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Linux System Configuration Tools

Christopher Browne

Table of Contents
1. Linux System Configuration Tools
2. Package Management Tools
3. System State Analysis
4. Multiplexing Configuration Managers
5. cfengine
6. Other Configuration Tools
7. Configuration Storage Schemes
8. Autonomic Computing
9. Backup Strategies

1. Linux System Configuration Tools

To the "traditional Unix hacker," using anything more sophisticated than vi to manage system configuration is a sign of a weak mind.

Les Mikesell provided the following terse and coherent explanation for why more sophisticated tools are nonetheless now desirable:

" Historically, Unix was expensive enough that having an experienced administrator provide the local customization was a fairly small part of the total cost. Now that people are using it on personal machines we need a customization script to step users through the things an administrator might put in /etc/profile or individual .profiles. "

This extends well past profile information; it represents why many people that are highly experienced prefer to install software using RPM over the more traditional "tarballs."

Major classes of tools include:

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