How to find differences between two directories using diff


Gotta love diff!

Finding all files and folders that are different in two locations is extremely easy. Using only two parameters we can exhaustively compare two directories, including their sub-directories and produce a list of their differences as such:

diff -qr folder-1/ folder-2/;

The -q parameter instructs diff to print only the files that are different and thus not spam us with thousands of files that are the same.

The -r parameter turns on the recursive feature which instructs diff to check all sub-folders and their files in the two directories under investigation.

Example run:

diff -qr Desktop/source/ /media/tux/My\ Disk/backup\ A/

Files Desktop/source/Camera/20191023_171328.jpg and /media/tux/My\ Disk/backup\ A/Camera/20191023_171328.jpg differ

Files Desktop/source/Camera/VID_20191011_115231.mp4 and /media/tux/My\ Disk/backup\ A/Camera/VID_20191011_115231.mp4 differ

diff: /media/xeirwn//media/tux/My\ Disk/backup\ A/Camera/IMG_20191225_165939.jpg: Input/output error
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