We recently lost our system admin. and I have picked up the task of ensuring that if anything bad happens we can recreate our VM's.

The systems are FreeBSD various versions.

Is there any way i can use something like salt stack, puppet, etc.. to reverse engineer a server manifest from an existing installation ??

I fear I do not have sufficient knowledge to be sure that I know what services are running on each server to create one from scratch and was wondering if there is a tool that can scan a system and create a manifest based on what it finds in the installed packages and their config files.

wishful thinking i'm sure but if anyone knows how this might be done i'd appreciate it.


One cannot automatically create a configuration management script from an existing system, because one needs the knowledge on how the system was initially built to generate such script.

For example, software might have been installed from system default repositories, they might have been installed from third party repositories, or they might have been compiled and installed separately.

There are far too many ways to install / configure software to reliably determine the installation after hand.

So, you need to figure out what is actually installed by hand, and document it appropriately.

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  • Yeah I was thinking the same but I had to ask – MB. Nov 13 '16 at 21:49

The only tool I know of like this is blueprint

I'm not sure I'd trust it on a production system though

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