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As part of the handover of our linux application server automated builds I would like to produce a high level "handover document" which captures the key functions and config items. (This is more of a admin process thing, rather than having a useful technical function) (ie it is a snap shot in time, the source of the data is possibly some export script, notes, or configuration management like chef)

A while back, I did some work for a UK government agency to install and configure an application on a linux server, and they provided a standard template which had sections for various configuration items, which presumably they could lodge in some Document management system. Unfortunately I didn't keep a copy of the sections.

Really this should be considered much like a server "resume", just enough to prime a knowledgeable technical user with the important facts about the server.

Quick brain dump, gave the following categories and values;

Server configuration


XXX is configured as a Web service for the YYY for customer ZZZ


public ipv4:
OS:                 MyMonkey Linux  0.1

Network Configuration


Service         port           network
sshd            22             public
httpd           80             public
mysqld          3306           localhost

Application configuration

(this is usually going to be some web app)

Platform:               PHP 5.3, mysql 
public  URL:  
log file location:      /var/log/httpd/whatever.log

Admin Interface admin URL admin username admin password?

Security Configuration

selinux:            Enabled
SSH Root Login:     Disabled
SSH password auth:  Enabled
Compliance Level:   None

Package Updates: Manual

OS level Configuration

Mounted Storage:           None
kernel parameters:           None

Backup configuration

Software:           None
Storage:            None

Is there anything else that you would want to see in a high level document, if I was handing the server over to you?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted
  • Obvious one: The root password
  • SSH keys if applicable
  • In case of self-signed SSL certificates in the infrastructure, all files relevant for the private CA
  • Dependencies for other systems in both directions:
    • If service X on Server Y fails, what happens to this server
    • If service Z on this server fails, what happens to other systems
  • Any non-standard and non-obvious configuration options and local quirks

I guess I could come up with a lot more as I currently work my way through creating this kind of documentation for the group of servers and workstations I inherited as part of my new job without any info at all.

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yeah, I can see that about the service dependencies, but I was thinking that could get a bit length. I guess things that are direct dependencies like databases and file servers – Tom H Feb 13 '12 at 0:30

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