The rules file is a text file that you can optionally use as input to the bart command. This file uses inclusion and exclusion rules. A rules file is used to create custom manifests and reports. A rules file enables you to express in a concise syntax which sets of files you want to catalog, as well as which attributes to monitor for any given set of files. When you compare manifests, the rules file aids in flagging discrepancies between the manifests. Using a rules file is an effective way to gather specific information about files on a system.
You create a rules file by using a text editor. With a rules file, you can perform the following tasks:
Use the bart create command to create a manifest that lists information about all or specific files on a system.
Use the bart compare command to generate a report that monitors specific attributes of a file system.
You can create several rules files for different purposes. However, if you create a manifest by using a rules file, you must use the same rules file when you compare the manifests. If you do not use the same rules file when comparing manifests that were created with a rules file, the output of the bart compare command will list many invalid discrepancies.
A rules file can also contain syntax errors and other ambiguous information as a result of user error. If a rules file does contain misinformation, these errors will also be reported.
Using a rules file to monitor specific files and file attributes on a system requires planning. Before you create a rules file, decide which files and file attributes on the system you want to monitor. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you might use a rules file to create manifests, compare manifests, or for purposes.