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As mentioned, what is the difference? or is there any concern to use them?

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Unlike DOS-based OSes, in Unix and Linux file extensions are mostly meaningless outside of human-readable reasons. INI is a configuration file standard.

A .conf file could be an INI file, or it could be any other configuration system that the application supports. MySQL, for example, uses the file my.cnf by default for configuration, which is an INI file.

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Are .ini files carry overs from Windows coders? – Rob Nov 6 '12 at 14:19
@Rob Kindof, but not really. It is like many programs will use an extension that defines the format (openbox's .xml config for example). There isn't really a solid convention. Personally I put the filetype as an extension if I use one (which I usually don't). – Kevin Cox Nov 6 '12 at 20:15

INI files has a format roughly like this:




Conf files, on the other hand, are more varied. They may have the same formatting as ini files, or something completely different, perhaps a bit like this:

# A comment
button 1 {
  name "hello"
  "text" hi.there
  "more..." {
    "something 123"  bla.bla "123"

# Another comment
button 2 {
  # hello

Or maybe a bit like this:

# set server port
server.port = 1234

# make everything go faster
machine.boost_button = "enabled"

.conf files usually have the UNIX style line endings. It is frowned upon for .conf files on UNIX-like systems to have DOS/Windows style line endings.

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There is nothing about the INI standard that says that ini files need DOS line endings. My php.ini file doesn't have them. – jordanm Nov 6 '12 at 18:14
do you have an example of such a UNIX application that expects its line endings to be DOS-style? – jordanm Nov 6 '12 at 19:59
This is pretty much my understanding, too. – Rob Nov 6 '12 at 20:42
Also, I would argue that php.ini on a unix-like system is a conf file format with an ini-style layout, with an (unfortunate) .ini file extension. I assume that the php developers were more used to windows than unix-like systems when they made that choice. – Alexander Nov 7 '12 at 1:40
and the line endings have nothing to do with the file format, it's just a normal text file with the usual system line endings. Most INI files use dos line endings because most INI files are on windows machines. – Kevin Nov 7 '12 at 13:31

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