cdk diff - AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) v2

This is the AWS CDK v2 Developer Guide. The older CDK v1 entered maintenance on June 1, 2022 and ended support on June 1, 2023.

cdk diff

Perform a diff to see infrastructure changes between AWS CDK stacks.

This command is typically used to compare differences between the current state of stacks in your local CDK app against deployed stacks. However, you can also compare a deployed stack with any local AWS CloudFormation template.


$ cdk diff <arguments> <options>


CDK stack logical ID

The logical ID of the CDK stack from your app to perform a diff.

Type: String

Required: No


For a list of global options that work with all CDK CLI commands, see Global options.

--change-set BOOLEAN

Specify whether to create a change set to analyze resource replacements.

When true, the CDK CLI will create an AWS CloudFormation change set to display the exact changes that will be made to your stack. This output includes whether resources will be updated or replaced. The CDK CLI uses the deploy role instead of the lookup role to perform this action.

When false, a quicker, but less-accurate diff is performed by comparing CloudFormation templates. Any change detected to properties that require resource replacement will be displayed as a resource replacement, even if the change is purely cosmetic, like replacing a resource reference with a hard-coded ARN.

Default value: true

--context-lines NUMBER

Number of context lines to include in arbitrary JSON diff rendering.

Default value: 3

--exclusively, -e BOOLEAN

Only diff requested stacks and don’t include dependencies.

--fail BOOLEAN

Fail and exit with a code of 1 if differences are detected.

--help, -h BOOLEAN

Show command reference information for the cdk diff command.

--processed BOOLEAN

Specify whether to compare against the template with CloudFormation transforms already processed.

Default value: false

--quiet, -q BOOLEAN

Do not print the CDK stack name and default cdk diff message to stdout when no changes are detected.

Default value: false

--security-only BOOLEAN

Only diff for broadened security changes.

Default value: false

--strict BOOLEAN

Modify cdk diff behavior to be more precise or stringent. When true, the CDK CLI will not filter out AWS::CDK::Metadata resources or unreadable non-ASCII characters.

Default value: false

--template STRING

The path to the CloudFormation template to compare a CDK stack with.


Diff against the currently deployed stack named MyStackName

$ cdk diff MyStackName --app='node bin/main.js'

Diff against a specific CloudFormation template

$ cdk diff MyStackName --app='node bin/main.js' --template-path='./MyStackNameTemplate.yaml'

Diff a local stack with its deployed stack. Don’t print to stdout if no changes are detected

$ cdk diff MyStackName --app='node bin/main.js' --quiet