Open Source Software Configuration Management Systems

There’s a lot of configuration management tools, but here’s the most common that I encounter:

Tool Date Boot Initial Config Change Mgmt W Dev Lang Config Lang Licence OS
Redhat Anaconda/ Kickstart 1994 Y Y N W Python/C kickstart.cfg/ Unix scripts GPL2 L
Cfengine 3 1993 Y Y Y W C cfengine GPL3 All
Puppet 2005 N Y Y W Ruby Ruby Apache 2.0 All
Chef 2009 N Y Y W Ruby Recipe (Ruby DSL) Apache 2.0 L

Interesting comments about using kickstart in EC2:

    Maybe I'm missing something: why would you ever want an EC2 instance to
    kickstart at boot time?  You should create an image for every role you
    care about and then boot the appropriate one for every instance you
    need.

Roles change, updates happen frequently, and I'd rather a machine spin up with the
latest packages.  I've always found that updating a pre-built machine is slower,
sometimes substantially so, than just building a fresh image with the newest RPMs.

Interview: Anaconda and Fedora 9 Developers
Quick History Lesson of Puppet and Chef
Cradle-to-Grave System Automation with PXE, Kickstart, and cfengine
crash, bang, wallop, what a server (creating a kickstart+puppet solution from scratch)
Systemimager & puppet
wikipedia: Software configuration management
Tips and tricks for anaconda and kickstart
Capistrano

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