Version control of your configurations - AtlasOfLivingAustralia/documentation Wiki


In addition to backing-up your servers, it is very important to keep track of changes in your:

Ansible inventories

It is quite important to keep track of changes in your local inventories over time so you can compare with upgrades, or rollback changes if something goes wrong.

You don't need to publish your Ansible Inventory git repositories to github. A bare git repo on some of your servers can work so you and your team can access via them via ssh.

For instance in the tanbif-launcher server in Tanzania (a server they use to store their inventories but also to run ansible) they did this:

mkdir ~/private-repos
cd ~/private-repos

# We create the empty repos
git init --bare tz-inventories.git
git init --bare tz-extra-inventories.git

cd ~/tanzania-inventories-2020/tz/

# We add the remote origin
git remote add origin [email protected]:/home/ubuntu/private-repos/tz-inventories.git

# So we can commit our inventories there
git push --set-upstream origin master

So now you can have a copy of this inventories in your laptop a commit/push changes later with the rest of the team:

git clone  [email protected]:/home/ubuntu/private-repos/tz-inventories.git
cd tz-inventories

Keeping track of changes in /etc directory

You can use some tool like etckeeper to track your changes in your /etc folders. See this for more instructions.

Keep track of the changes in your /data/*/config directories

We can do a similar thing with the configuration of each LA module so after running ansible we can see the changes, the new variables, etc, keep version of the configurations and rollback if something were wrong.

cd /data/spatial-hub/config
git init .
git add --all
git commit -a -m "First init"

In one line you can do it for all services, for instance:

git config --global "[email protected]" ; git config --global "Support tanbif";  for i in `ls -d /data/*/config/` ; do (cd $i; git init . && git add --all &&  git commit -m "First init" && git status); done

You can also add a remote private repo and to have all your config in a central server, so after installing a new, let say, spatial-hub you can restore easy the configs of a other spatial-hub instance.

So from time to time, you can verify your changes in the configuration:

[email protected]:/data/spatial-hub/config# git log
commit 9fd4db1375f97408b95b5cc895eaaaae271d41f8
Author: Your Name <[email protected]>
Date:   Thu Aug 1 10:56:52 2019 +0200

    Make head title work

commit 2e85763ceaa8fc92ba50353c7950abb107bc4c3f
Author: Your Name <[email protected]>
Date:   Fri Jul 26 19:06:27 2019 +0200

    Working with builded war

About maintaining /data/*/config/

About modifications in config, if you find a variable whatever_var not well configured, you can search for it in ala-install with

grep -ri whatever_var ala-install/ansible

to know the ansible var name, so you can add to your inventories with the correct values, and rerun ansible-playbook with -tags properties or if you a using ansiblew with -p to update only the config properties in your servers.

We don't recommend that you make local changes in /data/*/config directly, except when you want to test something quickly, or to have changes take an immediate effect. You should make all configuration changes in local inventory files so that, when ansible is re-run in the future (for instance on performing an LA update), it doesn't undo the temporary changes made to configuration files in /data/*/config.