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Thread: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

  1. #1
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    Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    What I need is a hex editor type application that can take two binary files and show the difference between the two files. Does such an application exist for Linux?

  2. #2
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    http://www.daemonology.net/bsdiff/

    sudo aptitude search bsdiff

    edit:
    uhm .. or no; bsdiff isn't quite what you're looking for i think .. after some googling this turned up:

    http://www.dettus.net/dhex/

    ..i haven't tried it though..

    edit2:
    ok, just tried it .. lol .. had to apt down ncurses-dev first then make a small change in the Makefile before it compiled .. it seems to work
    Last edited by lnostdal; January 25th, 2007 at 07:07 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    Quote Originally Posted by lnostdal View Post
    http://www.daemonology.net/bsdiff/

    sudo aptitude search bsdiff

    edit:
    uhm .. or no; bsdiff isn't quite what you're looking for i think .. after some googling this turned up:

    http://www.dettus.net/dhex/

    ..i haven't tried it though..
    I don't think bsdiff will work for me, but I'll check if there any good documentation for using it. I did try fldiff, but it doesn't work with binary files. A hex editor that could open two files and show the differences/similarities would be ideal. I may have to look at win32 applications that I could run under WINE for this.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    Thanks for the heads up on dhex... I'll try it out.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    You can't possibly be up to any good using a tool like that. Why would you want to look for changes in the hex of two binary files?

  6. #6
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    Quote Originally Posted by phossal View Post
    You can't possibly be up to any good using a tool like that. Why would you want to look for changes in the hex of two binary files?
    Just some research

  7. #7
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    Actually, there are legitimate uses for such things, if you are doing some low level development of binary formats. I wrote a database application once that did low level changes to a binary file. I simply used a hex editor to do the job, but a hex differ might have been useful in that case.

    But yeah, I agree he's up to no good. (I can't really help out though, as I don't know of any such tools. All I know is that ghex chokes if you feed it a really large file).

  8. #8
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    You could always use cmp(1), it's been a part of UNIX for a very long time indeed.

    Jonathan

  9. #9
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    Yeah, you could probably write a small program to read byte-by-byte and point out all of the bytes which are different...

  10. #10
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    Re: Is there a Linux application that can compare two binary files?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wybiral View Post
    Yeah, you could probably write a small program to read byte-by-byte and point out all of the bytes which are different...
    You haven't written one of those yet? Of all people, I would expect you to be to provide it. lol This thread might turn into the biggest collection of deviants yet.

    I recommend visiting OpenRCE. You're likely to find what you're looking for there, or find someone who can help you help yourself.

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