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Help me understand Configuration Management

Help me understand Configuration Management

Hello all, I'm hoping someone can chime in and help me understand how Configuration Management should be done. Clearly I am missing something here and its driving me nuts.


We're running Magento Open Source 2.4.0


We have (3) servers; a production server, a build server and a testing server.


Take the following example.

1. I export configs from production via app:config:dump and copy the resulting config.php over to our testing server via SCP

2. On the testing server, I import the config.php file exported from the production server in step 1 using app:config:import

3. I create a copy of config.php e.g. cp config.php bak.config.php

4. I export configs on the testing server using app:config:dump

5. I examine the differences between config.php and bak.config.php expecting there to be none, because I did an import and immediately an export with no changes in between.

6. There are MANY differences.


My understanding is that the exported config.php should be an exact match to the config.php that was imported and this is not the case. What am I misunderstanding?


Part of my deployment process is, on the build server of course, app:config:dump followed by app:config:import on the production server. This is resulting in configurations changing in very unexpected ways, clearly because my understanding of how configurations are managed is not correct.


Any help here would be sincerely appreciated.