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View colored, incremental diff in workspace or from stdin with side by side and auto pager support
Python Shell Makefile
tag: 0.6

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Term based tool to view colored, incremental diff in Git/Mercurial/Svn workspace, given patch or two files, or from stdin, with side by side and auto pager support. Requires python (>= 2.5.0) and less.

default side by side


Install with pip

Cdiff is already listed on PyPI, you can install with pip if you have the tool.

pip install --upgrade cdiff

Install with

You can also run the from the source if you don't have pip.

git clone
cd cdiff
./ install

Download directly

Just save to whatever directory which is in your $PATH, for example, $HOME/bin is in my $PATH, so I save the script there and name as cdiff.

curl -ksS > ~/bin/cdiff
chmod +x ~/bin/cdiff


Show usage:

cdiff -h

Read diff from local modification in a Git/Mercurial/Svn workspace:

cd proj-workspace
cdiff                       # view colored incremental udiff
cdiff -s                    # view side by side
cdiff -s -w 90              # use text width 90 other than default 80

Read the log (e.g. git log -p) in a Git/Mercurial/Svn workspace:

cd proj-workspace
cdiff -l
cdiff -ls                   # equivalent to ``cdiff -l -s``
cdiff -ls -w90

Pipe in a diff:

git log -p -2 | cdiff -s
git show 15bfa5 | cdiff -s
svn diff -r PREV | cdiff -s

View a diff (patch) file:

cdiff foo.patch
cdiff foo.patch -s
cdiff foo.patch -s -w 90

View diff between two files (wrapper of diff):

cdiff foo           # equivalent to diff -u foo | cdiff
cdiff foo -s

Redirect output to another patch file is safe:

svn diff -r PREV | cdiff -s > my.patch


  • Verified on travis with python 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.2, 3.3 and pypy
  • Only takes unified diff for input
  • Side by side mode has alignment problem for wide chars
  • Pull requests are very welcome (please run make test to verify)

See also

I have another tool coderev which generates side-by-side diff pages for code review from two given files or directories, I found it's not easy to extend to support git so invented cdiff. Idea of ansi color markup is also from project colordiff.

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