After system packages are updated with "yum update", config files which could not be overwritten are not replaced, but we can find *.rpmnew files near by. By design system administrator must merge config files.

In Gentoo Linux there is a etc-update tool, which allow to merge config file changes interactively, like that:

Beginning of differences between /etc/pear.conf and /etc/._cfg0000_pear.conf
End of differences between /etc/pear.conf and /etc/._cfg0000_pear.conf
1) Replace original with update
2) Delete update, keeping original as is
3) Interactively merge original with update
4) Show differences again

I wonder if there is a way to merge configs interactively in RHEL/Fedora/CentOS?

3 Answers 3


The closest thing I've found to Gentoo's etc-update is rpmconf:

# yum install -y rpmconf    
# rpmconf -a
Configuration file `/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-'
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 620 Oct  2 16:38 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 620 Dec 15 12:11 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-
 ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
   What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
    Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
      D     : show the differences between the versions
      M     : merge configuration files
      Z     : background this process to examine the situation
      S     : skip this file
 The default action is to keep your current version.
*** aliases (Y/I/N/O/D/Z/S) [default=N] ? 
Your choice: Y

This yum plugin adds the "--merge-conf" command line option. With this option, Yum will ask you what to do with config files which have changed on updating a package.


  • afaik, this is outdated.
    – robsch
    Feb 15 at 12:24

The only way I found so far is vimdiff:

vmdiff window with differing lines highlighted

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