Help: diff

hg diff [OPTION]... ([-c REV] | [--from REV1] [--to REV2]) [FILE]...

diff repository (or selected files)

Show differences between revisions for the specified files.

Differences between files are shown using the unified diff format.


'hg diff' may generate unexpected results for merges, as it will default to comparing against the working directory's first parent changeset if no revisions are specified.

By default, the working directory files are compared to its first parent. To see the differences from another revision, use --from. To see the difference to another revision, use --to. For example, 'hg diff --from .^' will show the differences from the working copy's grandparent to the working copy, 'hg diff --to .' will show the diff from the working copy to its parent (i.e. the reverse of the default), and 'hg diff --from 1.0 --to 1.2' will show the diff between those two revisions.

Alternatively you can specify -c/--change with a revision to see the changes in that changeset relative to its first parent (i.e. 'hg diff -c 42' is equivalent to 'hg diff --from 42^ --to 42')

Without the -a/--text option, diff will avoid generating diffs of files it detects as binary. With -a, diff will generate a diff anyway, probably with undesirable results.

Use the -g/--git option to generate diffs in the git extended diff format. For more information, read 'hg help diffs'.


  • compare a file in the current working directory to its parent:
    hg diff foo.c
  • compare two historical versions of a directory, with rename info:
    hg diff --git --from 1.0 --to 1.2 lib/
  • get change stats relative to the last change on some date:
    hg diff --stat --from "date('may 2')"
  • diff all newly-added files that contain a keyword:
    hg diff "set:added() and grep(GNU)"
  • compare a revision and its parents:
    hg diff -c 9353                  # compare against first parent
    hg diff --from 9353^ --to 9353   # same using revset syntax
    hg diff --from 9353^2 --to 9353  # compare against the second parent

Returns 0 on success.

options ([+] can be repeated):

-r --rev REV [+] revision (DEPRECATED)
--from REV1 revision to diff from
--to REV2 revision to diff to
-c --change REV change made by revision
-a --text treat all files as text
-g --git use git extended diff format
--binary generate binary diffs in git mode (default)
--nodates omit dates from diff headers
--noprefix omit a/ and b/ prefixes from filenames
-p --show-function show which function each change is in
--reverse produce a diff that undoes the changes
-w --ignore-all-space ignore white space when comparing lines
-b --ignore-space-change ignore changes in the amount of white space
-B --ignore-blank-lines ignore changes whose lines are all blank
-Z --ignore-space-at-eol ignore changes in whitespace at EOL
-U --unified NUM number of lines of context to show
--stat output diffstat-style summary of changes
--root DIR produce diffs relative to subdirectory
-I --include PATTERN [+] include names matching the given patterns
-X --exclude PATTERN [+] exclude names matching the given patterns
-S --subrepos recurse into subrepositories

global options ([+] can be repeated):

-R --repository REPO repository root directory or name of overlay bundle file
--cwd DIR change working directory
-y --noninteractive do not prompt, automatically pick the first choice for all prompts
-q --quiet suppress output
-v --verbose enable additional output
--color TYPE when to colorize (boolean, always, auto, never, or debug)
--config CONFIG [+] set/override config option (use '')
--debug enable debugging output
--debugger start debugger
--encoding ENCODE set the charset encoding (default: UTF-8)
--encodingmode MODE set the charset encoding mode (default: strict)
--traceback always print a traceback on exception
--time time how long the command takes
--profile print command execution profile
--version output version information and exit
-h --help display help and exit
--hidden consider hidden changesets
--pager TYPE when to paginate (boolean, always, auto, or never) (default: auto)