GNU sdiff — side-by-side merge of file differences

Examples (TL;DR)


sdiff [OPTION]... FILE1 FILE2


Side-by-side merge of differences between FILE1 and FILE2.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

-o, --output=FILE

operate interactively, sending output to FILE

-i, --ignore-case

consider upper- and lower-case to be the same

-E, --ignore-tab-expansion

ignore changes due to tab expansion

-Z, --ignore-trailing-space

ignore white space at line end

-b, --ignore-space-change

ignore changes in the amount of white space

-W, --ignore-all-space

ignore all white space

-B, --ignore-blank-lines

ignore changes whose lines are all blank

-I, --ignore-matching-lines=RE

ignore changes all whose lines match RE


strip trailing carriage return on input

-a, --text

treat all files as text

-w, --width=NUM

output at most NUM (default 130) print columns

-l, --left-column

output only the left column of common lines

-s, --suppress-common-lines

do not output common lines

-t, --expand-tabs

expand tabs to spaces in output


tab stops at every NUM (default 8) print columns

-d, --minimal

try hard to find a smaller set of changes

-H, --speed-large-files

assume large files, many scattered small changes


use PROGRAM to compare files


display this help and exit

-v, --version

output version information and exit

If a FILE is '-', read standard input. Exit status is 0 if inputs are the same, 1 if different, 2 if trouble.


Written by Thomas Lord.

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to:
GNU diffutils home page: <>
General help using GNU software: <>

See Also

cmp(1), diff(1), diff3(1)

The full documentation for GNU is maintained as a Texinfo manual.  If the info and GNU programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info GNU

should give you access to the complete manual.

Referenced By

cmp(1), diff(1), diff3(1), nvim(1).

December 2018 diffutils 3.7