Hack 27. Diff Command Examples

diff command compares two different files and reports the difference. The output is very cryptic and not straight forward to read.

Syntax: diff [options] file1 file2

What was modified in my new file when compare to my old file?

The option -w in the diff command will ignore the white space while performing the comparison.

In the following diff output:

  • The lines above —, indicates the changes happened in first file in the diff command (i.e name_list.txt).
  • The lines below —, indicates the changes happened to the second file in the diff command (i.e name_list_new.txt). The lines that belong to the first file starts with < and the lines of second file starts with >.
# diff -w name_list.txt name_list_new.txt
< John Doe --- > John M Doe
> Jason Bourne

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