Re: apt-diff: a tool to diff filesystem content against APT
On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 11:05 PM, Lucas Nussbaum
> On 07/12/10 at 17:45 -0800, Tristan Schmelcher wrote:
>> (I'm not subscribed to this list, please CC me on replies.)
>> I have recently written a tool I call "apt-diff" to compare filesystem
>> content against APT. It is intended for investigating problems where
>> packaged files get modified/deleted after installing them from APT
>> (e.g., by user customization, accidental deletion, etc.). I originally
>> wrote it after clobbering the packaged ALSA installation on my
>> computer with "make install" and needing a good way to detect which
>> packaged files had been modified so that I could restore them. I also
>> find it useful for figuring out what customizations I have made to my
>> system after I have forgotten about them.
>> Conceptually apt-diff is meant to act like "svn diff", "git diff",
>> etc., except that instead of comparing to a source code repository it
>> compares to the APT repositories. I've designed it for processing many
>> files/packages in batch, so diff'ing the entire filesystem is doable.
>> It's sort of like an APT-aware version of debsums. The code is at
>> My hope is for this to become part of the APT stack in Debian and I'm
>> posting here to see if there is any interest in that from the Debian
>> developer community. I think it might be helpful for it to be invoked
>> from reportbug to diagnose/triage issues where files or configurations
>> have been changed. Plus I think it's just a nice tool to have
>> available for power users.
> How does it compare to the cruft package?
> - Lucas
Different problem domains. cruft compares the set of file paths on
disk with the set of packaged file paths (and other expected files),
whereas apt-diff compares the _content_ of packaged files. (It can
list unexpected files if run with --no-ignore-extras, but that's not
its intended purpose.)