Diff is a command line utility that can help users visually compare the differences between 2 files line by line on Linux/Unix systems. The Colordiff utility is a Perl script, which is an improved version of diff. It colorizes the output so that the differences between files are clearly visible on the terminal.
In short, the diff command tool can be used to perform the following operations
1. View the changes that exist between the two versions of the file.
2. Compare between two program files
In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the colordiff command to color diff output on Linux.
How to install Colordiff tool
Before starting to use the ins and outs of d colordiff, let’s install it first.
Install Colordiff on Ubuntu/Debian/Mint
$ sudo apt install colordiff
Install Colordiff on RHEL/CentOS
To install colordiff on rpm distributions (such as Hat and CentOS), run:
$ sudo yum install colordiff
Install Colordiff on Arch Linux
For Arch Linux and Arch Linux derivatives (such as Manjaro), please run:
$ sudo pacman -S colordiff
Install Colordiff on FreeBSD and OpenBSD
To install Colordiff on FreeBSD, run the following command:
$ sudo pkg install colordiff
For OpenBSD, execute:
$ pkg_add -v colordiff
How to color difference
The syntax for using the colordiff and diff commands is very simple and clear.
$ color diff file1 file2
For example, I created 2 files as shown
To check the differences between the two files, run the following command:
$ colordiff file1.txt file2.txt
Alternatively, you can use the diff command and pipe the output to colordiff as follows:
$ diff -u file1.txt file2.txt | colordiff
Alternatives to Different Colors
Another convenient way you can use to compare files is to use grc The command is as follows:
$ grc diff file1.txt file2.txt
Another great tool I found is Edith This is an improved color difference.
You can install Icdiff using the pip command, run:
$ pip install git+https://github.com/jeffkaufman/icdiff.git
In this tutorial, you learned how to color diff output with the help of the colordiff command line utility to compare files on the terminal in color format. If the two files are the same, no output will be output on the screen. To get more information on how to use these two utilities, just visit man diff and man colordiff.
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