rancid-git is a patched version of RANCID that allows you to easily use git as the RCS for RANCID.

Installing rancid-git is a potentially daunting task. You can either build a deb package and hope it installs correctly, or you can install from source. If you’re using a Red Hat-based distribution, building the rpm is completely untested. Besides that, you need to do it on at least two servers, and I’m not a fan of doing anything more than once manually.


Ansible is my preferred framework for automation. I wrote an Ansible role that installs rancid-git and sets up Gitweb for me, using nginx as the proxy.

You’ll need to clone the repository and place the roles/rancid-git folder in your /etc/ansible/roles/ directory.

Next, you’ll want to update the variables in /etc/ansible/roles/rancid-git/vars/main.yml to match your environment.

Once you’ve done that, you can just add the rancid-git role to a playbook. If you don’t have one or if you’re just getting started with Ansible, here’s an example:


- name: Install RANCID
  hosts: rancid.example.com
  sudo: yes
    - rancid-git


Obviously, my role is missing a few things. The Red Hat-specific packages aren’t there, and some of the paths should be modified for Red Hat installations. I welcome the pull requests.

I’d also like to provide a way to specify either nginx or apache as the web server, increasing the flexibility.

Certain files aren’t currently managed by Ansible (namely the router.db files). I need to get these to be managed by the Ansible role as well.

There’s also a way to allow roles to be installed via ansible-galaxy. I need to get around to adapting for that as well.

Next Steps

This Ansible role will set you up the RANCID, but you’ll still need to do some of the other setup (updating the router.db files, .cloginrc, /etc/aliases, etc). You can go through a basic walkthrough here.


Thanks for reading. Please open issues on the GitHub page. If you want to contribute, please open pull requests.

This post is part of the #30in30 challenge.