6.29. Diffutils-2.8.1

The Diffutils package contains programs that show the differences between files or directories.

Approximate build time: 0.1 SBU
Required disk space: 6.3 MB

6.29.1. Installation of Diffutils

POSIX requires the diff command to treat whitespace characters according to the current locale. The following patch fixes the non-compliance issue:

patch -Np1 -i ../diffutils-2.8.1-i18n-1.patch

The above patch will cause the Diffutils build system to attempt to rebuild the diff.1 man page using the unavailable program help2man. The result is an unreadable man page for diff. We can avoid this by updating the timestamp on the file man/diff.1:

touch man/diff.1

Prepare Diffutils for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/usr

Compile the package:


This package does not come with a test suite.

Install the package:

make install

6.29.2. Contents of Diffutils

Installed programs: cmp, diff, diff3, and sdiff

Short Descriptions


Compares two files and reports whether or in which bytes they differ


Compares two files or directories and reports which lines in the files differ


Compares three files line by line


Merges two files and interactively outputs the results