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Re: How do I trace changes in configuration files?

Hi Erik,

On Wed, May 01, 2019 at 11:35:48AM +0200, Erik Josefsson wrote:
> I have tried to document my personal preferences before, but I have always
> ended up with unreadable handwritten notes.
> This time I thought I should do it in a more systematic way by somehow
> capture the difference between the default install and the result of my
> (often irrational) efforts to make my machines look and feel like I want it
> to.
> So, is there a way to trace/record/capture changes in all configuration
> files?

I like to invert the problem by not making any changes to
configurations except through a config management system like
Ansible, Chef, Puppet, etc.

That enforces treating the configuration of the system like a
software project, so changes are recorded in a version control
system like git; what you did is automatically documented just
by the act of doing it, so forgetting to document is less of a
problem. Running through the config management again should bring
the new machine into the same state.

(Of course, documenting WHY you made a change or any more detail
than what the change was, is still on you!)

I don't find it overkill even for just one or two machines, though
it does of course come into its own with much larger numbers of
machines. Just from the documentation and reproduction angles I find
it worth it.


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