Compare 2 folders for equal content

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Glumpfner, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Glumpfner macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi there,

    I copied a folder that's 276 GB big and has 432 files in it from one external HDD to another one. It tooks about 2 hours to transfer. Now just to make sure I looked up the folder information (⌘+i) of both folders.

    Strange thing is, that the new folder is 7 GB and 4 files short! It didn't give me any errors while transferring and I don't have the time to manually compare every single file.

    Is there an application that compares 2 folders and tells me what files are missing/different?
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    There is Find Duplicate Files for Mac OS X, which does the opposite, but that way you could eliminate the duplicate files from the original folder (they go to the Trash, so still recoverable) and all that is left are the files, that aren't copied yet.
  3. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    Open up terminal.

    At the prompt:

    $ ls -l /path/to/first/folder > ~/Desktop/list1.txt
    $ ls -l /path/to/second/folder > ~/Desktop/list2.txt
    Then get a copy of TextWrangler and use the search->find differences function to compare list1.txt and list2.txt -- it'll show a list at the bottom of lines (each line corresponding to a file) that differ or are in one list but not the other. Click on each line to jump to it in the files and see what's different.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've used delta walker in the past and I also recommend that.

    I used Beyond Compare on the windows side and wished they'd port that over to OSX. The best comparison tool on the market bar none.
  5. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Thank you.

    Now I can finally sit down and remove all my "backups" on all the external drives and get them together. They'll be glad. Files have feelings too, just because we don't have permissions to read them, does not mean there not there.
  6. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    You and me both. BC is used nearly daily at work and liked it so much I purchased a license for the home, when I still ran Windows here.

    Since converting, I've switched to ChronoSync. It might do the job but might also be over-kill.
  7. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ouch! DeltaWalker wants $40? Double ouch!

    I'd stick with splitpea's Terminal magic. Another free alternative is DiffMerge. I compared the Documents folder off my internal hard drive with an old partition I cloned a while back. 20,000 files, 1700 folders scanned in about two or three minutes. Nicely done.

  8. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Oh, I must have got mine when it was free. If it costs that much then use Filemerge, which is an app in Xcode.
  9. OzExige macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2008
    Triple ouch!

    I've used ChronoSync for a couple of years now

    and they're asking $40! - for shareware - what's the world coming to? :(
  10. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Use diff

    I'm just a newbie, but can't you go to Terminal and run:

    diff -rq folder1 folder2

    This will not only tell you which files are missing, but also whether the other files are identical or not. Enter man diff to learn more (it's not obvious that you an specify folders until you read most of the man page).


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