Laptop installation and maintenance automation


In the past months I spent a significant amount of time preparing laptops for people working in organizations that are in the scope of the Enough community. I made no attempt to automate anything and wrote half baked HOWTO text files instead. They can’t be useful to anyone but me: a lot of context is still in my head.

This is not sustainable but I’m not sure how to go about it. Infrastructure as code is fantastic for online services. I suspect trying something similar for laptops is going to be much more challenging. A lot of what I did was not based on the command line nor browser based interactions.

Some aspects are easier to handle than others and I’ll try to write scripts (ansible based presumably) to automate what I can. Even if it only addresses a tiny part of the work, it will be worth the effort. For that purpose I created a new repository and I will populate it with burp configuration to automate the laptop backups. I’ll re-use @pilou’s ansible-role-burp, as previously discussed.

Initially I thought it would be useful to also add a bare metal backup to Enough but the only upside is saving money. Although it’s always worth doing, there is no immediate benefit and it can wait. A contrario, the current manual rsync based backups that is setup for laptops is fragile and it would be very beneficial to consolidate it.

To be continued

A playbook was implemented for backups with instructions for manual testing. It is better than a HOWTO and not as good as a well tested automated script. Progress :slight_smile: @pilou guidance was super useful :+1:

The playbook is applied to the backup server and I’ll add a client as soon as it connects to the network.