p4 diff

Compare a client workspace file to a revision in the depot.


p4 [g-opts] diff [-doptions] [-f -t -Od] [-m max] [-soptions] [file[rev] ...]


p4 diff runs a diff program on your workstation that compares files in your workspace to revisions in the depot.

This command takes a file argument, which can contain a revision specifier. If a revision specifier is included, the file in the client workspace is diffed against the specified revision. If a revision specifier is not included, the client workspace file is compared against the revision currently being edited (usually the head revision). In either case, the client file must be open for edit, or the comparison must be against a revision other than the one to which the client file was last synced.

If the file argument includes wildcards, all open files that match the file pattern are diffed. If no file argument is provided, all open files are diffed against their depot counterparts.

By default, the diff routine used is the one built into the p4 command-line application. To change this diff routine to an external diff program, set the P4DIFF environment variable to point to the new program.



Pass options to the underlying diff routine (see Usage Notes for details).


Force the diff (if no revision is specified, against the head revision), even when the client file is not open for edit.

-m max

Limit output to diffs (or status) of only the first max files, unless the -s option is used, in which case the -m option is ignored.


Limit output to only those files that differ.


Pass display options to the underlying diff routine (see Usage Notes for details).


Diff the revisions even if the files are not of type text.


See Global Options.

Usage Notes

Can File Arguments Use Revision Specifier? Can File Arguments Use Revision Range? Minimal Access Level Required





p4 diff file#5

Compare the client workspace revision of file file to the fifth depot revision.

p4 diff @1999/05/22

Compare all open files in the client workspace to the revisions in the depot as of midnight on May 22, 1999.

p4 diff -du file

Run the comparison on file file, displaying output in a format suitable for the patch(1) utility.

p4 diff -sr | p4 -x - revert

Revert all open, unchanged files.

This differs from p4 revert -a (revert all unchanged files, where resolving a file, even if no changes are made, counts as a change), in that it reverts files whose workspace content matches the depot content, including resolved files that happen to be identical to those in the depot.

The first command shows all open, unchanged files. The second command (running p4 -x and taking arguments, one per line, from standard input, abbreviated as “-”) reverts each file in that list.

(This is the UNIX version of this command; it uses a pipe. Most operating systems have some equivalent way of performing these operations in series).

For more information about the -x option to p4, see Global Options.

Related Commands

To compare two depot revisions

p4 diff2

To view the entire contents of a file

p4 print