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I have two folders having in theory an identical folder structure and the same files.

I wish to check for differences between the two copies in the two folders. I can run diff folder1/file1 folder2/file1 one by one but this is time consuming.

Is there a way to identify which are the files which differ in the two folders? If not is there at least a way to compare the contents of a folder with the contents of the second folder?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You've missed the -r (recursive) option to diff:

diff -r folder1 folder2

For a concise output also add the -q flag; it will only output that the files differ, but doesn't output the actual differences. See the manpage (man 1 diff) for more information and options.

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If you have a lot of files and subfolders, you'll probably want to use meld (apt-get install meld), which is a visual diff and merge tool.

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Meld is one example of a GUI diff tool (good one). There's also Kompare, QDiff, etc. – gertvdijk Jan 28 '13 at 14:56

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