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I have a couple of Ubuntu servers, which all have the exact same setup besides the hostname. I was wondering what would be the best way to sync the config of those servers?

The following stuff needs to be synced:

  • list of installed packages
  • few configuration files in /etc

I'm aware of things like Puppet or Chef, but they seem to be overkill for what I want to achieve. Isn't there a simple built-in solution in Ubuntu to do that?

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Have you had a look at stipple and oneconf?

They seem to take care of the basics. For anything not covered there, you may want to use rsync or unison (both can work over ssh; unison actually uses rsync for the trasfer, iirc).

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I had a brief look, but as far as I understand, those tools are based on Ubuntu One, which in turn would require a desktop. But my servers don't have a desktop environment installed. So I haven't taken a deeper look at those. – Sebi Jul 31 '12 at 19:05

I've not tried it, but some people at my work use csync2.

For a lighter solution, you could also use cssh to type in your commands in parallel across all of your servers. The package name is clusterssh. In order to connect in parallel, enter these commands:

cssh root@server1 root@server2 ...
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I like the cssh idea. I will investigate it! – Sebi Aug 13 '12 at 5:27

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