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       metche - reducing root bus factor


       metche [-h vserver]
              {[report [ {[stable] | [testing] | [unstable]}-YYYYMMDDHHMM ]] |
              [list] | [stabilize [testing-YYYYMMDDHHMM]]}


       metche is a tool meant to ease collective system administration by
       monitoring changes in the system configuration.

       metche basic usage is to monitor changes in a directory, usually /etc ;
       optionally, metche can also monitor:

       ·   one or more user maintained changelog files,

       ·   the state of Debian packages and versions.

       metche should be installed with a cronjob that regularly runs to
       automatically save the system state as needed. These states are saved
       in a way similar to the Debian development model:

       ·   unstable states are saved as soon as a change is detected. They are
           kept until a new testing state appears.

       ·   testing states is created from the last unstable state that has not
           been changed after a short amount of time (by default, one hour).
           Old unstable states are deleted afterwards.

       ·   stable states are created from the last testing state, either
           manually, or after a long amount of time (by default, 3 days). Old
           testing states are deleted afterwards.

       When a new testing state is saved, an email is sent to a configurable
       address, giving an overwiew of the differences with the previous
       testing. A notification is also sent when a new stable state is saved.

       metche's configuration is read from /etc/metche.conf. Various settings
       like changelog monitoring or time between system state switches are
       described there.


       If -h VSERVER is specified, the VServer VSERVER is operated on instead
       of the host system. This, along with the VSNAMES option, allows to
       monitor several VServers running on the system.

       One of the following commands must be specified on the command line:

           When run with the report command, metche displays a report against
           the specified saved state, or if unspecified, against the latest
           testing state. This is useful when you have broken your system and
           want to know which changes have been made since a given, known
           working, system state.

           When run with the list command, metche displays a list of all the
           saved states.

           When run with the stabilize command, metche turns a "testing state"
           into a "stable state". By default, it will use the last "testing
           state", but this can be overriden by giving a specific state as

           This command should not be called manually, but used from a
           cronjob. When called, it can perform various operations like:
           saving "unstable", "testing" or "stable" states as needed and
           sending reports and notification if configured to do so. This
           command does not support the -h option.


       /etc/metche.conf contains metche configuration.

       When configured to monitor one changelog, CHANGELOG_FILE (default:

       When configured to monitor multiple changelogs,
       CHANGELOG_DIR/*/Changelog (default: /root/changelogs).

       System states are saved in BACKUP_DIR (default: /var/lib/metche).


       metche is able to use GnuPG to encrypt the email it sends, but does not
       by default; just enable the ENCRYPT_EMAIL configuration option, and
       make sure EMAIL_ADDRESS' public key is in root's keyring, trusted
       enough to be used blindly by metche. If EMAIL_ADDRESS is an email alias
       or mailing-list's address, you probably want to use the group option in
       /root/.gnupg/gpg.conf so that metche reports are encrypted for every
       person subscribed to this alias or mailing-list; for more information,
       see gpg(1).

       When DO_DETAILS is enabled and ENCRYPT_EMAIL is disabled, metche sends
       in clear text email the changes made to the watched directory... either
       make sure that the EXCLUDES configuration variable prevents it to send
       sensitive information, or triple check that secure connections will be
       used end-to-end on the email path. If unsure, set EMAIL_ADDRESS
       configuration variable to a local mailbox. Please note that
       EMAIL_ADDRESS is not used for VServers: a VServer's report messages are
       sent to its root email address.

       metche stores, in BACKUP_DIR (default : /var/lib/metche), various
       backups of WATCHED_DIR. Make sure that this backup place is at least as
       secured as the source.


       See metche's ticket system[1] for known bugs, missing features, and the
       development road-map.


       metche and this manual page were written by the collective


        1. metche’s ticket system

[FIXME: source]                   12/16/2009