Scroll to navigation



rmgdiff - use almost any graphical file difference browser to recursively view the differences between two directories.


rmgdiff [-b] [-d] [-g gui] [-n] dir1 dir2


rmgdiff is an awk script that works in conjunction with almost any graphical file difference browser. It is known to work with mgdiff, tkdiff, and xdiff.

Unless I am mistaken, most of the GUI difference viewers (except for emacs) do not have built-in support for recursing down two directories, but diff does. Based on diff's output, rmgdiff decides when to invoke the graphical difference viewer.

In addition, rmgdiff also collates diff's output. As soon as a new difference is encountered in a text file, rmgdiff will print to standard output the name of the file that both directories have in common. It will then start the GUI and block until the user exits. As more text files with differences are found, the GUI will be started up again.

In the interim, rmgdiff will keep track of differences in binary (non-text) files. It organizes the binary files as executables, shared libraries, static libraries, object files, and other. Only after all the text files have been displayed will rmgdiff report the binary differences.

It also keeps track of files and directories that diff reports as being only in one directory or another. rmgdiff organizes these entries by directory. Thus, files in one directory will be reported in one block, and files that are in the other directory will be reported in a different block.

In addition to printing the name of the files that are different, rmgdiff defaults to printing the relevant portion of the output from the file command. This has the unfortunate side-effect of slowing things down; however, I find this information to be invaluable. If you're just looking for a fast way to collate diff's output, try piping it into sort instead.


Sets the basic reporting mode. In basic mode, rmgdiff reports only file names. It does not report the file types involved.
By default, files relating to CVS are ignored by rmgdiff. If you want to include CVS files, use this option.
Sets rmgdiff to print way too much debugging information.
Tells rmgdiff which gui you would like to use for viewing differences. By default, mgdiff is used. You can also set $RMGDIFF_GUI in your environment, but it can be overridden with this option.
rmgdiff will not invoke the gui. This is useful, if you only want to view the collated output.


Paul Serice (