Diff two snapshots printing the summary to stdout.

bupstash diff [OPTIONS] QUERY1... :: QUERY2...


bupstash diff fetches two snapshot listings from the remote server and compares them, printing the diff line output to stdout. As a special case, if either query starts with './' or '/' a temporary listing is created for that local directory for comparison.

bupstash diff is preferred over running traditional diff against the output of bupstash list-contents because it takes the full precision of timestamps and also the stored file hash into account when performing the diff operation.

Bupstash supports ignoring items in the diff comparison to aid in analysis. Useful exmples are the --ignore values times to ignore file modification timestamps and content to ignore file size and hash changes.


Output is consistent with that of bupstash list-contents, except each line is prefixed with either + or - representing removed or added items respectively.

Specifying --format alters the underlying output format as described by bupstash-list-contents. Lines are still prefixed with either + or - regardless of the output format.


For full documentation on the query language, see bupstash-query-language.


The diff command uses the same query caching mechanisms as bupstash-list, check that page for more information on the query cache.


-r, --repository REPO

The repository to connect to, , may be of the form ssh://$SERVER/$PATH for remote repositories if ssh access is configured. If not specified, is set to BUPSTASH_REPOSITORY.

-k, --key KEY

Key used to decrypt data and metadata. If not set, defaults to BUPSTASH_KEY.

--query-cache PATH

Path to the query-cache file, defaults to one of the following, in order, provided the appropriate environment variables are set, $BUPSTASH_QUERY_CACHE, $XDG_CACHE_HOME/.cache/bupstash/bupstash.qcache or $HOME/.cache/bupstash/bupstash.qcache.

-i, --ignore

Comma separated list of file attributes to ignore in comparisons. Valid items are 'content,dev,devnos,inode,type,perms,nlink,uid,gid,times,xattrs'


Shortcut for --ignore 'dev,inode,nlink,uid,gid,times,xattrs'. This option is useful for comparing content without being so concerned with machine specific metadata.

--{left,right}-pick PATH

Perform diff on a sub-directory of the left/right query.

--indexer-threads N

Number of processor threads to use for pipelined parallel file hashing and metadata reads. Defaults to the number of processors.


Fetch xattrs when indexing a local directories.

--format FORMAT

Set output format to one of the following 'human', 'jsonl'.


Display and search against timestamps in utc time instead of local time.


Suppress progress indicators (Progress indicators are also suppressed when stderr is not an interactive terminal).

-q, --quiet

Be quiet, implies --no-progress.



The repository to connect to. May be of the form ssh://$SERVER/$PATH for remote repositories if ssh access is configured.


A command to run to connect to an instance of bupstash-serve. This allows more complex connections to the repository for less common use cases.


Path to a primary key that will be used for decrypting data and metadata.


A command to run that must print the key data, can be used instead of BUPSTASH_KEY to fetch the key from arbitrary locations such as the network or other secret storage.


Path to the query cache file to use.


Compare two snapshots by query

$ bupstash diff id="14eb*" :: id="57de*"
- -rw-r--r-- 1.1kB hello.txt
+ -rw-r--r-- 1.3kB goodbye.txt

Compare a snapshot and a local directory

$ bupstash diff --left-pick files --relaxed id="57de*" :: ./files


bupstash, bupstash-list, bupstash-keyfiles, bupstash-query-language