Using Debian's devscripts dch for sysadmin logs

dannf had a good idea that we've been using to keep sysadmin machines changelogs. We use the dch tool from the Debian devscripts package.

Here's an example of what the logs look like:
   dopey (2) UNRELEASED; urgency=low

     * installed package foo
     * edited foo's config file to point at server bar
     * added users alice and bob

    -- J. Random Hacker   Mon, 10 Sep 2007 19:57:30 -0600

   dopey (1) UNRELEASED; urgency=low

     * Installed Debian etch
     * configured external and internal networks
     * setup firewall
     * configured ssh to only allow ssh keys and disallow root

    -- B. Operator   Mon, 10 Sep 2007 19:47:12 -0600



Each user should set DEBEMAIL or EMAIL in their shell initialization. For example:
   export EMAIL='J. Random Hacker <>"

UPDATE: post-etch dch looks for debian/control but you can tell it not to do that with the --no-auto-nmu flag (or by setting DEBCHANGE_AUTO_NMU=no)

Adding a new entry:
   dch -c /root/debian/changelog --no-auto-nmu -i
Editing the exiting top entry:
   dch -c /root/debian/changelog --no-auto-nmu
Matt Taggart <>
Updated: February 10, 2009