12. Bootstrap

This document describes the usual steps recommended for a new cdist setup. It is recommended that you have read and understood cdist quickstart before digging into this.

12.1. Location

First of all, you should think about where to store your configuration database and who will be accessing or changing it. Secondly you have to think about where to configure your hosts from, which may be a different location.

For starters, having cdist (which includes the configuration database) on your notebook should be fine. Additionally an external copy of the git repository the configuration relies on is recommended, for use as backup as well as to allow easy collaboration with others.

For more sophisticated setups developing cdist configurations with multiple people, have a look at cdist best practice.

12.2. Setup working directory and branch

I assume you have a fresh copy of the cdist tree in ~/cdist, cloned from one of the official URLs (see cdist quickstart if you don't). Entering the command "git branch" should show you "* master", which indicates you are on the master branch.

The master branch reflects the latest development of cdist. As this is the development branch, it may or may not work. There are also version branches available, which are kept in a stable state. Let's use git branch -r to list all branches:

cdist% git branch -r
  origin/HEAD -> origin/master

So 2.0 is the latest version branch in this example. All versions (2.0.x) within one version branch (2.0) are compatible to each other and won't break your configuration when updating.

It's up to you to decide which branch you want to base your own work on: master contains more recent changes, newer types, but may also break. The version branches are stable, but may lack the latest features. Your decision can be changed later on, but may result in merge conflicts, which you will need to solve.

Let's assume you want latest stuff and select the master branch as base for your own work. Now it's time to create your branch, which contains your local changes. I usually name it by the company/area I am working for: ethz-systems, localch, customerX, ... But this is pretty much up to you.

In this tutorial I use the branch mycompany:

cdist% git checkout -b mycompany origin/master
Branch mycompany set up to track remote branch master from origin.
Switched to a new branch 'mycompany'
cdist-user% git branch
* mycompany

From now on, you can use git as usual to commit your changes in your own branch.

12.3. Publishing the configuration

Usually a development machine like a notebook should be considered temporary only. For this reason and to enable shareability, the configuration should be published to another device as early as possible. The following example shows how to publish the configuration to another host that is reachable via ssh and has git installed:

# Create bare git repository on the host named "loch"
cdist% ssh loch "GIT_DIR=/home/nutzer/cdist git init"
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/nutzer/cdist/

# Add remote git repo to git config
cdist% git remote add loch loch:/home/nutzer/cdist

# Configure the mycompany branch to push to loch
cdist% git config branch.mycompany.remote loch

# Configure mycompany branch to push into remote master branch
cdist% git config branch.mycompany.merge refs/heads/master

# Push mycompany branch to remote branch master initially
cdist% git push loch mycompany:refs/heads/master

Now you have setup the git repository to synchronise the mycompany branch with the master branch on the host loch. Thus you can commit as usual in your branch and push out changes by entering git push.

12.4. Updating from origin

Whenever you want to update your cdist installation, you can use git to do so:

# Update git repository with latest changes from origin
cdist% git fetch origin

# Update current branch with master branch from origin
cdist% git merge origin/master

# Alternative: Update current branch with 2.0 branch from origin
cdist% git merge origin/2.0