Config file output in Canonical (Standard) form and sort

  • I would have assumed that any change in feature or function would be out of the question for a release candidate, even a small one… yet I do see requests, and some apparently being accepted.  So here goes.  If this should be re-entered elsewhere, please tell me so.  Thanks.

    Sometimes I want to compare two configurations to see what is different.  Sometimes between machines, sometimes to understand what changed and messed me up.  Working with the configuration, sections get put in different order, or things that are disabled leave empty sections.

    It would be valuable to have the configuration file stored, at least for the backup if not on the pfsense disk, in a canonical form so that if they are the same, a file compare will match.  This would require a perhaps arbitrary, but consistent sort.

    For those who want to order things, either the basic structure could include a numeric tag, or there could be a prefix on the string that is sorted by that is recognized and ignored by the operational code (Yes, a kludge, but it might get the feature in there in the shorter term without a change in structure).

    Is this of use to anyone else?