I would like to put my /etc directory iunder source control using bazaar.

Are there any gotchas in doing this. It seems safer to do it user an ordinary user rather than root - might there a be a problem with .bzr belonging to such a user.

3 Answers 3


You should look at using etckeeper, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

  • Looks promising, I had to google to findo ut how to use it . Is there a pointer to a guide to setting it up.
    – justintime
    Aug 30, 2010 at 19:49
  • I haven't used it personally, sorry. See if anything here helps: serverfault.com/search?q=etckeeper Aug 30, 2010 at 22:13
  • 2
    etckeeper is awesome. Two gotchas tho: for backup, you end up pushing the repo somewhere remote. Please use key-based SSH for that, so it gets done securely. Also, what you store in /etc can be sensitive (think /etc/shadow or any private keys) so make sure that whereever you push the repo to does not have a 'public' webpage, or is being served out through any other unauthenticated means.
    – Marcin
    Oct 10, 2012 at 13:04

Could be overkill for a single system (unless you need to 'rebuild' it from time to time) but the usual solution for configuration management is to use some scm like cfEngine, Puppet, bcfg2 , or the like, and then put their data under source control.


Here's a way using SVN and cron to manage /etc. I suppose it could be adapted.

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