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Invoking sdiff

The sdiff command merges two files and interactively outputs the results. Its arguments are as follows:

sdiff -o outfile options... from-file to-file

This merges from-file with to-file, with output to outfile. If from-file is a directory and to-file is not, sdiff compares the file in from-file whose file name is that of to-file, and vice versa. from-file and to-file may not both be directories.

sdiff options begin with -, so normally from-file and to-file may not begin with -. However, -- as an argument by itself treats the remaining arguments as file names even if they begin with -. You may not use - as an input file.

An exit status of 0 means no differences were found, 1 means some differences were found, and 2 means trouble.

sdiff without -o (or --output) produces a side-by-side difference. This usage is obsolete; use diff --side-by-side instead.

Options to sdiff

Below is a summary of all of the options that GNU sdiff accepts. Each option has two equivalent names, one of which is a single letter preceded by -, and the other of which is a long name preceded by --. Multiple single letter options (unless they take an argument) can be combined into a single command line argument. Long named options can be abbreviated to any unique prefix of their name.

-a Treat all files as text and compare them line-by-line, even if they do not appear to be text. See section Binary Files and Forcing Text Comparisons.
-b Ignore changes in amount of white space. See section Suppressing Differences in Blank and Tab Spacing.

-B Ignore changes that just insert or delete blank lines. See section Suppressing Differences in Blank Lines.

-d Change the algorithm to perhaps find a smaller set of changes. This makes sdiff slower (sometimes much slower). See section diff Performance Tradeoffs.

-H Use heuristics to speed handling of large files that have numerous scattered small changes. See section diff Performance Tradeoffs.

--expand-tabs Expand tabs to spaces in the output, to preserve the alignment of tabs in the input files. See section Preserving Tabstop Alignment.

-i Ignore changes in case; consider upper- and lower-case to be the same. See section Suppressing Case Differences.

-I regexp Ignore changes that just insert or delete lines that match regexp. See section Suppressing Lines Matching a Regular Expression.

--ignore-all-space Ignore white space when comparing lines. See section Suppressing Differences in Blank and Tab Spacing.

--ignore-blank-lines Ignore changes that just insert or delete blank lines. See section Suppressing Differences in Blank Lines.

--ignore-case Ignore changes in case; consider upper- and lower-case to be the same. See section Suppressing Case Differences.

--ignore-matching-lines=regexp Ignore changes that just insert or delete lines that match regexp. See section Suppressing Lines Matching a Regular Expression.

--ignore-space-change Ignore changes in amount of white space. See section Suppressing Differences in Blank and Tab Spacing.

-l --left-column Print only the left column of two common lines. See section Controlling Side by Side Format.

--minimal Change the algorithm to perhaps find a smaller set of changes. This makes sdiff slower (sometimes much slower). See section diff Performance Tradeoffs.

-o file --output=file Put merged output into file. This option is required for merging.

-s --suppress-common-lines Do not print common lines. See section Controlling Side by Side Format.

--speed-large-files Use heuristics to speed handling of large files that have numerous scattered small changes. See section diff Performance Tradeoffs.

-t Expand tabs to spaces in the output, to preserve the alignment of tabs in the input files. See section Preserving Tabstop Alignment.

--text Treat all files as text and compare them line-by-line, even if they do not appear to be text. See section Binary Files and Forcing Text Comparisons.

-v --version Output the version number of sdiff.

-w columns --width=columns Use an output width of columns. See section Controlling Side by Side Format. Note that for historical reasons, this option is -W in diff, -w in sdiff.

-W Ignore horizontal white space when comparing lines. See section Suppressing Differences in Blank and Tab Spacing. Note that for historical reasons, this option is -w in diff, -W in sdiff.


 

 

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