XDELTA file format holds the binary differences between two other files and is generated by the xdelta tool, a command-line utility for delta encoding, which involves calculating the differences between two files and encoding those differences in a compact format. XDELTA files store binary data representing changes or differences between the original file and the updated file. The binary data in an XDELTA file represents the changes needed to transform one file (the original) into another file (the updated or patched version).
XDELTA files are frequently used in the gaming community to distribute modifications (mods) for video games. These mods can include anything from cosmetic changes to significant alterations in gameplay mechanics. XDELTA files allow users to apply these modifications to their game installations by patching the original game files with the changes specified in the XDELTA file.
xdelta is a command-line utility used for delta encoding and decoding; it is primarily employed to create and apply binary patches, often called “delta patches” or “xdelta patches”, between two files; these patches represent differences between original file and modified or updated version, allowing for efficient distribution of updates, particularly in scenarios where bandwidth or storage space is limited.
Here is a brief overview of main functionalities of xdelta:
Creating patches: xdelta can generate a patch file that contains differences between two files. This patch file, often referred to as an “xdelta patch”, is relatively small compared to original and updated files, as it only contains the changes between them.
Applying patches: Once a patch file is created, xdelta can apply it to original file to produce updated file. This process involves taking original file and patch file as input and applying changes specified in patch file to generate updated file.
Applying reverse patches: xdelta can also apply reverse patches, which revert changes made to a file. This is useful for rolling back updates or modifications.
xdelta is commonly used in various scenarios, such as distributing software updates, patching video games, and updating system files in embedded devices or network appliances. It provides a flexible and efficient way to manage file updates while minimizing bandwidth usage and storage requirements.
xdeltaui is a graphical user interface (GUI) application for managing and applying XDELTA patches. xdelta gui provides a user-friendly interface for users to interact with XDELTA files and apply them to corresponding original files, effectively patching or updating them.
Unlike command-line version of xdelta, which operates through text-based commands, xdeltaui offers a more intuitive way to handle XDELTA files, especially for users who are not familiar with command-line interfaces or prefer graphical tools.
With xdeltaui, users can typically perform tasks such as selecting original file, selecting XDELTA patch file and applying patch to generate updated file. This can be particularly useful for installing mods or updates for video games or other software applications.
On Linux systems, you may use package managers like apt, yum, or dnf to install xdelta. For example, on Ubuntu, you can use following command:
sudo apt-get install xdelta3
How to use xdelta
To use xdelta, you typically need to follow these general steps:
Download and Install: First, ensure that you have xdelta installed on your system. You can download it from its official website, package managers, or other trusted sources.
Prepare Files: Prepare original file (often called source or base file) and updated file (target file) that you want to create a patch for or apply a patch to.
Creating a Patch:
Open your command-line interface (terminal or command prompt).
Use xdelta command with appropriate options to create a patch. The basic syntax is:
Viewing Help: If you need assistance with specific options or commands, you can use xdelta command with --help option to display usage information and available options.
How to open an XDELTA file
XDELTA files are not intended for direct opening. If you wish to apply an XDELTA patch to a game or another file, you have option of using either xdelta, which is compatible across multiple platforms, or xdelta UI, specifically designed for Windows users.