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hexcompare(1) Hexcompare user's manual hexcompare(1)


hexcompare - compare and identify changes in binary files


 hexcompare file1 file2


hexcompare is a tool to compare two binary or ASCII files. It shows a screen divided into two. Useful to forensics cases, identifying identical or similar files.


Once the program has started, you will see that the screen is divided into two. In the top portion, you have the "overview". This is a block diagram representing the differences between both files at a given offset.

A blue block means that the bytes that it represents are the same in both files. Red means that they are different. Grey means that neither file has any data at an offset.

Each block represent a number of bytes. How many bytes are represented depends on your terminal window size.

The bottom half of the screen contains the raw data at a specified offset.


  • "m" key switches the display between the data displayed in hex and ASCII.
  • "q" key press to quit the program.
  • "v" key makes the data view of the lower part of the screen take up the whole terminal.
  • Arrows keys can be used to go from block to block in the overview.
  • Page Up key can be used to go up lines of hex/ASCII data.
  • Page Down key can be used to go down lines of hex/ASCII data.

Mouse also works. You can use it to navigate the block diagram "overview".

  • Single-clicking on a block will load in the offset represented by that block, and show the data that's found there.
  • Double-clicking on a block will bring up a more detailed hex view of the specified location.


hexcompare was written by Julien McAride and others.

This manual page was written by Raphael Mota Ramos <> for the Debian project (but may be used by others).

March 2016 hexcompare 1.0.4