[kwlug-disc] Centralized configuration tools

Eric Gerlach eric+kwlug at gerlach.ca
Sun Nov 22 11:14:58 EST 2009

cfengine: ugly, old, not declarative.
bcfg2: XML, no community.
puppet: A bit slow, sometimes unintuitive.

Another one: chef.  Chef is like puppet but procedural, not declarative.

I'm really liking working with Puppet.  It's taken a long time to get it
integrated into our environment (one year and we're not done yet), and
getting something deployed takes 2-5x as long, but once it's out there
it's easy to manage and we can redo it in seconds if we have to.

Puppet is also a bit confusing sometimes, and it takes a bit of getting
used to doing things "the Puppet way", but I think it's worth getting
past that.

I was thinking about possibly giving a talk on Puppet sometime after my
installation talk, now that we're full through August I could consider
adding myself for about a year from now :-)

That doesn't help you in the short run, but I'm more than happy to
answer questions.  The puppet-users mailing list is also pretty good.
IRC channel is very helpful, too.



On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 04:00:26AM -0500, Paul Nijjar wrote:
> Instead of doing work I am idly surfing the Internet looking at tools
> people deploy to centrally manage Linux systems (clusters, labs, etc). 
> The goal is to put configuration settings on a central server and
> deploy them remotely, rather than SSHing into servers individually. 
> So far I have seen the following buzzwords: puppet, cfengine, bcfg2,
> lcfg. What others should I know about? (Actually, FAI has been moving
> in this direction as well, but it uses other tools underneath the
> hood.) 
> Do you centrally manage Linux machines? If so, what do you use? Please
> share experiences/horror stories. 
> - Paul
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