Projects / Etch


Etch is a tool for system configuration management. It manages the configuration files of the operating system and core applications. It is easy for a professional system administrator to start using, yet is scalable to large and complex environments.


Recent releases

  •  30 Apr 2012 02:39

    Release Notes: The server was upgraded to Rails 3. The search functionality in the server now uses ransack. Unicode encoding in the client under Ruby 1.9 and interactive mode in the client were fixed.

    •  19 Mar 2012 13:36

      Release Notes: This release is now compatible with Ruby 1.9. The nokogiri XML parser is now the default parser used by the server.

      •  12 Apr 2011 07:17

        Release Notes: This release added support for the Nokogiri XML library in addition libxml and rexml. The server now uses Ruby on Rails 2.3.11 to keep up with the latest security patches.

        •  18 Jan 2011 00:37

          Release Notes: This release added support for a detailed_results setting in the client config file, allowing users to log detailed results to a local file in addition to or instead of sending them to the server. A --list-files option was added to the client.

          •  22 Dec 2010 20:39

            Release Notes: The primary change in this release is the addition of support for an /etc/etch.conf config file to the client, allowing users to configure a number of parameters that were previously either hard-coded or only configurable via command line options.

            Recent comments

            10 Nov 2008 01:07 jheiss

            Re: pity

            > It went from I would think about using

            > it to I wouldn't. Ruby? RoR? What bad

            > choices you have made.

            I know sysadmins tend to avoid shiny and new (generally for good reason), but neither Ruby nor Rails is particularly new at this point and Ruby at least has good potential for system administration tools. Perl was my language of choice for 15 years. Ruby shares a lot of syntax with Perl, but has a functional object-oriented programming model. I'm tired of waiting for Perl 6. :) The tradeoff is that the library of 3rd-party Ruby libraries is nowhere near as well-developed as CPAN. Having ported around 5000 lines of Perl to Ruby I find that the resulting code is generally shorter and easier to read, except where you run into a shortcoming or lack of a 3rd-party library.

            It does mean that as an etch user you have to write bits of Ruby for your etch configuration scripts, but plenty of non-Perl developers managed to get what they needed with the previous versions because the configuration scripts tend to be short and simple and easily built up by cut-n-paste from other scripts.

            I understand that Rails seems out of place in this context, it wasn't the first thing I considered. But after looking around at XML-RPC and other web service libraries I decided that using Rails as a simple CGI layer made the most sense, given that I develop etch alongside nVentory (an asset and configuration database), which is a heavy user of Rails. Developing etch on a separate web service platform didn't make sense. Etch does not make heavy use of the Rails platform, nearly all of the server code is in a generic Ruby library with just a minimal hook into Rails.

            09 Nov 2008 17:31 tehmoth

            It went from I would think about using it to I wouldn't. Ruby? RoR? What bad choices you have made.


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