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Is there a free and recommended configuration management system that does all this?

Chef or Puppet are common choices. There are many others, but those two are modern, have large communities, and decent documentation. There's a decent chance someone has already open sourced a cookbook/module for each of many of these items!

On linode, which he is using, there is one built in - they allow shell scripts to run on first boot which could replay his commands as they are without many changes:


Yes, stackscripts are a great way to take advantage of automation. :-)

We use Chef, many people run Puppet.



Puppet, chef, cfengine, ansible, and salt are a few.

Salt is wonderful.

I just ready your post out of context. Made me chuckle.

Voting for Ansible or Puppet here.



No, chef/puppet/etc are configuration management tools. They automate the manual typing of server setup commands, and then verify that the system stays that way.

They are not security tools. So you're on your own on what to actually tell the tools to do. "Install chef" is not a security tip. It's a repeatability tip, so you can get your system up to a known state repeatedly.

For the security side of things, you're back to figuring out what the right steps are, no matter how they're installed.

Highly recommend Chef due to its Ruby DSL.

I recommend Chef - http://www.opscode.com/chef/

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