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What are some ways for managing the installation and configuration of various software applications and settings in group of linux development and server computers? Is a set of basic scripts a good means of attack?

I was thinking about just having a ton of scripts, such as:

setup_dev_env [install|uninstall|reinstall]
setup_nfs [...]
setup_nfs_share [...]
setup_http [...]
setup_memcache_node [...]

Is there any better method?

It would be nice to be able to "upgrade" an installation script too, for example, to change common development settings.

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A little bit of background would be helpful. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 7 '10 at 3:56
    
What kind of background would be of benefit? I'd like to use the solution for setting up development computers and web-related server nodes. –  EmpireJones May 7 '10 at 3:59
    
How many? 1? 3? 300? Standalone, networked, or clustered? –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 7 '10 at 4:08
    
Less than 20 networked. I'd like to easily set up any number of VM instances with various capabilities. –  EmpireJones May 7 '10 at 5:10
    
I'm currently using Ubuntu if that is of any relevance. –  EmpireJones May 7 '10 at 5:11
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You're looking for configuration management, there are many options out there. A couple are:

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Other options are Chef and Bcfg2. However, Puppet is the one with the most mind share right now.

If you go the Puppet route, you should try using either Foreman or PuppetDashboard so that you can have a more manageable Puppet installation.

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