etckeeper manages /etc be stored in a git, mercurial, bazaar, or darcs repository. By default each of the commands operates on /etc, but a different directory can be specified to operate on a clone of the /etc repository located elsewhere.
An useful tool for the management of a shared server is etckeeper.
This software is a collection of bash scripts that allow you to control through a distributed revision system our directory /etc/ where there are the configuration files of most of our Linux daemons. You could do the same thing without etckeeper leaning on a revision system such as darcs or git, but you must remember that for this directory is essential to maintain, for each file, its permissions and also its owner and group as well as the entire structure including empty directory.