Viewing svn diff result in colors

Warning: This blog post was written a long time ago and might be no longer relevant.

svn diff allows us to see the changes made on the files in the subversion repository. However, its output is not always clear. New lines are just marked with '+' and removed ones with '-'.

svn diff in black and white

We can improve our experience a bit by installing colordiff. It wraps diff command and produces the same output but coloured.

svn diff in colors

In ubuntu it's as simple as running:

sudo aptitude install colordiff

Once doing that we should be able to redirect the output of commands like diff and svn diff to colordiff and view it in colors:

svn diff plugins/zMobyPicturePlugin/lib/zMobyPictureClient.class.php | colordiff

To improve it even more we can declare simple function in ~/.bashrc file (using it requires re-login):

  svn diff "${@}" | colordiff

Function will make the command shorter:

svndiff plugins/zMobyPicturePlugin/lib/zMobyPictureClient.class.php

Note: You can achieve pretty much the same with vim. To learn about it read: "Viewing svn diff result in vim".

Jakub Zalas

Jakub Zalas

Agile Software Engineer, Architect, Trainer