diffscope: file, directory, archive diff

search_compdiffscope is a Debian utility to compare files archives and directories. It does not have any merge or editing capabilities but it can extract and show differences in multiple binary file formats. It is useful when you want to track differences between archives, directory contents or PDFs.


  • Command-line interface
  • Text and HTML ouput
  • Supported archives: bzip2, cpio, .deb, gzip, ipk, iso9660, RPM, squashfs, tar, xz, zip
  • Supported formats: Debian .changes, TrueType and OpenType fonts, Gettext .mo, .class, Mono .exe, PDF, PNG, Sqlite3 databases, text files
  • Fallback on hexdump comparison
  • Fuzzy-matching to handle renamings

Here’s a sample HTML output.


To install on Debian, run:

$ sudo apt-get install diffoscope

However, it is not so straightforward on Ubuntu. At least on Trusty the dependency python-tlsh is missing. However, it seems to be available on Wily. We couldn’t try the installation ourselves due to lack of a Wily installation, but try the following:

$ sudo apt-get install python-magic python-tlsh
$ git clone https://anonscm.debian.org/git/reproducible/diffoscope.git
$ diffscope/bin/diffscope

Please leave a comment if you find the right installation steps.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s