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Configuration management

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  • ed
    Hi all, Super quick question: What do people use for configuration management these days? -- Best regards, Ed http://www.s5h.net/
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 12, 2013
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      Hi all,

      Super quick question:

      What do people use for configuration management these days?

      --
      Best regards,
      Ed http://www.s5h.net/
    • J
      ... I use vim, personally. But that depends on what you mean by configuration management...
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 12, 2013
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        On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM, ed <ed@...> wrote:
        > Hi all,
        >
        > Super quick question:
        >
        > What do people use for configuration management these days?

        I use vim, personally.

        But that depends on what you mean by configuration management...
      • thad_floryan
        ... Hi Ed, Please define configuration management or, better, exactly what you re seeking to do. Thad
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 12, 2013
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          --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, ed <ed@...> wrote:
          >
          > Super quick question:
          >
          > What do people use for configuration management these days?

          Hi Ed,

          Please define 'configuration management' or, better, exactly what you're
          seeking to do.

          Thad
        • ed
          ... Very good it is too! ... see what s changed. -- Best regards, Ed http://www.s5h.net/
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 13, 2013
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            On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 05:14:36PM -0400, J wrote:
            > I use vim, personally.
            >
            > But that depends on what you mean by configuration management...

            Very good it is too!

            :r! svn diff and such could be very helpful whilst working on files to
            see what's changed.

            --
            Best regards,
            Ed http://www.s5h.net/
          • ed
            ... Ah, yes, error 10b, forgetting people cannot read minds. There are some programs out there, such as puppet which, I believe (have not researched properly)
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 13, 2013
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              On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:27:15AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
              > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, ed <ed@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Super quick question:
              > >
              > > What do people use for configuration management these days?
              >
              > Hi Ed,
              >
              > Please define 'configuration management' or, better, exactly what you're
              > seeking to do.

              Ah, yes, error 10b, forgetting people cannot read minds.

              There are some programs out there, such as puppet which, I believe (have
              not researched properly) can keep a group/class of computers running the
              same versions of configuration. We have a custom program at $job where
              a perl script distributes config over ssh to hosts which are in a given
              glass. Telling it "push everything under /etc" will go through all
              classes that the host belongs to before arriving a decision of what to
              actually copy to the host.

              I'm wondering what do people use at home and what do they use at work to
              do such jobs.

              --
              Best regards,
              Ed http://www.s5h.net/
            • Pascal Bernhard
              ... As a home user you could have a look at the package etc-keeper , it should be in the repositories of every major distribution. This packages keeps
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 13, 2013
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                <snip>

                > I'm wondering what do people use at home and what do they use at work
                > to do such jobs.


                As a home user you could have a look at the package 'etc-keeper', it
                should be in the repositories of every major distribution. This packages
                keeps a version of your /etc - directory on Github using git. You need
                an account there, although I think you could also use a different
                service or have it store versions on a server of your choice, in case
                you have a private server for example.
                It is nice to be able to switch back to previous versions of your
                configuration when something goes wrong. And you can see, which changes
                had which effect.




                --
                Pascal Bernhard

                Schwalbacher Stra├če 7
                12161 Berlin

                Telefon: 030 / 32 66 58 00
                Mobil: 0152 / 38 50 23 63
              • J
                ... Yay! So I at least get to keep my first answer: vim At least in the sense that I used vim to write a very brief shell script that uses rsync. But for home
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 13, 2013
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                  On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 4:53 AM, ed <ed@...> wrote:
                  > On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:27:15AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:

                  >> Hi Ed,
                  >>
                  >> Please define 'configuration management' or, better, exactly what you're
                  >> seeking to do.
                  >
                  > Ah, yes, error 10b, forgetting people cannot read minds.
                  >
                  > There are some programs out there, such as puppet which, I believe (have
                  > not researched properly) can keep a group/class of computers running the
                  > same versions of configuration. We have a custom program at $job where
                  > a perl script distributes config over ssh to hosts which are in a given
                  > glass. Telling it "push everything under /etc" will go through all
                  > classes that the host belongs to before arriving a decision of what to
                  > actually copy to the host.
                  >
                  > I'm wondering what do people use at home and what do they use at work to
                  > do such jobs.


