Hippo is a distributed version control repository for tracking system configuration files.
Use Hippo when you want versioning to allow you to do things such as:
- Document changes and retain history of changes to your configuration file.
- Retain the above mentioned history on copies you maintain external to the host.
- Restore your configuration onto the same other hosts, while maintaining the history of your changes.
skittish a: lively or frisky in action
Hippo is a thin layer built on top Git to simplify managing files with metadata (permissions and ownership). By maintaining and managing file metadata, the repository can be used to archive and restore a host configuration.
Conceptually, Hippo serializes metadata before certain Git commands are run, and restores file metadata after others.
Because Hippo is a thin layer (wrapper) around Git, the terminology used in Hippo is very much that used in Git. Likewise, git and related support tools can be used in many parts of the Hippo repository.
Up and Running
To effectively use Hippo, you will generally have Hippo installed and running on each host, including the host that you designate to archive copies of configurations from all the hosts.
Each host will have a standard installation, with a designated 'central repository' configured with bare repos that all administrators can push or pull configurations.