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Re: Using cvs to manage system configuration files

From: Todd Denniston
Subject: Re: Using cvs to manage system configuration files
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2003 15:51:30 -0500

Wayne Johnson wrote:
> I have several systems I manage.  I'm always making changes to things
> like /etc/hosts, /etc/sysconfig, /etc/httpd/conf, etc.
> I was thinking.  Would it work to create a master configuration directory
> with sym links to all the common config files, then import this to cvs.
> Then when something stops working, you can do a diff to see what it was.
> If a system update (i.e. rpm) provides a new file, you can see
> what customizations you've had, and merge them in.
> Anyone done this?  Any problems?  Security?  Probably don't want a public
> cvs server to do this, right?  Any problems using symlinks for CVS files?
> TIA,

If all the systems are going to be that similar why not use NIS[+] and maintain
the changes on just one system (and have those files under rcs on that system
or in a cvs off-system for backups)?

Oh, and when using NIS it's probably a good idea to put a firewall at the point
where you want to stop the distribution of the NIS information, like just
before the internet connection or the connection to the rest of the company.

And I would think if you keep any of the information in CVS/RCS (whether you
use NIS or not) you would want to make directory read (and definitely write)
access to all of the repo off-limits for anyone not in the administration group
(not the same as root).

Todd Denniston
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane) 
Harnessing the Power of Technology for the Warfighter

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