Even as on advocate of automation I see the need of taking notes of your systems. Legacy systems and stuff that cannot be automated for whatever reason. Using a logbook in plain text is a good choice.
If you call this file
LOGBOOK.org and use Emacs you can save a lot
of hassle. Besides beeing a good editor Emacs is capable of running
shells. org-mode gives you a markup language and the capability of
executing code blocks in that shell.
Got your attention? Then lets dive in an example:
# -- org-export-babel-evaluate: nil; -- #+SETUPFILE: ~/git/github/org-html-themes/setup/theme-bigblow.setup LOGBOOK of test environment * 2015-02-06 ** Login to test system [2015-06-02 Tue 16:43] *** Create a session for Emacs: #+BEGIN_SRC sh :session client ssh firstname.lastname@example.org #+END_SRC *** install etckeeper [2015-06-02 Tue 16:43] Before doing anything else make sure etckeeper is installed and configured: #+BEGIN_SRC sh :session client :results verbatim drawer yum -y install etckeeper etckeeper init etckeeper commit "initial commit" #+END_SRC #+RESULTS: :RESULTS: yum -y install etckeeper Failed to set locale, defaulting to C Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, presto, security Determining fastest mirrors * base: mirror.23media.de * epel: mirror.de.leaseweb.net * extras: mirror.23media.de * updates: mirror.23media.de Setting up Install Process Resolving Dependencies Running transaction check Package etckeeper.noarch 0:1.18.1-2.el6 will be installed etckeeper init Finished Dependency Resolution etckeeper commit "initial commit" Dependencies Resolved ============================================================================== Package Arch Version Repository Size ============================================================================== Installing: etckeeper noarch 1.18.1-2.el6 epel 40 k Transaction Summary ============================================================================== Install 1 Package(s) Total download size: 40 k Installed size: 64 k Downloading Packages: Setting up and reading Presto delta metadata Processing delta metadata Package(s) data still to download: 40 k etckeeper-1.18.1-2.el6.noarch.rpm | 40 kB 00:00 Running rpm_check_debug Running Transaction Test Transaction Test Succeeded Running Transaction :END:
We are using a time stamp in the format YYYY-MM-DD as a headline.
Each headline sublevel contains a time stamp of creation.
The first task is always to create a session - in this case called client.
Then we can describe the tasks and check the commands twice before hitting <ctrl> and <c> twice to execute the source block.
As a bonus we are also getting a result set.
There are times when we have to do almost the same tasks on multiple systems. Just copy a block, edit it a little bit and run the same commands.
With this little snippet you can even speed up things by hitting <ctrl> <c> followed by <N>.
No problem if we have to double check between each step:
Split your screen and have
LOGBOOK.org in one frame and the
session in the other. Switch to the shell to verify configfiles before
sed lines to alter the files on the other system.
If we find tasks that need to be done later your
LOGBOOK.org is the
perfect place for the to-do list. org supports it.
You have an upcoming night shift to maintain a database? Nobody is wide awake at 3am. Prepare all tasks with marginalia in advance. Add checkboxes if you need them:
** TODO install frontend update [2015-06-02 Tue 17:01] - [X] stop webserver - [ ] backup database - [ ] install update - [ ] run test script - [ ] start webserver
Because it’s just plain text we might store it in some git repository.
Since when was documentation so easy and convenient?