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Comparing and Merging Files

This file documents the GNU diff, diff3, sdiff, and cmp commands for showing the differences between files and the GNU patch command for using their output to update files.

This is Edition 2.8, dated 23 March 2002, for diffutils 2.8 and patch 2.5.4.

Overview  Preliminary information.
1. What Comparison Means  What file comparison means.

2. diff Output Formats  Formats for two-way difference reports.
3. Incomplete Lines  Lines that lack trailing newlines.
4. Comparing Directories  Comparing files and directories.
5. Making diff Output Prettier  Making diff output prettier.
6. diff Performance Tradeoffs  Making diff smarter or faster.

7. Comparing Three Files  Formats for three-way difference reports.
8. Merging From a Common Ancestor  Merging from a common ancestor.

9. Interactive Merging with sdiff  Interactive merging with sdiff.

10. Merging with patch  Using patch to change old files into new ones.
11. Tips for Making and Using Patches  Tips for making and using patch distributions.

12. Invoking cmp  Compare two files byte by byte.
13. Invoking diff  Compare two files line by line.
14. Invoking diff3  Compare three files line by line.
15. Invoking patch  Apply a diff file to an original.
16. Invoking sdiff  Side-by-side merge of file differences.

17. Standards conformance  Conformance to the POSIX standard.
18. Future Projects  If you think you've found a bug or other shortcoming.

A. Copying This Manual  How to make copies of this manual.
B. Concept Index  Index of concepts.

This document was generated on April 4, 2002 using texi2html