                  Yay! So I at least get to keep my first answer: vim

                  At least in the sense that I used vim to write a very brief shell
                  script that uses rsync. But for home use, I only do what you've
                  described for a couple of laptops that I use for work and personal
                  stuff. One is a big desktop replacement machine, the other a
                  light-weight Thinkpad X201 that I use when I travel. So I have a very
                  brief shell script that rsyncs a few select directories and files
                  between them before and after a trip. My other systems have vastly
                  different roles so they have nothing in common that would require
                  syncing. One is a file server/IRC proxy/gateway machine that runs
                  24/7, the other is a 1U server I use for development and
                  testing/debugging of tools and it is constantly re-installed with
                  various versions of Ubuntu Server, Xen, Rackspace Cloud (forget the
                  actual name of their product) and some assorted Openstack based
                  projects like Devstack.

                  For actual system config, I also rsync some files in /etc. As for
                  package differences, that's where my ad hoc system breaks down. There
                  are apt tools out there that can ensure two systems have the same
                  packages installed, I've just never used them, mainly because I've
                  found that the majority of things I install on the primary system are
                  not needed on the secondary, because while I may use the secondary for
                  work, I often don't have the goals during use, so I don't need a lot
                  of the development and testing tools I keep on the primary.

                  At work, we have a home-grown system that performs identical network
                  installs across systems in the labs. It handles all the bits
                  necessary for PXE booting installers and launching pre-seed
                  installations and post-install configuration so that every system is
                  installed identically.
                • ed
                  ... Similar thing here. I try and store all system changes in a Makefile that just gets what I need from package management and copy /etc into place. Although
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 15, 2013
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                    On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:26:00PM -0400, J wrote:
                    > On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 4:53 AM, ed <ed@...> wrote:
                    > > On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:27:15AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
                    >
                    > >> Hi Ed,
                    > >>
                    > >> Please define 'configuration management' or, better, exactly what you're
                    > >> seeking to do.
                    > >
                    > > Ah, yes, error 10b, forgetting people cannot read minds.
                    > >
                    > > There are some programs out there, such as puppet which, I believe (have
                    > > not researched properly) can keep a group/class of computers running the
                    > > same versions of configuration. We have a custom program at $job where
                    > > a perl script distributes config over ssh to hosts which are in a given
                    > > glass. Telling it "push everything under /etc" will go through all
                    > > classes that the host belongs to before arriving a decision of what to
                    > > actually copy to the host.
                    > >
                    > > I'm wondering what do people use at home and what do they use at work to
                    > > do such jobs.
                    >
                    >
                    > Yay! So I at least get to keep my first answer: vim
                    >
                    > At least in the sense that I used vim to write a very brief shell
                    > script that uses rsync. But for home use, I only do what you've
                    > described for a couple of laptops that I use for work and personal
                    > stuff. One is a big desktop replacement machine, the other a
                    > light-weight Thinkpad X201 that I use when I travel. So I have a very
                    > brief shell script that rsyncs a few select directories and files
                    > between them before and after a trip. My other systems have vastly
                    > different roles so they have nothing in common that would require
                    > syncing. One is a file server/IRC proxy/gateway machine that runs
                    > 24/7, the other is a 1U server I use for development and
                    > testing/debugging of tools and it is constantly re-installed with
                    > various versions of Ubuntu Server, Xen, Rackspace Cloud (forget the
                    > actual name of their product) and some assorted Openstack based
                    > projects like Devstack.
                    >
                    > For actual system config, I also rsync some files in /etc. As for
                    > package differences, that's where my ad hoc system breaks down. There
                    > are apt tools out there that can ensure two systems have the same
                    > packages installed, I've just never used them, mainly because I've
                    > found that the majority of things I install on the primary system are
                    > not needed on the secondary, because while I may use the secondary for
                    > work, I often don't have the goals during use, so I don't need a lot
                    > of the development and testing tools I keep on the primary.

