Provided by: metche_1.2.4-1_all bug


       metche - reducing root bus factor


              metche [-h VSERVER] report (stable|testing|unstable)-YYYYMMDDHHMM
              metche [-h VSERVER] list
              metche [-h VSERVER] stabilize testing-YYYYMMDDHHMM


       metche  is  a tool meant to ease collective system administration by monitoring changes in
       the system configuration.

       metche basic usage is to monitor changes in a directory, usually /etc; optionally,  metche
       can also monitor:

       · one or more user maintained changelog files,

       · the state of Debian packages and versions.

       metche  should  be  installed with a cronjob that regularly runs to automatically save the
       system state as needed.  These states are saved in a way similar to the Debian development

       · unstable  states  are  saved as soon as a change is detected.  They are kept until a new
         testing state appears.

       · testing states is created from the last unstable state that has not been changed after a
         short  amount  of  time  (by  default,  one  hour).   Old  unstable  states  are deleted

       · stable states are created from the last testing state, either manually, or after a  long
         amount of time (by default, 3 days).  Old testing states are deleted afterwards.

       When  a  new testing state is saved, an email is sent to a configurable address, giving an
       overwiew of the differences with the previous testing.  A notification is also sent when a
       new stable state is saved.

       metche's  configuration  is  read  from /etc/metche.conf.  Various settings like changelog
       monitoring or time between system state switches are described there.


       If -h VSERVER is specified, the VServer VSERVER is operated on instead of the host system.
       This, along with the VSNAMES option, allows one to monitor several VServers running on the

       One of the following commands must be specified on the command line:

       report When run with the report command, metche displays a report  against  the  specified
              saved  state,  or if unspecified, against the latest testing state.  This is useful
              when you have broken your system and want to know  which  changes  have  been  made
              since a given, known working, system state.

       list   When run with the list command, metche displays a list of all the saved states.

              When  run with the stabilize command, metche turns a "testing state" into a "stable
              state".  By default, it will  use  the  last  "testing  state",  but  this  can  be
              overridden by giving a specific state as argument.

       cron   This  command should not be called manually, but used from a cronjob.  When called,
              it can perform various operations like: saving "unstable",  "testing"  or  "stable"
              states as needed and sending reports and notification if configured to do so.  This
              command does not support the -h option.


       /etc/metche.conf contains metche configuration.

       When configured to monitor one changelog, CHANGELOG_FILE (default: /root/Changelog).

       When  configured  to  monitor  multiple  changelogs,  CHANGELOG_DIR/*/Changelog  (default:

       System states are saved in BACKUP_DIR (default: /var/lib/metche).


       metche  is  able to use GnuPG to encrypt the email it sends, but does not by default; just
       enable the ENCRYPT_EMAIL configuration option, and make sure EMAIL_ADDRESS' public key  is
       in  root's  keyring,  trusted enough to be used blindly by metche.  If EMAIL_ADDRESS is an
       email alias or mailing-list's address, you probably  want  to  use  the  group  option  in
       /root/.gnupg/gpg.conf  so that metche reports are encrypted for every person subscribed to
       this alias or mailing-list; for more information, see gpg(1).

       When DO_DETAILS is enabled and ENCRYPT_EMAIL is disabled, metche sends in clear text email
       the  changes  made  to  the  watched  directory...   either  make  sure  that the EXCLUDES
       configuration variable prevents it to send sensitive information,  or  triple  check  that
       secure   connections  will  be  used  end-to-end  on  the  email  path.   If  unsure,  set
       EMAIL_ADDRESS configuration variable to a local mailbox.  Please note  that  EMAIL_ADDRESS
       is not used for VServers: a VServer's report messages are sent to its root email address.

       metche  stores,  in BACKUP_DIR (default: /var/lib/metche), various backups of WATCHED_DIR.
       Make sure that this backup place is at least as secured as the source.


       See metche's  ticket  system  (  for  known  bugs,
       missing features, and the development road-map.


       metche  and  this  manual  page  were  written  by  the  collective, and are now
       maintained by the metche developers collective <>.