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Modern System Administration by Jennifer Davis

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Chapter 1. Version Control

Version control is a technology used to commit, compare, merge, and restore past revisions of objects. Many folks used to believe that version control was for developers, not system administrators. Version control systems like Concurrent Versions System (CVS) were heavy weight, and backup files through copying over the original and then modifying was quick and easy and good enough for administering systems. Managing backups through files is not sustainable though, especially when you need to think about how to create context for others on your team, or even creating context for a future you that may have done a great number of things since making the change.

Version control is the foundation of collaborating with others on your team and within the organization. Version control is one of the key technical practices tied to high performing organizations according to the 2018 Accelerate: State of the DevOps Report.1, yet it’s still not a skill that has been embraced by non-developers. All scripts, configuration and definition files should be maintained and versioned within version control.

Note

Git, subversion, and mercurial are all acceptable choices for version control. In this book, I’ll focus on examples using git as a specific implementation of distributed version control. Additionally, there are many options for free or paid hosted git repositories including GitHub, GitLab, AWS CodeCommit, Microsoft Azure Repos, and Atlassian Bitbucket. This is by ...

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