The diff command in Linux and Unix-like systems is used to compare the contents of two files and display the differences. It can be used to compare files on the file system, or the output of two commands.
Here is the basic syntax for the diff command:
diff [options] file1 file2 file1 is the name of the first file you want to compare file2 is the name of the second file you want to compare
Here are some examples of the diff command in action:
1. To compare the contents of two files called “file1.txt” and “file2.txt”
$ diff file1.txt file2.txt
2. To compare the contents of two common subdirectories recursively
$ diff -r dir1 dir2
Note: The -r option is used to compare directories recursively.
3. To ignore changes in white spaces while comparing
$ diff -b file1.txt file2.txt
Note: The -b option is used to ignore changes in trailing blanks (spaces and tabs) while comparing
4. To show the line numbers in the output
$ diff -n file1.txt file2.txt
Note: The -n option is used to show the line numbers in the output.
The diff command is useful for identifying the differences between two files or the output of two commands. It can be used to compare files on the file system, or the output of two commands. It can also be used to compare two versions of the same file, or to compare the changes made in a file after editing it. The output of the diff command shows the lines that are different between the two files, including the line numbers where the differences occur. This can be useful for identifying and resolving conflicts when working on collaborative projects or for keeping track of changes made to a file.