Do you pine for the nice days of yore, when men were men and wrote their own system documentation? Are you without documentation and just dying to cut your teeth on a tool you can try to modify for your needs? Then this post might be just for you (hm, now why did that seem oddly familiar?)
SYDI (Script Your Documentation Instantly) has for some time been a project which helps Windows users with creating documentation for their Server, SQL and Exchange systems. SYDI for Windows uses VBScript and gathers information from WMI, Registry, LDAP and SQL queries and them presents the output in either a Microsoft Word Document or an XML file.
The purpose of the project is to improve system documentation and speed up the process of documenting a system.
SYDI-Linux is a tool which helps people to document their Linux systems. It is written in Python and writes output to XML.
One of the challenges with SYDI-Linux is that there are many Linux distributions and therefore a lot of different ways to collect the data. My thoughts around this are to have a base script and then use plug-ins for different distributions. At the moment it has only been tested on Gentoo. Also the WMI and Registry services are available on the network in the Windows world. For Linux an equivalent service doesnt exist by default so the best way to target a remote machine will probably be to remotely execute the program with ssh.
Since the output is to XML it can be converted to a lot of formats, in this version there is an XSL file for conversion to HTML so the report can be viewed in a browser. There is also an option to convert the XML file to the OASIS OpenDocument format which OpenOffice 2.0 uses by default this is however a bit crude at the moment.
A possibility for the future might be to have a conversion to DocBook.
This is the first public release of SYDI-Linux and there is still a lot of work to do. But the first version is however ready to be tested. If you have a Windows system you can try SYDI-Server (the server and client script) to see where I am heading with this.
The SYDI Home page:
The SYDI Project page: