I often install applications in Linux which don't come in package form but rather one just downloads a tarball, unpacks it, and runs the app out of the exploded folder. To adjust the application to my environment I need to modify the default configuration files, perhaps add an odd script of my own and I would like to have a way to record all these modifications automatically so I can apply them to another environment. Clearly, the modifications can not be reproduced verbatim as things like IP addresses or username need to change from system to system; still an exhaustive record to what was changed and added would be useful.
My solution is to use a pattern involving git. Basically after I explode the tarball I do a git init and an initial commit and then I can save to a file the output of git diff and a cat of all files appearing as new in the git status -s.
But I am sure there are more efficient ways. ???