Unix – How to colorize diff on the command line


When I have a diff, how can I colorize it so that it looks good?

I want it for the command line, so please no GUI solutions.

Best Solution

Man pages for diff suggest no solution for colorization from within itself. Please consider using colordiff. It's a wrapper around diff that produces the same output as diff, except that it augments the output using colored syntax highlighting to increase readability:

diff old new | colordiff

or just:

colordiff old new


  • Ubuntu/Debian: sudo apt-get install colordiff
  • OS X: brew install colordiff or port install colordiff