xdelta - Invoke Xdelta
xdelta subcommand [ option... ] [ operand... ]
Xdelta provides the ability to generate deltas between a pair of files and later apply
those deltas. It operates similar to the diff and patch commands, but works on binary
files and does not produce a human readable output.
Xdelta has three subcommands, delta, patch, and info. Delta accepts two file versions and
produces a delta, while patch accepts the original file version and delta and produces the
second version. The info command prints useful information about a delta. Each subcom-
mand will be detailed seperately.
Attempting to compute a delta between compressed input files usually results in poor com-
pression. This is because small differences between the original contents causes changes
in the compression of whole blocks of data. To simplify things, Xdelta implements a spe-
cial case for gzip(1) compressed files. If any version input to the delta command is rec-
ognized as having gzip compression, it will be automatically decompressed into a temporary
location prior to comparison. This temporary location is either the value of the TMPDIR
environment variable, if set, otherwise "/tmp".
The Xdelta patch header contains a flag indicating that the reconstructed version should
be recompressed after applying the patch. In general, this allows Xdelta to operate
transparently on gzip compressed inputs.
There is one potential problem when automatically processing gzip compressed files, which
is that the recompressed content does not always match byte-for-byte with the original
compressed content. The uncompressed content still matches, but if there is an external
integrity check such as cryptographic signature verification, it may fail. To prevent
this from happening, the --pristine option disables automatic gzip processing.
MD5 integrity check
By default, Xdelta always verifies the MD5 checksum of the files it reconstructs. This
prevents you from supplying an incorrect input during patch, which would result in corrupt
output. Because of this feature, you can feel confident that patch has produced valid
results. The --noverify option disables MD5 verification, but this is only recommended
for performance testing.
Compressed patch format
Xdelta uses a fairly simple encoding for its delta, then applies zlib compression to the
result. You should not have to post-compress an Xdelta delta.
The delta subcommand has the following synopsis:
xdelta delta [ option... ] fromfile tofile patchout
Computes a delta from fromfile to tofile and writes it to patchout
The patch subcommand has the following synopsis:
xdelta patch [ option... ] patchin [ fromfile [ tofile ]]
Applies patchin to fromfile and produces a reconstructed version of tofile.
If fromfile was omitted, Xdelta attempts to use the original fromfile name, which is
stored in the delta. The from file must be identical to the one used to create the delta.
If its length or MD5 checksum differs, patch will abort with an error message.
If tofile was omitted, Xdelta attempts to use the original tofile name, which is also
stored in the delta. If the original tofile name already exists, a unique filename exten-
sion will be added to avoid destroying any existing data.
The info subcommand has the following synopsis:
xdelta info patchinfo
Prints information about patchinfo and the version it reconstructs, including file names,
lengths, and MD5 checksums.
-0..9 Set the zlib compression level. Zero indicates no compression. Nine indicates
Print a short help message and exit.
Quiet. Surpresses several warning messages.
Print the Xdelta version number and exit.
Verbose. Prints a bit of extra information.
No verify. Turns off MD5 checksum verification of the input and output files.
Set an upper bound on the size of an in-memory page cache. For example,
--maxmem=32M will use a 32 megabyte page cache.
Set the block size, unless it was hard coded (20% speed improvement). Should be a
power of 2.
Disable the automatic decompression of gzipped inputs, to prevent unexpected dif-
ferences in the re-compressed content.
Author: Joshua P. MacDonald, firstname.lastname@example.org
Manual Page Revision: 1.5; Release Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 06:01:08 -0700.
Copyright (C) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001