Configuration 4 GNU (CFG)

Purpose of the CFG Project

The Configuration 4 GNU project is an open source project which hopes to improve the "nightmare" that is the current state of Linux/Unix configuration. We plan to provide a set of standardized tools for users, administrators, and developers which make configuration more efficient and powerful, while remaining true to the Unix philosophies of simplicity and reliability.

Overview of Major Goals:

  • Multiple front-end interfaces (e.g. command-line, web-based, GUI). Some people do everything with a command-line, others like using a web browser, still others want to write a Perl program to do it. These different mechanisms should be provided.
  • Use meta-data to describe configuration files. Whichever front-end you use, the system will know which properties expect numeric values vs text, and documentation (e.g. from man pages) will be integrated in the user interface.
  • Easy to extend. Developers of programs requiring a configuration interface can take advantage of a Config4GNU system by simply installing a few extra files as part of the program. Config4GNU will automatically load those new files and know how to work with the program's configuration files.
  • Support common configuration file formats (e.g. INI-style, flat/delimited text, Apache-style). It should be easy to provide support for new configuration files using these common formats.
  • Operating system and distribution-agnostic. Where different operating systems provide similar features, they should be configured the same, even though the implementation may be very different.
  • Don't override the native config files. Those human-readable files in /etc will still be the authoritative copy of system configuration. When Config4GNU needs to modify those files, comments and indentation should be preserved.

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Config4GNU's WBEM/CIM related projects - jasonlong - 2004-05-13 06:40

The Config4GNU project is about finding and creating ways to unify and simplify management of configuration on GNU/Linux systems. The Config4GNU website contains lots of information about an XML-based approach to configuration management. This is not in sync with what I've personally been working on, which is using the DMTF-defined WBEM and CIM standards to manage configuration data. Read on to find out more.

Interest in CFG grows rapidly - skiingyac - 2003-12-03 19:37

In recent weeks, a number of messages have been posted to various mailing lists including Gnome Setup Tools and that mention CFG. We are very excited about this jump in interest in our project.

Project status and research into WBEM and CORBA - jasonlong - 2003-08-27 19:58

For those tracking the Config4GNU project, you may have been disappointed in the past few months as there has been no news and very little traffic on the mailing list. This can mainly be attributed to the project leaders--Jason Long and Justin Yackoski--finishing their classes and graduating. Justin also got married in June (congratulations to him!) so that's been keeping him busy.

Many changes for Config4GNU - jasonlong - 2003-02-05 07:33

Config4GNU, a project to provide a single unified interface to system configuration data on Linux computer systems, is still quite active. A lot has happened since the last news update, including the writing of a new implementation guide, using a new XML library, and finding a new way to do scripting language bindings.

Config4GNU Making Progress - skiingyac - 2002-11-02 11:04

Config4GNU's various prototypes are coming nicely. The GTK GUI (see our screenshots) can now modify and save config files, and the core layer has some major improvements. We now have a PHP interface which is slightly less functional than the GTK UI. We've added a new developer and received various contributions. Overall, we've made significant progress since the last update and things seem to be right on schedule for finishing the alpha stage by the end of the year.

Config4GNU status update - jasonlong - 2002-10-09 21:31

Config4GNU, a project to provide a single unified interface to system configuration data on Linux computer systems, is currently analyzing existing configuration file formats in order to best design a data model that can represent all of the various types of configuration. Work is currently focused on creating a systems requirements specification document and a document analyzing the various configuration file formats found on Linux.

Config4GNU Project Started - jasonlong - 2002-09-24 14:06

The Config4GNU Project has been started! The Config4GNU project (C4G for short) will work towards creating a unified configuration interface for configurating system applications and computer settings under GNU operation systems (e.g. Linux). The project will not attempt to replace any existing configuration methods, but rather provide a single, unified interface to the configuration data. This will allow the creation of GUI and web-based front-ends to configure things. This may sound a lot like existing projects, such as LinuxConf and Webmin, but there are some important differences. The project is currently in the design stage and would appreciate feedback from the open-source community. Check out the project's website at which has lots of information and rational for the project.

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