What would be an appropriate tool/approach for configuration management of a relatively small number of VPS/VMs (1-5). Even though it's a small number I'm a big fan of "nuke 'n boot" in case of any problems and therefore need to be able to setup a new VPS with an existing configuration quickly (minutes).

Puppet, chef and the likes seem to be fairly oversized for that setup - apart from the fact that they aim to sell their enterprise version and the open source version is rather crippled. Open Source is a must criteria for me.

I currently manage most of this stuff manually by having copies of the relevant config files on dropbox or summaries in evernote, etc. Preferably I would like to use a tool that runs on a local Ubuntu server or so from which I could easily manage one to a few remote VPS or local VM instances.

Does anyone have experience with that topic and can recommend something? I consider chef and puppet oversized, etckeeper on the other hand is a bit too limited.

A solution with Management UI would be preferred

I summarize the proposals from the comments here:

  • Puppet Open Source version without UI and limited features
  • Chef Open Source version with a bit less features
  • Capistrano non UI, scripting or ruby
  • Foreman UI for Puppet, Chef

closed as primarily opinion-based by slm, echox, Anthon, Thomas Nyman, Flup Apr 28 '14 at 8:01

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I think you may get better suggestions at softwarerecs.stackexchange.com – Ramesh Apr 27 '14 at 16:40
  • Thanks, didn't know about that community yet. On the other hand it's pretty linux specific so... – binaryanomaly Apr 27 '14 at 16:43
  • I am not sure of it. May be, you can take a look at this link. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Ramesh Apr 27 '14 at 16:50
  • Thanks, I found that page, too. I'm still hoping that someone with hands on experience in that matter might share his experience/approach to this specific question. – binaryanomaly Apr 27 '14 at 17:07
  • Capistrano is a good one to start with. capistranorb.com – slm Apr 27 '14 at 17:10