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Compare files and directories. More information:

  • Compare files (lists changes to turn old_file into new_file):

diff {{old_file}} {{new_file}}

  • Compare files, ignoring white spaces:

diff {{-w|--ignore-all-space}} {{old_file}} {{new_file}}

  • Compare files, showing the differences side by side:

diff {{-y|--side-by-side}} {{old_file}} {{new_file}}

  • Compare files, showing the differences in unified format (as used by git diff):

diff {{-u|--unified}} {{old_file}} {{new_file}}

  • Compare directories recursively (shows names for differing files/directories as well as changes made to files):

diff {{-r|--recursive}} {{old_directory}} {{new_directory}}

  • Compare directories, only showing the names of files that differ:

diff {{-r|--recursive}} {{-q|--brief}} {{old_directory}} {{new_directory}}

  • Create a patch file for Git from the differences of two text files, treating nonexistent files as empty:

diff {{-a|--text}} {{-u|--unified}} {{-N|--new-file}} {{old_file}} {{new_file}} > {{diff.patch}}

  • Compare files, showing output in color and try hard to find smaller set of changes:

diff {{-d|--minimal}} --color=always {{old_file}} {{new_file}}