How to diff two folders to multiple patch files

First, I tried asking the same on askubuntu and I'm not getting far there...

So, i'll copy/paste here in hopes SO gives me a working solution...

I'm not much of a unix guy so I'll just go ahead and ask:

I have a following problem - two folders with plenty of subfolders. I need to diff them.

I tried this:

diff -drupN vanila_kernel_3.0.8 my_kernel_3.0.8 > kernel.patch

and that results in a 185mb file... and not really what I want.

I want the result of the diff to be many smaller patches, ideally one for every changed file with the contents of the change. That means I have t ochange the way I use diff, and I need to put it in some sort of a loop... So i tried running this little script

for file in original_308/*.*; do
    diff -dupN "$file" "my_308/${file##*/}" > "$file".patch

But it doesn't work :/

Ideally, I want to have a .patch file for every change, but having patches for files that changed in original would do just fine (as I could filter the newly added files and just copy them over)

Can someone provide me with a decent way to do this please?

UPDATE: I know there are 231 altered files between these folders and 4546 newly added files... I'm just interested in generating those 231 patches. I even have a file containing those 231 filenames so that can be used in a script as well.

I used this to generate the changelog

diff -qdr -x *.o -x *.cmd -x *.d original_308 my_308 | sed "s/^.* and \(.*\) differ/\1/" | sort > changes.txt

and that just prints the filenames that changed, trailed by "only in my_308" files... the 231 files are on the top of that file (the first 231 lines)

So let's make it clear - I want .patch files for source files. If the patches can end up in patches//file_name.c.patch that would be really great...

If you give me PERL scripts please tell me how to best use them since I do not understand that garbage. Please don't fail me SO. I need to get this thing ported, tested and running and I'm wasting time on unix commands and untangible scripts ffs.


you can grab <Learning Perl> book and learn it in a week, Perl is pretty cool, please don't call it garbage. Here is the shell script for generate patch

find ./original_308 -type f | while read file
  if [ -f $nfile ]; then
    mkdir -p `dirname $patchfile`
    echo "checking $file $nfile"
    diff -dupN "$file" "$nfile" > "$patchfile" && rm "$patchfile"

diff xxx >patch && rm patch will only remove empty patch files.

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