cmp man page

cmp — compare two files byte by byte


cmp {{file1}} {{file2}}

cmp -l {{file1}} {{file2}}


cmp [OPTION]... FILE1 [FILE2 [SKIP1 [SKIP2]]]


Compare two files byte by byte.

The optional SKIP1 and SKIP2 specify the number of bytes to skip at the beginning of each file (zero by default).

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

-b, --print-bytes
print differing bytes
-i, --ignore-initial=SKIP
skip first SKIP bytes of both inputs
-i, --ignore-initial=SKIP1:SKIP2
skip first SKIP1 bytes of FILE1 and first SKIP2 bytes of FILE2
-l, --verbose
output byte numbers and differing byte values
-n, --bytes=LIMIT
compare at most LIMIT bytes
-s, --quiet, --silent
suppress all normal output
display this help and exit
-v, --version
output version information and exit

SKIP values may be followed by the following multiplicative suffixes: kB 1000, K 1024, MB 1,000,000, M 1,048,576, GB 1,000,000,000, G 1,073,741,824, and so on for T, P, E, Z, Y.

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


Written by Torbjorn Granlund and David MacKenzie.

Reporting Bugs

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

See Also

diff(1), diff3(1), sdiff(1)

Referenced By

bzdiff(1), diff(1), diff3(1), grep(1), guestfish(1), guestfs(3), lbzdiff(1), obnam(1), rc(1), sdiff(1), xs(1), xzdiff(1), zdiff(1).

September 2016 diffutils 3.5 User Commands