Puppet and Chef, both of the modern examples of configuration management and systems integration software are written in Ruby. Add Capistrano, Rake, and MCollective to the list and this starts to seem like much more than coincidence. We'll examine the history and implementation of each of these packages to find patterns that make Ruby an awesome tool for systems administration in 2011. We'll pay special attention to UNIX idioms as they're expressed in Ruby, API design and code organization, standard- and third-party libraries, and the language grammar itself. We'll learn lessons on idempotence, failure modes, and logging along the way that apply to any type of development and we'll discuss Ruby's future at the top of the operator's toolbox.
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