I was wondering if there is an existing tool/ set of scripts out there that is designed to capture a snapshot of the configuration for one or more Unix/Linux boxes? Obviously, these are expected to be Linux servers.

The most core needs are:

  • capture hardware config (CPU, memory, disks etc)
  • capture software config (OS, java, etc)
  • easily extensible to help capture details of custom software
  • snapshot customization (which details to include/ ignore)
  • ability to capture / export snapshot details to machine readable/ parseable formats like JSON/ CSV/ etc

I am already aware of Puppet facter but have set that aside (for now) since it has a hard requirement to have Puppet installed.

My core functional need is to be able to produce a periodically refreshing picture of hard+soft-ware configs across all the boxes from a list.

Perhaps I am searching for the wrong terms (on the lines of "linux capture system configuration")?

Any suggestions or pointers? Thanks in advance.


tar caf config.tgz /etc will do that for you. If that's not what you need, please clarify what you want (your question is rather sparse on detail...)

Also, no, you don't need to install a full puppet to be able to run facter -- although you do need ruby.

  • Thanks for both your clarifications. I have now added more specifics to my question. I suppose there isn't an existing tool that does this? Since writing my question, I have come across etckeeper. And I stand corrected regarding facter :).
    – Mayuresh K
    Apr 12 '17 at 17:44

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