Despite it is a boring task, comparing file is a need that sometimes IT professionals have to deal with: there are many reasons for having to deal with this:
- verify if a file has been corrupted
- verify if a file has been tampered
- compare two versions of a configuration file to see where they differ - this happens quite often when after a configuration modification an application stops working as it should and you have to guess why
- generate a patch that can be used to go back and forth to current and previous version of the same files
and so on.
This post explains how to deal with these needs on Linux using the tools provided by the Linux distribution.