Linux, difference between configuration files

On Red Hat 6.x, I need a tool that will tell me the difference between 2 configuration files

Is there a tool that will do that

Also , is there a tool that will approach this in a more complex manner, and will NOT report all lines after the first mismatch, but will only report lines in the first file that are not contained in the second file ?  For Instance:

a.conf

Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
line 4
line 5
line  6

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and b.conf

Line 1
Line 2
line 4
line 5
line  6

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is there a tool that will report the difference as :

Line 3

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instead of

Line 3
line 4
line 5
line  6

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Thanks
Anthony LuciaAsked:
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woolmilkporcCommented:
The first tool yu're looking for is "diff".

The second tool you're looking for is "comm":

comm -2 -3 a.conf b.conf

comm creates 3 reports (in 3 columns):
1. Lines only in file 1
2 Lines only in file 2
3. Lines common to file 1 and file 2

The options "-1" "-2" and "-3" suppress displaying the respective column.
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MazdajaiCommented:
Try diff

diff a.conf b.conf

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woolmilkporcCommented:
Note: Please be aware that the files to compare must be sorted to create reliable results!
Your files are sorted, that's why it works in your case.

With non-sorted files, if you don't want to touch the originals, you can create sorted temporary versions and compare these.

"comm" accepts standard input for one of the input files, so only one of them must be sorted into a file.

sort b.conf > b.conf.sorted
sort a.conf | comm -2 -3 - b.conf.sorted

Note the dash (-) as the first file parameter. It means: "read from stdin".
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