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What are some alternatives to WinMerge and the pros and cons of each?

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up vote 44 down vote accepted

The best I like is Meld

There are many choices available though. As a vim fan I find myself using vimdiff, kompare for the kde crowd - there also some paid version that have linux versions like Beyond Compare . The pros/cons depends on what you're looking for/looking to do.

vimdiff is great because you can run it from a terminal, over an ssh connection, and if you already use vim, you get to keep your tools/config options.

Meld has a pretty clean user interface, and does three way and directory diffs. You'll have to try a couple and see which does the job as you're expecting them to do for your own needs.

To install MeldMeld app page from the Ubuntu repos, you can run:

sudo apt-get install meld

You can then pick the files/folders to compare, and compare them: enter image description here enter image description here

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I use meld a lot, it's support for svn, mercurial and git is great. – tutuca Aug 23 '10 at 15:03
+1 for meld, a great tool that even looks good :) – Marcel Stimberg Aug 23 '10 at 16:43
Meld is awesome, its included as the default merge tool in RabbitVCS – TheLQ Aug 24 '10 at 3:13
2 describes some stability issues and notes the lack of (auto) merging features. – maxschlepzig Sep 29 '10 at 10:39
I must say that this one pulls in a LOT of dependencies: libbonoboui2-0 libbonoboui2-common libglade2-0 libgnomecanvas2-0 libgnomecanvas2-common libgnomeui-0 libgnomeui-common libgtksourceview2.0-0 libgtksourceview2.0-common python-glade2 python-gnome2 python-gtksourceview2 python-pyorbit – Bram Jul 23 '14 at 2:33

Another one is diffuse

It is free, crossplatform (written in python), has source code highlight, can interact with many version control tools.

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I was looking for a diff tool that would allow pasting bits of text into the right and left panes. This is the first one I found. +1 – Bojangles Nov 27 '12 at 14:13
This one unfortunately does not take two directories on the command line. It looks like it only compares files, not dirs? This makes it less useful imo. – Bram Jul 23 '14 at 2:32
+1 as this solves my problem where I'm running LXDE and Lubuntu. I love Meld, but would have to install a bunch of gnome libraries which would defeat the purpose. – DJTripleThreat Nov 2 '14 at 10:13
Supports drag-n-drop unlike Meld. – Artem Pelenitsyn May 26 at 19:48


Is a pretty good 3 way merge tool.

alt text

Some of its features are:

  • compares or merges two or three text input files or directories,
  • shows the differences line by line and character by character (!),
  • provides an automatic merge-facility and
  • an integrated editor for comfortable solving of merge-conflicts,
  • supports Unicode, UTF-8 and other codecs, autodetection via byte-order-mark "BOM"
  • supports KIO on KDE (allows accessing ftp, sftp, fish, smb etc.),
  • Printing of differences,
  • Manual alignment of lines,
  • Automatic merging of version control history ($Log$),
  • and has an intuitive graphical user interface.
  • Windows-Explorer integration Diff-Ext-for-KDiff3 - shell extension included in installer
    KDE-Konqueror service menu plugin
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