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Seldom Unix sysadmins are exited about makefiles and other tools that software developers are using daily.That last thing any Unix sysadmin wants is to write a script to distribute a single file to multiple server.

I think that the real "higher ground" is security will be won (if it ever is) in two strongly-related areas: software quality (process) and (automated) configuration management.

Tom Perrine San Diego Supercomputer Center Most of us have learned already that upgrades on average have fewer benefits and more bugs than the programs they replace, and that products labeled "new and improved" may be new but they're rarely improved; it's starting to sink in that most new technologies are simply more complicated and less satisfactory ways of doing things that older technologies did at least as well at a lower cost.

This failure of Puppet books to provide useful information in an engaging (as in not extremely boring) way suggest one thing: the king can be naked.

My impression is that designers of Puppet were trying to create Unix configuration management system, but ended with a monitoring system with some Unix configuration system functionality.

It is a different activity and the way Unix sysadmins thinking about it is different from how software developers think about changes to software.

Nearly every system administrator tasked with operating a number of servers will eventually find or write a tool which will execute the same command on all of the servers with the ability to select a proper group of servers.The typical way Unix administrators think about Unix configuration problems is in terms of directories trees with changed files or attributes (such as /etc) and OS with packages installed, updated or de-installed.And to manipulate changes in /etc and similar directories he typically use such tools as PDSH, C3 Tools, rsync, Midnight Commander (which allow you to compare two directories and work with RPMs), tar (creating tarball with changes distributing it to servers and then untarring it) and custom RPMs (via private repositories and remote execution of yum command).Try suggesting this as a general principle, though, and I promise you that plenty of people will twist themselves mentally into pretzel shapes trying to avoid the implication that progress has passed its pull date One type of software of which had dramatically grown during the last two decades were Unix configuration management systems.Today such names as Puppet (released in 2005, written in Ruby) and cfengine (one of oldest attempts to create this type of software, dating back to 1993; never got much traction) are pretty well known, if not so widely used.Only to the extent that Unix administrator is often also a programmer (most senior sysadmins know along with shell at least one scripting language on professional level, often this is Perl, or Python) he might see the analogies more clearly.

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