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Re: /etc under svk

On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 09:00:37 +0100, Marc Haber
<mh+debian-devel@zugschlus.de> wrote:
> Another topic that needs to be addressed with putting /etc under
> version control is file modes and owner/group. cvs doesn't handle that
> well at all.

Version management is different from backups, while both share some
common functionality. With backups you just want an easy way to
restore them. Version management is to keep track of who changed what
and when (and even why in a changelog).

I use subversion to manage a portion of my /etc tree.

Most of the files in my repository are the ones I modified from a
standard package install. Sometimes I put unmodified files in there to
keep track of package upgrades. But little of them are generated
files. I keep passwd itself in there, but not the shadow files with
the actual passwords. There are a lot of symlinks outside the /etc
tree, so don't put them in the repository (alternatives, ssl
certificates, etc).

As subversion does not keep keep track of file permissions, it is not
really suited for backups. You can not easily restore a checkout.
That's why weekly or daily backups are handy. Just restore the latest
backup and synchronize with your repository. This way you do not need
to keep a lot of backup files around, as most interesting information
is in your repository anyway.

With tools like trac, websvn or viewcvs it is very easy to take a peek
at how a certain file changed over time. I use trac myself, as it has
an integrated wiki to document various things.

Recently I've been looking whether it's worthwhile to switch to arch
(with bazaar) and I think it stores file permissions. But I don't
think it's worth the switch yet.

> Also, the repository needs to be protected as /etc itself is, as it
> contains passwords and other system confidential data.

So don't store them in a repository.

You should ask yourself whether you're interested in the history or
not. If you are store them in a repository. If you just want the
latest version put them in a backup.


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