-administration.org/tag/cfengine

I use it at home on 3 machines (10+ xen guests) and at work for
150+ machines. It scales nicely, can copy configuration files across
and handle package installation, configuration, and removal.

Puppet is the "new" one, and is nicer in many respects, but
there aren't packages for Sarge at least - so that might be a
dealbreaker.

(It wasn't around when I started using CFengine; now if I had to
choose for Etch+ systems I'd probably go with puppet, but at the
same time the implementation is mostly irrelevant. It comes down
to knowing what you want to achieve - and no tool is going to
make that too easy...)

> You always need to think, else, bad things always find a way to happen !

Indeed. I've not done it yet, but I do have a vague fear that
if I don't test things adequately I'll ruin the configuration
of 150+ machines - might take only a minute or two to fix each
one, but the thought of having to login to each host and do manual
fixups fills me with fear

Steve
--
# Commercial Debian GNU/Linux Support
http://www.linux-administration.org/


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Old 06-09-2008, 12:45 PM
Donald
 
Default conf management for many debian boxes

> Puppet is the "new" one, and is nicer in many respects, but
> there aren't packages for Sarge at least - so that might be a
> dealbreaker.

> Common place, and sometime with other distributions, and even, other Unix, and
> why not Windows server...

I'll definitely have to look into cfengine and puppet. I took a quick
gander, and it doesn't look quite like what I had in mind as far as
workflow goes, but it looks like the goals are very similar to what
I'm looking for.

I've had in mind for some time to get the Sarge machines upgraded to
etch, but since there are some production apps that have been running
for years and they aren't the typical LAMP stack or I haven't
necessarily gotten around to upgrading and testing for etch, but it's
enough.

Thanks,

Donald

On Sun, Jun 8, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Steve Kemp <skx@debian.org> wrote:
> On Sun Jun 08, 2008 at 11:55:17 +0200, Gilles Mocellin wrote:
>
>> At first, I'd recommend you to look at puppet or cfengine.
>
> Seconded.
>
> There is a brief introduction to this here:
>
> http://www.debian-administration.org/tag/cfengine
>
> I use it at home on 3 machines (10+ xen guests) and at work for
> 150+ machines. It scales nicely, can copy configuration files across
> and handle package installation, configuration, and removal.
>
> Puppet is the "new" one, and is nicer in many respects, but
> there aren't packages for Sarge at least - so that might be a
> dealbreaker.
>
> (It wasn't around when I started using CFengine; now if I had to
> choose for Etch+ systems I'd probably go with puppet, but at the
> same time the implementation is mostly irrelevant. It comes down
> to knowing what you want to achieve - and no tool is going to
> make that too easy...)
>
>> You always need to think, else, bad things always find a way to happen !
>
> Indeed. I've not done it yet, but I do have a vague fear that
> if I don't test things adequately I'll ruin the configuration
> of 150+ machines - might take only a minute or two to fix each
> one, but the thought of having to login to each host and do manual
> fixups fills me with fear
>
> Steve
> --
> # Commercial Debian GNU/Linux Support
> http://www.linux-administration.org/
>
>
> --
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-user-REQUEST@lists.debian.org
> with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact listmaster@lists.debian.org
>
>


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Old 06-09-2008, 01:36 PM
Neil Watson
 
Default conf management for many debian boxes

On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 08:45:45AM -0400, Donald wrote:

I'll definitely have to look into cfengine and puppet. I took a quick
gander, and it doesn't look quite like what I had in mind as far as
workflow goes, but it looks like the goals are very similar to what
I'm looking for.


I brought a collection of servers under cfengine last year. It was very
successful. I wrote small 'cookbook' style paper about what I had
learned. Please find it here:
http://technocrat.watson-wilson.ca/blosxom/computer/cfcookbook.html

--
Neil Watson
System Administrator for hire
http://watson-wilson.ca



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