[rancid] The annoyance of whitespace changes.

Will Miller will.miller at gtri.gatech.edu
Wed Oct 17 17:28:08 UTC 2007

Hey guys, I'm a newcomer, so be gentle.

I've looked high and low for a solution to this, but to no avail-- hence 
my adding to your inboxes.

So, here's my problem.  I have a device (specifically a firewall 
services module in a 6509) being monitored by rancid.  Much to 
frequently, though (on the order of a few times a day), I get config 
diffs mailed to me that contain a bunch of changes like this:

@@ -500,9 +500,9 @@
    port-object eq 27002
    port-object eq 27003
    port-object eq 27004
    port-object eq 27005
- port-object eq 27006
+  port-object eq 27006
    port-object eq 27007
    port-object eq 27008
    port-object eq 27009
    port-object eq 27010

Note that the only thing that changed is the whitespace before the 

Try as I might, I can't figure out a workaround.  I tried modifying 
control_rancid from "cvs -f diff -U 4" to "cvs -f diff -w -U 4".  This, 
however, didn't change the number of emails coming in.  It still printed 
the header with no diffs listed:

Index: configs/<IP>
retrieving revision 1.240
diff -w -U4 -r1.240 <IP>

(Yeah, that was revision 240... no, we don't change the config quite 
that often.)

So, any of you have any ideas why this might be happening or, failing 
that, how I might work around it?

Thanks for any help,


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