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Is there a standard Linux tool that looks for similarities between two files? The diff tool works best comparing files that are mostly the same, and outputs where they differ. I'm looking for a tool to compare files that are mostly different, and output their similarities.

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Some good answers at SO – RedGrittyBrick Aug 8 '12 at 16:08
up vote 3 down vote accepted

comm -12 file1 file2 will print the lines that exist in both files; I think it only works for sorted files, though.

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The files won't be sorted, but I think this is going to be my best option. – Andrew Wood Aug 8 '12 at 17:26

You mught try using vimdiff or gvimdiff. However, they too find differences raather than similarities. I doubt an application for what you suggested exists.

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Yeah, I use vimdiff a lot. These files are too different for that to be useful though. – Andrew Wood Aug 8 '12 at 14:43

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