I need to do the following: Basically, I want to be able to compare two text (or text-equivalent, i.e. not binary) files which are held on a website, e.g.:




I need to be able to do this via command line to pass the URLs as parameters. I need to be able to invoke it from a connected IBM i (AS/400), passing the URLs of the two files to be compared.

I've been trying out all the file comparison tools I can, like

  • WinDiff
  • ExamDiff
  • DiffDaff
  • etc.

and I really can't find one which does what I need – most of them won't allow file comparison by URL – the two files must have a path to them which points to a folder on the same PC or a mapped network drive, so files on a webserver aren't allowed.

DiffDaff does allow you to compare 'websites', but doesn't seem to allow command-line options. Additionally, its source compare results display in a browser window (not ideal, but I guess I can live with it) and aren't in fixed-format (which I can't live with).

Can anyone suggest any alternatives?

P.S.: Obviously it might be possible to use mapped network drives, but that's a bit of a hassle in our case - lots of developers would need to use the same drive letters and I suspect it's just not going to work.

  • you want Beyond Compare 2
    – Celeritas
    Aug 2, 2012 at 19:16
  • I'm not sure what you're using this for and if it would be reasonable in your case, but have you considered using a source control system for these text files, like Git or Perforce? It comes with these kind of tools.
    – leifericf
    Aug 2, 2012 at 22:04
  • Would it be reasonable to download the files, compare them locally, and then delete them? If so, you could use any number of command-line downloaders. Wget has out-of-date binaries for windows, or may be buildable from source using MinGW or Cygwin.
    – Daniel H
    Aug 3, 2012 at 16:06
  • BeyondCompare seems like a winner here. Obviously a source control system would be obvious here, but I'm actually trying to use this as an add-on to our existing SC system (which is 20 years old and written in-house, but works perfectly in other respects). Downloading is an option, but since we already have access to the files using a URL, that would be preferable.
    – roryhewitt
    Aug 7, 2012 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Rather than compare the file word for word, you only need to compare the Checksum which the OS keeps and use a tool to compare Chksum such as File Checksum Integrity Verifier (FCIV) http://pcsupport.about.com/od/software-tools/ht/file-checksum-integrity-verifier.htm

This would run from the client. but better to use an equivalent executeable on the server OS.

I am no IBM expert but I found this;

You can add digital signatures to objects so that users can verify the object’s integrity and origin. The objects affected by the QVFYOBJRST system value are as follows:

  • *CMD
  • *PGM
  • *STMF objects with attached Java programs
  • Tony, actually I'm comparing source files, so I do need a full file comparison tool, with side-by-side view.
    – roryhewitt
    Aug 2, 2012 at 21:35

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