diffoscope man page

diffoscope — in-depth comparison of files, archives, and directories


diffoscope [-h] [--version] [--debug] [--html output] [--text output] [--max-report-size bytes] [--css url] file1 file2


diffoscope will try to get to the bottom of what makes files or directories different. It will recursively unpack archives of many kinds and transform various binary formats into more human readable form to compare them. It can compare two tarballs, ISO images, or PDF just as easily.

It can be scripted through error codes, and a report can be produced with the detected differences. The report can be text or HTML. When no type of report has been selected, diffoscope defaults to write a text report on the standard output.

diffoscope is developed as part of the “reproducible builds” Debian project and was formerly known as “debbindiff”.


-h, --help

show this help message and exit


show program's version number and exit


display debug messages

--html output

write HTML report to given file (use - for standard output)

--text output

write plain text report to given file (use - for standard output)

--max-report-size BYTES

maximum bytes written in report (default: 2048000)

--max-diff-block-lines MAX_DIFF_BLOCK_LINES

maximum number of lines per diff block (default: 50)

--max-diff-input-lines MAX_DIFF_INPUT_LINES

maximum number of lines fed to diff (default: 100000)

--fuzzy-threshold FUZZY_THRESHOLD

threshold for fuzzy-matching (0 to disable, 60 is default, 400 is high fuzziness)


treat absent files as empty

--css url

link to an extra CSS for the HTML report

Exit Status

Exit status is 0 if inputs are the same, 1 if different, 2 if trouble.

See Also


Debian “Reproducible Builds” Team

Referenced By

debdiff(1), debrepro(1).