I would like to be able to compare files or directories by multiple-selecting them and then right clicking (for example, if there was a "compare" option in the context menu).

On Ubuntu with Nautilus, I would install the package nautilus-compare. How can I get this ability in Xubuntu? (in Thunar in Xubuntu - I don't mean by installing Nautilus)

The comparison program I use is meld, but a general answer would be most useful.

3 Answers 3


The accepted answer is very close, but not entirely correct.

In order to compare multiple files / directories, create a new Action with the following command:

meld %F

Only using "meld %f" will only allow you to open one object in meld.

See attached screenshots for an example.

Basic Action Seetings

Action Appearance Conditions

I would have made this a comment, but I am not yet allowed to do so.


Apparently, Thunar makes it easy to do this. It has something called "custom actions". An answer to this question about customizing context menus in Thunar contains a tutorial of how to do this.

I added a new custom action called "Compare" by going to edit->configure custom actions. For using meld, like I wanted, I used the command meld %f, and in the "Appearance Conditions" tab, I chose text files and directories.


I'm an xubuntu user but not a Thunar user. As you may have noticed it isn't brimming with features. