Use vim to see files diffs

This is part of the Semicolon&Sons Code Diary - consisting of lessons learned on the job. You're in the vim category.

Last Updated: 2021-05-16

Running git diff was becoming annoying, especially where there were many files. Its linear way of showing things one after the other (instead of side by side) is ill-suited to the job of diffing.

Enter neovim as a difftool

In my .gitconfig file:

[diff]
    tool = nvimdiff
[difftool "nvimdiff"]
    cmd = "nvim -d -u ~/.vimrc \"$LOCAL\" \"$REMOTE\""

Now I can run the following to get a side by side diff in a familiar editor:

$ git difftool featurebranch

If I was on a random Linux box without neovim I could do the following (assuming vim was on the machine, which it probably is)

$ git difftool featurebranch --difftool=vimdiff