[clug] Subversion for sysadmin tasks

Francis Whittle FJ.Whittle at gmail.com
Mon Jul 31 12:22:11 GMT 2006

On Mon, 2006-07-31 at 21:16 +1000, Tony and Robyn Lewis wrote:
> Steve Granger wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm looking to get an idea of some of the best practices that people
> > follow for using subversion (or CVS... or even RCS) for assisting
> > systems maintenance. I'm looking to maintain files in /etc to start off
> > with.
> >   
> I don't think a (generic) RCS is what you want - not only for the 
> permission issue you've come up with, but because RCSs tend to have the 
> repository *elsewhere*.  That means that if you want to make a change, 
> you have to either use /etc as your working copy, and you keep checking 
> it in, or you have /etc as a read-only copy, and you have to check out a 
> working copy, make changes, check in, and update your working copy.  
> Turns into a lot of work.

RCS, as in, "Revision Control System", the actual piece of software
called that, is entirely local with a directory per directory for
previous revisions of files.  Plus you get a nice emacs mode to deal
with revisions (to the point of using revision control in place of tilde

> My solution is to use rdiff-backup.
> It's a great revisioning backup tool, handles permissions and user 
> groups, and can work over ssh.  Thus your /etc is your master copy, and 
> every time you make a significant change (or using cron) you can make 
> another backup.  You can set rules like, keep 6 copies or 6 months worth 
> of versions.
> Tony

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