                    Similar thing here. I try and store all system changes in a Makefile
                    that just gets what I need from package management and copy /etc into
                    place. Although of late, UUID partition names get in the way of that.
                    Damn things changing under me.

                    > At work, we have a home-grown system that performs identical network
                    > installs across systems in the labs. It handles all the bits
                    > necessary for PXE booting installers and launching pre-seed
                    > installations and post-install configuration so that every system is
                    > installed identically.

                    What happens when your gloabl configuration needs to be updated, say,
                    changing /etc/motd and that needs to be copied to all the servers? Or
                    perhaps just to the servers in US?

                    Just wondering, would the approach be to reinstall with updated
                    configuration from boot server?

                    --
                    Best regards,
                    Ed http://www.s5h.net/
                  • J
                    ... Yes but that rarely happens as the target machines are all test systems that could be re-installed multiple times a day. So basically, we have 4 servers in
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 15, 2013
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                      On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM, ed <ed@...> wrote:
                      > On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:26:00PM -0400, J wrote:
                      >> At least in the sense that I used vim to write a very brief shell
                      >> script that uses rsync. But for home use, I only do what you've
                      >> described for a couple of laptops that I use for work and personal
                      >> stuff. One is a big desktop replacement machine, the other a
                      >> light-weight Thinkpad X201 that I use when I travel. So I have a very
                      >> brief shell script that rsyncs a few select directories and files
                      >> between them before and after a trip. My other systems have vastly
                      >> different roles so they have nothing in common that would require
                      >> syncing. One is a file server/IRC proxy/gateway machine that runs
                      >> 24/7, the other is a 1U server I use for development and
                      >> testing/debugging of tools and it is constantly re-installed with
                      >> various versions of Ubuntu Server, Xen, Rackspace Cloud (forget the
                      >> actual name of their product) and some assorted Openstack based
                      >> projects like Devstack.
                      >>
                      >> For actual system config, I also rsync some files in /etc. As for
                      >> package differences, that's where my ad hoc system breaks down. There
                      >> are apt tools out there that can ensure two systems have the same
                      >> packages installed, I've just never used them, mainly because I've
                      >> found that the majority of things I install on the primary system are
                      >> not needed on the secondary, because while I may use the secondary for
                      >> work, I often don't have the goals during use, so I don't need a lot
                      >> of the development and testing tools I keep on the primary.
                      >
                      > Similar thing here. I try and store all system changes in a Makefile
                      > that just gets what I need from package management and copy /etc into
                      > place. Although of late, UUID partition names get in the way of that.
                      > Damn things changing under me.
                      >
                      >> At work, we have a home-grown system that performs identical network
                      >> installs across systems in the labs. It handles all the bits
                      >> necessary for PXE booting installers and launching pre-seed
                      >> installations and post-install configuration so that every system is
                      >> installed identically.
                      >
                      > What happens when your gloabl configuration needs to be updated, say,
                      > changing /etc/motd and that needs to be copied to all the servers? Or
                      > perhaps just to the servers in US?
                      >
                      > Just wondering, would the approach be to reinstall with updated
                      > configuration from boot server?

                      Yes but that rarely happens as the target machines are all test
                      systems that could be re-installed multiple times a day.

                      So basically, we have 4 servers in 3 labs and 1 datacenter. All the
                      config stuff for installing the systems goes into the same source code
                      tree on Launchpad via Bazaar (not Git, because it's Ubuntu, eh?)
                      Changes are then pulled from Launchpad by the servers that control
                      each lab/DC (this is manual, though could be automated via cron, but
                      to be honest, we don't have to change things but once a month or so at
                      most).

