Last modified 15 months ago Last modified on 12/17/15 16:32:57


dass configuration managment (dasscm) is a simple solution for managing system configuration file with Subversion. It is favored because of its easy setup and low footsprint. It can be easily integrated into Nagios monitoring.


  • version file directly on the target system. Keeping track of the Subversion checkout is done automatically in the background
  • work with your system id, but checkin files with your Subversion id
  • easy status check (checks if all files are checked in). Easy integration into Nagios

Installation Repositories

package downloads
source code source:dasscm/trunk


It is not always easy to get the context of eg. repository, because it can mean "server side svn repository", "package repository", like "RPM repository" or sometimes also your local svn ckeckout. To distinguish between the different terms, we try to use the following terms in a consistent way:

target system the system were dasscm is installed and used
Subverson server the system were your SVN repository is hosted
system files config and other files on your system, like /etc/ntp.conf
system files managed by dasscm the part of your system files that has already been checked in to Subversion via dasscm
local svn checkout your local svn checkout on the target system
svn repository the Subversion repository were the "system files managed by dasscm" are versioned
package repository the installation source repository for dasscm


dasscm is a wrapper Perl script around the svn command. If you're planing to check-in your system configuration files into a Subversion repository, dasscm eases your life.

Instead of copying files from the system to the corresponding local subversion checkout directory and commit them there, you just use:

dasscm login
dasscm add /etc/ntp.conf

Missing directories are added automatically.

But the real advantage, compared to plain svn is, that there is the possibility to check, if your local system files have changed against the repository. Just call:

dasscm status

For Nagios NRPE integration use

dasscm check
GraphViz image


  • an existing empty directory in a subversion repository. Normally you create a new directory of every dasscm installation (like http://mysubversionserver/config/HOSTNAME)
  • a user with read permissions to this subversion repository. The username dasscm is a good choice


After installing it is required to configure dasscm. All configuration changes have to be done in the file /etc/dasscm.conf

# dasscm configuration

#   Normally use the full qualified hostname
# - for security reasons, it is recommended
#   individually (maybe host specific)

# host specific name
# it is required, to set this unique
# normally, use the result of `hostname -f`

# local base directory

# subversion server settings
# (dassit preconfigured, choose between internal and external)

# evaluated by /etc/profile.d/
# If set to "yes", 
# a "dasscm status" is executed during shell login

# DEPRECATED: file to store the permissions of the checked-in file

# List of files and directories, that are always checked and stored in repository.
# Entries must be seperated by blanks (" ").
# DASSCM_ADDITIONAL_FILES is also used, to store the results of plugins.
DASSCM_ADDITIONAL_FILES="/etc/dasscm.conf /var/lib/dasscm/plugin-results/"

# plugin definitions
# to add a plugin, 
# The plugin is performed every time,
# the return code of DASSCM_PLUGIN_TEST_YOURPLUGINNAME is 0 (no error).
# Plugin must output there result to STDOUT.
# The result is stored at $DASSCM_LOCAL_REPOSITORY_BASE/plugin-results/,
# normally /var/lib/dasscm/plugin-results/
# to store plugin results,
# make sure, /var/lib/dasscm/plugin-results/ is included in DASSCM_ADDITIONAL_FILES

## always perform permission plugin

## perform rpmlist plugin only if rpm is available and rpm db has changed
DASSCM_PLUGIN_TEST_RPMLIST="type rpm && test /var/lib/rpm/Packages -nt /var/lib/dasscm/plugin-results/RPMLIST"

## perform deblist plugin only if dpkg is available

Set the following variables according to your needs:

DASSCM_REPOSITORY_NAME=system-name normally hostname -f
DASSCM_CHECKOUT_USERNAME=dasscm subversion user with read-only permissions
DASSCM_CHECKOUT_PASSWORD=dasscm-password subversion password for $DASSCM_CHECKOUT_USERNAME
DASSCM_SVN_REPOSITORY_BASE=http://your-svn-repository/path/ subversion directory in which the $DASSCM_REPOSITORY_NAME directory is located

