Linux: Compare Directory Structure Without Comparing Files


What is the best and simplest way to compare two directory structures without actually comparing the data in files? This works fine:

diff -qr dir1 dir2_

But it's really slow because it's comparing files too. Is there a switch for diff or another simple cli tool to do this?

Best Answer

The following (if you substitute the first directory for directory1 and the second for directory2) should do what you're looking for and swiftly:

find directory1 -type d -printf "%P\n" | sort > file1
find directory2 -type d -printf "%P\n" | sort | diff - file1

The fundamental principle is that it prints out all of the directories including subdirectory paths relative to the base directoryN directories.

This could fall down (produce wierd output) if you have carriage returns in some of the directory names but not others.