                      So the setup isn't quite like yours where, I imagine, the servers
                      you're updating are production systems, or at least have longer life
                      expectancy than a few hours as ours do. When I install a system of
                      one of those satellite servers, that system could remain up and
                      running for a month, or only long enough to run a couple quick tests
                      before being re-installed for other tasks.

                      As for location, as mentioned above, the code that contains all the
                      config data, scripts and other things necessary for operation are
                      stored on Launchpad.net. Changes that are required for the Taipei
                      satellite, for example, would be pushed there, and then the lab
                      manager (or whomever) would update the Taipei satellite pulling down
                      the latest changes. The other labs wouldn't need to update unless
                      changes had been applied to the code base that affect their labs or
                      for general bug fix updates to the code base, but that is even less
                      frequent than the individual lab updates.

                      TBH, it's a somewhat confusing system, and a bit kludgey, as home
                      grown systems often are.
                    • ed
                      ... We have around 1000 or so systems in different DCs around the globle. Well, some in NY, some in Amsterdam, some in Sydney, some in Singapore, the vast
                      Message 10 of 10 , Apr 15, 2013
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                        On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 02:59:49PM -0400, J wrote:
                        > On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM, ed <ed@...> wrote:
                        > > [...]
                        > > Just wondering, would the approach be to reinstall with updated
                        > > configuration from boot server?
                        >
                        > Yes but that rarely happens as the target machines are all test
                        > systems that could be re-installed multiple times a day.
                        >
                        > So basically, we have 4 servers in 3 labs and 1 datacenter. All the
                        > config stuff for installing the systems goes into the same source code
                        > tree on Launchpad via Bazaar (not Git, because it's Ubuntu, eh?)
                        > Changes are then pulled from Launchpad by the servers that control
                        > each lab/DC (this is manual, though could be automated via cron, but
                        > to be honest, we don't have to change things but once a month or so at
                        > most).
                        >
                        > So the setup isn't quite like yours where, I imagine, the servers
                        > you're updating are production systems, or at least have longer life
                        > expectancy than a few hours as ours do. When I install a system of
                        > one of those satellite servers, that system could remain up and
                        > running for a month, or only long enough to run a couple quick tests
                        > before being re-installed for other tasks.

                        We have around 1000 or so systems in different DCs around the globle.
                        Well, some in NY, some in Amsterdam, some in Sydney, some in Singapore,
                        the vast majority in UK DCs.

                        Mostly web servers with yearly uptimes, one box has an uptime of 15
                        years I think... can't remember without logging back in and I'm not
                        going to do the logging-back-into-work-and-check-mail dance again
                        tonight.

                        I hadn't thought of a situation where boxes would have short life spans
                        where configuration of the host could be carried out through rebuild.

                        One of Sun/Oracles training centres in the UK had some labs which were
                        rebuilt daily when classes finished, come to think about it.

                        > As for location, as mentioned above, the code that contains all the
                        > config data, scripts and other things necessary for operation are
                        > stored on Launchpad.net. Changes that are required for the Taipei
                        > satellite, for example, would be pushed there, and then the lab
                        > manager (or whomever) would update the Taipei satellite pulling down
                        > the latest changes. The other labs wouldn't need to update unless
                        > changes had been applied to the code base that affect their labs or
                        > for general bug fix updates to the code base, but that is even less
                        > frequent than the individual lab updates.
                        >
                        > TBH, it's a somewhat confusing system, and a bit kludgey, as home
                        > grown systems often are.

                        The department I'm working in (Internet Operations) has been around
                        since 1996 or earlier, so the configuration for the hosts seems peculiar
                        to outsiders who use industry standard tools such as puppet. I was kind
                        of hoping someone might describe how they use puppet in their work place
                        or at home.

                        --
                        Best regards,
                        Ed http://www.s5h.net/
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