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Use a custom diff tool

By default, chezmoi uses a built-in diff. You can use a custom tool by setting the diff.command and diff.args configuration variables. The elements of diff.args are interpreted as templates with the variables .Destination and .Target containing filenames of the file in the destination state and the target state respectively. For example, to use meld, specify:

    command = "meld"
    args = ["--diff", "{{ .Destination }}", "{{ .Target }}"]


If you generate your config file from a config file template, then you'll need to escape the {{ and }} as {{ "{{" }} and {{ "}}" }}. That way your generated config file contains the {{ and }} you expect.

Don't show scripts in the diff output

By default, chezmoi diff will show all changes, including the contents of scripts that will be run. You can exclude scripts from the diff output by setting the diff.exclude configuration variable in your configuration file, for example:

    exclude = ["scripts"]

Don't show externals in the diff output

To exclude diffs from externals, either pass the --exclude=externals flag or set diff.exclude to ["externals"] in your config file.

Customize the diff pager

You can change the diff format, and/or pipe the output into a pager of your choice by setting diff.pager configuration variable. For example, to use diff-so-fancy specify:

    pager = "diff-so-fancy"

The pager can be disabled using the --no-pager flag or by setting diff.pager to an empty string.

Show human-friendly diffs for binary files

Similar to git, chezmoi includes a "textconv" feature that can transform file contents before passing them to the diff program. This is primarily useful for generating human-readable diffs of binary files.

For example, to show diffs of macOS .plist files, add the following to your configuration file:

    "textconv": [
        "pattern": "**/*.plist",
        "command": "plutil",
        "args": [
pattern = "**/*.plist"
command = "plutil"
args = ["-convert", "xml1", "-o", "-", "-"]
- pattern: "**/*.plist"
  command: "plutil"
  - "-convert"
  - "xml1"
  - "-o"
  - "-",
  - "-"

This will pipe all .plist files through plutil -convert xml1 -o - - before showing differences.