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Etckeeper lets you keep /etc under version control.


Get etckeeperAUR from the AUR.


The main config file is /etc/etckeeper/etckeeper.conf. You can set things such as the VCS to use in this file.

Once you've set your preferred VCS (the default is git), you can initialize the /etc repository by running

# etckeeper init


Etckeeper supports using pacman as a LOWLEVEL_PACKAGE_MANAGER in etckeeper.conf. Support for using pacman as a HIGHLEVEL_PACKAGER_MANAGER is not yet added, so you'll need to either commit changes manually or use one of the stopgap solutions below.


There is a cron script in the source distribution at debian/cron.daily. You can use this script to automatically commit changes on a schedule. To make it run daily, for example, make sure you have cron installed and enabled, then simply copy the script from the srcdir where you built etckeeper to /etc/cron.daily and make sure it's executable (e.g. chmod +x /path/to/script).

Wrapper Script

In order to emulate the auto-commit functionality that etckeeper has on other systems, you could place a script such as the one below somewhere in your PATH, make it executable, and use it instead of pacman -Syu to update your system.


etckeeper pre-install
pacman -Syu
etckeeper post-install

Alternatively you can add a quick alias to ~/.bashrc:

alias pkg-update='sudo etckeeper pre-install && sudo pacman -Syu && sudo etckeeper post-install'


As an alternative to the above, you could set up incron to automatically commit changes using etckeeper whenever a file in /etc is modified.

Automatic push to remote repo

Warning: Pushing your etckeeper repository to a publicly accessible remote repository can expose sensitive data such as password hashes or private keys. Proceed with caution.

Whilst having a local backup in /etc/.git is a good first step, etckeeper can automatically push your changes on each commit to a remote repository such as Github. Create an executable file /etc/etckeeper/commit.d/40github-push:

set -e

if [ "$VCS" = git ] && [ -d .git ]; then
  cd /etc/
  git push origin master

Change to etc/.git and add your remote Github repository:

# git remote add origin

Now each time you run your wrapper script or alias from above, changes will be automatically commited to your Github repo.