If I have a folder with several files on my computer, and a copy of the same folder on a remote server, is it possible to run 'diff' through ssh so I can see the differences between my copy and the one on the remote server? Ideally, I'd like to see if there are any additional/less files in either copy of the folder and then check to see if the individual files themselves have any differences.
To see if there are any additional/less files in either copy of the folder
diff -y <(ssh user@remote_server 'ls -1aR /remote_folder/') <(ls -1aR /local_folder/)
diff only works with local files. You might use
rsync to copy the files to a local directory and compare it with
diff, or you can use something like
sshfs to mount a remote directory to a local one and compare it with the second one.
For a single file, you can use
ssh user@machine cat remote-file | diff - local.file
An alternative to find which files differ is to use rsync, as described in https://serverfault.com/a/16665/317052. Use
rsync -anicu . user@remote_host:directory/