etckeeper allows the contents of
/etc to be stored in a Version Control System (VCS) repository. It integrates with APT and automatically commits changes to
/etc when packages are installed or upgraded. Placing
/etc under version control is considered an industry best practice, and the goal of etckeeper is to make this process as painless as possible.
Install etckeeper by entering the following in a terminal:
sudo apt install etckeeper
The main configuration file,
/etc/etckeeper/etckeeper.conf, is fairly simple. The main option is which VCS to use and by default etckeeper is configured to use git. The repository is automatically initialized (and committed for the first time) during package installation. It is possible to undo this by entering the following command:
sudo etckeeper uninit
By default, etckeeper will commit uncommitted changes made to /etc daily. This can be disabled using the AVOID_DAILY_AUTOCOMMITS configuration option. It will also automatically commit changes before and after package installation. For a more precise tracking of changes, it is recommended to commit your changes manually, together with a commit message, using:
sudo etckeeper commit "Reason for configuration change"
vcs etckeeper command allows to run any subcommand of the VCS that etckeeper is configured to run. t will be run in
/etc. For example, in the case of git:
sudo etckeeper vcs log /etc/passwd
To demonstrate the integration with the package management system (APT), install postfix:
sudo apt install postfix
When the installation is finished, all the postfix configuration files should be committed to the repository:
[master 5a16a0d] committing changes in /etc made by "apt install postfix" Author: Your Name <email@example.com> 36 files changed, 2987 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-) create mode 100755 init.d/postfix create mode 100644 insserv.conf.d/postfix create mode 100755 network/if-down.d/postfix create mode 100755 network/if-up.d/postfix create mode 100644 postfix/dynamicmaps.cf create mode 100644 postfix/main.cf create mode 100644 postfix/main.cf.proto create mode 120000 postfix/makedefs.out create mode 100644 postfix/master.cf create mode 100644 postfix/master.cf.proto create mode 100755 postfix/post-install create mode 100644 postfix/postfix-files create mode 100755 postfix/postfix-script create mode 100755 ppp/ip-down.d/postfix create mode 100755 ppp/ip-up.d/postfix create mode 120000 rc0.d/K01postfix create mode 120000 rc1.d/K01postfix create mode 120000 rc2.d/S01postfix create mode 120000 rc3.d/S01postfix create mode 120000 rc4.d/S01postfix create mode 120000 rc5.d/S01postfix create mode 120000 rc6.d/K01postfix create mode 100755 resolvconf/update-libc.d/postfix create mode 100644 rsyslog.d/postfix.conf create mode 120000 systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/postfix.service create mode 100644 ufw/applications.d/postfix
For an example of how etckeeper tracks manual changes, add new a host to
/etc/hosts. Using git you can see which files have been modified:
sudo etckeeper vcs status
sudo etckeeper vcs diff
If you are happy with the changes you can now commit them:
sudo etckeeper commit "added new host"
See the etckeeper site for more details on using etckeeper.
For documentation on the git VCS tool see the Git website.