etckeeper version:

  • etckeeper/stable,stable,now 1.18.16-1 all [residual-config]


  • Linux Debian-1101-bullseye-amd64-base 5.10.0-9-amd64

Installed via apt install etckeeper on Debian 11 Bullseye, so using Debian's

In case only downstream Debian is the culprit, sorry for reporting here and not downstream - but Debian's bugtracker is so awful to use ...


Despite /etc/etckeeper/etckeeper.conf being configured with VCS="hg", the moment a git directory /etc/.git/ (and/or file /etc/.gitignore?) exists, etckeeper will use git (and e.g. .gitignore instead of .hgignore). Maybe this issue is not limited to Mercurial/hg only, but affects any other VCS (mercurial, bazaar, or darcs) as well.

My scenario

I noticed this issue as I wanted to set up etckeeper with Mercurial while still being able to use my own git-managed /etc hierarchy in parallel: use etckeeper to version/backup all /etc files and at the same time have an additional git repository for cherry-picked etc files: etckeeper tracks all files including my custom conf.d/ etc files and package-provided vanilla files; my additional git repository only tracks my custom conf.d/ etc files. Unfortunately, it's not possible to have two git repositories in the same directory (here /etc) due to a git repository's .gitignore location not being configurable, hence my unsuccessful workaround with etckeeper to use hg/Mercurial.