bcmp - Linux


bcmp compares two files and outputs the byte and line number of any differences it finds. This makes it particularly useful for identifying changes between two versions of a file or comparing code across different repositories.


usage: bcmp file1 file2




  • Compare two files named file1.txt and file2.txt:
$ bcmp file1.txt file2.txt
  • Output the full line in which a difference occurs (instead of just the line number):
$ bcmp -l file1.txt file2.txt
  • Ignore case differences in the comparison:
$ bcmp -i file1.txt file2.txt

Common Issues

  • File Not Found Error: Ensure that both files specified exist and are accessible.
  • Permission Denied Error: Make sure you have the necessary read permissions for both files.


bcmp can be integrated with other commands to automate comparisons and enhance functionality:

  • Redirecting Output to a File: Save the comparison results to a file for further analysis:
$ bcmp file1.txt file2.txt > comparison.txt
  • Combining with Grep: Filter the output to find specific differences:
$ bcmp file1.txt file2.txt | grep -e "line"
  • Using in Shell Scripts: Incorporate bcmp into scripts to automate file comparisons and send alerts:
if bcmp file1.txt file2.txt; then
  echo "Files are identical."
  echo "Differences found!"

Related Commands

  • cmp: Compares two files byte-by-byte, but does not provide line numbers.
  • diff: Compares two files and reports the differences in a human-readable format.