Tonight I was going to jot down here how I implemented revision control on the configuration files stored under /etc, but felt a need to browse some more websites to see what had already been written. I’m glad I did, because I ran into this gem at the Sun wikis.
You’ll always have the latest version, and the files are made “read only” (so you should know that you shouldn’t just up and edit the file without first properly checking it out).
I think I quite like this policy, because it solves a problem I had – forgetting to commit your changes and comments to the version control system, to then come back after a week and not exactly remember what you did, and why. So I’ll try to follow the guidelines described, but will give it a spin and use bazaar (bzr). Once it’s working smooth, I’ll put up my how-to here.
For a different approach, you might like this idea from the Ubuntu Forums. It uses rdiff-backup instead of a revision control tool. The advantage of that is that it’s the simplest thing to implement. I considered going with this option, but then decided I like the more fine-grained control and commenting options that bzr brings.