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Compare a remote file with a local file

Terminal - Compare a remote file with a local file
vimdiff scp://[user@]host1/<file> scp://[user@]host2/<file>
2009-07-08 22:39:36
User: Tekhne
Compare a remote file with a local file

A little messy, but functional. Requires vim >= 7.x.


There are 3 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
ssh user@host cat /path/to/remotefile | diff /path/to/localfile -
2009-02-04 11:33:19
User: root
Functions: cat diff ssh

Useful for checking if there are differences between local and remote files.

vimdiff <file> scp://[<user>@]<host>/<file>
diff <(ssh user@host cat /path/to/remotefile) /path/to/localfile
test "$(md5sum /local/file | cut -d' ' -f1)" == "$(ssh root@xen -- md5sum /remote/file | cut -d' ' -f1)" && echo "Match" || echo "Differ"
2015-04-24 03:09:33
User: gnif
Functions: echo test

This method does not transfer the contents of the entire file, instead it computes a md5 sum of the file on each end so that large files can be compared without transferring them across the net.

diff <(ssh $remote_site cat $file) $file
2015-05-09 11:11:56
User: hal8
Functions: cat diff ssh

opens the output of some command as a file so this also works with graphical editors like meld, kdiff3 etc

meld <(ssh $remote_site cat .zshrc) .zshrc

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Should read:

vimdiff <file> scp://[<user>@]<host>//<file>

at least in RHEL

Comment by anascu 292 weeks ago

Your point of view

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