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FortiOS Config Order

I am doubtful there is any great approach for this, but for file diffs of FortiOS config, I find it frustrating that inside config sections do not always just sort alphabetically.

I mean I get that order matters in firewall policy, but not for addresses, address-groups, and such. Even if tedious, I would love a move feature for each config section. Any workarounds besides I was hoping there was some sort config command, but I am not seeing anything of the sort. TAC did not seem aware of this either.

This would be helpful for some of my automation workflows and frankly any sort of quick config diff operations.

My only thought would be a config restore to address this or manually sorting in a file after you backup config.
Contributor III

You're correct that the order of configuration sections within the FortiOS config file is not automatically sorted alphabetically. This can make it challenging to compare configuration differences or perform automated workflows that rely on consistent ordering.

Unfortunately, there is no built-in "sort config" command or feature within FortiOS that can automatically sort the configuration sections. The configuration sections are typically organized based on the order in which they were created or modified.

However, there are a couple of potential workarounds you can consider:

1. Manual Sorting: As you mentioned, one option is to manually sort the configuration sections within the config file after taking a backup. You can open the config file in a text editor and reorder the sections alphabetically. While this can be tedious and time-consuming, it can help achieve a consistent order for comparison or automation purposes.

2. Custom Scripting: If you have programming or scripting skills, you could develop a custom script to parse and sort the configuration sections within the config file. This would involve writing code to identify the different sections, extract their content, sort them alphabetically, and then rewrite the config file with the sorted sections. This approach requires programming knowledge and ongoing maintenance as FortiOS evolves.

It's worth noting that modifying the config file directly should be approached with caution, as any manual changes made to the file can potentially introduce configuration errors or compatibility issues.

If having sorted configuration sections is crucial for your automation workflows, it may be worth considering alternative methods of configuration management, such as using the Fortinet FortiManager appliance. FortiManager provides centralized configuration management, version control, and automation capabilities that can help with maintaining consistent configuration across multiple devices.

Lastly, if you believe this is a valuable feature that could enhance the FortiOS user experience, you may consider reaching out to Fortinet directly and submitting a feature request. They are often receptive to customer feedback and may consider implementing such functionality in future releases.


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