Lead Image © Kritiya Sumpun, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Kritiya Sumpun, 123RF.com

Verifying your configuration


Article from ADMIN 73/2023
Automated acceptance testing is a powerful tool for catching problems related to misconfiguration. We'll show you how to implement your own acceptance testing environment with a free tool called goss.

Misconfiguration has long been a major problem in the IT world. Any admin can recall a scenario in which Dev did something, QA did another thing, and other departments did their own thing to pass the software through its stages of delivery. Finally, the product fails because of unknown manual tricks and black magic. Who could forget the time wasted in painful war room sessions, always wondering and struggling to reason about the weird failures? In fact, misconfiguration has been identified as the root cause for many recent public cloud outages – even for the tech giants like Amazon and Google.

How do you solve config misconfiguration and parity issues in the modern cloud-driven IT world? Open source solutions come to the rescue. In this article I describe how to use a tool called goss (an acronym for Golang server spec) [1] [2] to detect standard configuration baseline drift. I'll describe how to establish the practice of Acceptance as Code so that the same configuration flows across the whole software development life cycle to maintain much-needed parity. I'll use the Footloose and Docker container tools to bring up container machines for a test setup. Everything was tested on my Ubuntu 18.04 LTS laptop, but the code examples should run on any modern GNU/Linux machine able to run Docker Engine and Golang static binaries.

Server Validation

How do you verify a server configured to run a single service or a set of services? You get into the server and run a set of commands to dump and verify that the required packages are installed with proper versions and make sure the configuration files have correct values. You ensure that required services are configured to start automatically – and that those services are running and listening on the configured ports. You could also add more

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