If it not already exists, you can create your subversion subdirectory by

source /etc/dasscm.conf
svn mkdir -m "initial" --no-auth-cache $DASSCM_SVN_REPOSITORY_BASE/$DASSCM_REPOSITORY_NAME


dasscm suppots following subcommands:

    add PATH_PROD     
                    add a file to the subversion repository
                    Unlike the native svn command,         
                    dasscm adds and immediatly submits a file to the subversion repository
    blame PATH_REPO                                                                       
                    like "svn blame"                                                      
                    perform Nagios NRPE conform check                                     
                    internal, used to clean repository checkout                           
    commit PATH_REPO                                                                      
                    commit a changed file to the subversion repository                    
    complete CMD                                                                          
                    internal, used for bash completion                                    
                    internal, used for bash completion                                    
                    internal, used for bash completion                                    
    diff PATH_REPO
                    display the differences between files on the system and the repository
    help CMD
                    print help and usage information
                    initialize local subversion checkout.
                    This is the first thing to do (after configuring /etc/dasscm.conf)
    login USER
                    user login to Subversion repositoty
    ls PATH_REPO
                    list file from repository
                    internal, used to update information about file permissions
    revert PATH_REPO
                    revert local changes back to version from the repository (see diff)
    status PATH_REPO
                    display status information about modified and deleted files.
                    If no path is given "/" is assumed
                    (in contract to "svn" with assumes ".")
    update PATH_REPO
                    update local repository checkout
                    Normally, this is done automatically


For convinience use

dasscm login

This opens a shell, where the environment is set to the required values.

add files/directories

For example cups configuration

# it is recommended to check initially check a file before you first edit it. Use the comment "orig"
dasscm add -m "orig" /etc/sysconfig/cups
# make you changes to /etc/sysconfig/cups
dasscm commit -m "my comment about my change" /etc/sysconfig/cups

checkin modified files

dasscm commit -m "my comment about my change" /etc/sysconfig/cups

Note: every "add" also calls "commit", so the command "commit" is not really required


dasscm status

store file permissions

on every call of dasscm add/commit als file permissions are evaluated and stored in the file


restore file permissions

On SUSE system:

cp -a /etc/permissions.d/dasscm.permissions_backup /etc/permissions.d/dasscm.permissions
# change all file permissions to the values, that are defined in the file /etc/permissions.d/*.permissions


dasscm diff $filename

shows the differences of a local system file against the file in the local svn checkout.


If a local system file is modified (see dasscm diff) it can be reverted to the checked in version by

dasscm revert $filename


for online-help type

dasscm help

dasscm as non-root user

Using dasscm as non-root user requires sufficient permissions.

  • create group dasscm. Default GID is 4199
  • chgrp dasscm /etc/dasscm.conf
  • verify group dasscm has read permission on /etc/dasscm.conf

why sudo?

sudo is required to guarantee that the user has access to all files on the target system.

configure dasscm for non-root users

# check if group dasscm is defined (GID 4199 is default)
# The group must contain all users that should use dasscm
getent group dasscm

# read permission on config file
chgrp dasscm /etc/dasscm.conf

# add sudo rule
echo "
Defaults env_keep+=DASSCM_USERNAME
Defaults env_keep+=DASSCM_PASSWORD
dasscm ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/dasscm" >> /etc/sudoers

Also check, that requiretty is disabled. On SUSE, this is the default, on RedHat it requires modifying the /etc/sudoers.

usage (non-root)

# login
dasscm login

sudo dasscm status

sudo dasscm ls

sudo dasscm add <DATEINAME>

Nagios/NRPE Check

Client-side configuration for NRPE.

dasscm comes with config files for nrpe and sudo. Unfortunally, not all distributions have directories for /etc/nagios/nrpe.d or /etc/sudoers.d/.

If the distributions does not provide these directories, dasscm delivers the configs in /usr/share/doc/packages/dasscm/.

In this case, the dasscm configuration must be integrated into the system manually.

When not using the delivered config files at all, it is still possible, to configure the services purely manually:

# nrpe config file

# get NRPE user
NRPE_USER=`sed -n 's/nrpe_user=//p' $CFG`

# add NRPE_USER sudo rule for dasscm
grep -q "dasscm check" /etc/sudoers || echo "$NRPE_USER ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/dasscm check" >> /etc/sudoers

# add check_dasscm to NRPE config
grep -q dasscm $CFG || echo "command[check_dasscm]=sudo dasscm check" >> $CFG

# restart nrpe
/etc/init.d/nrpe restart

It is possible to user the dasscm nrpe check without sudo, that file without read-permissions will not be checked

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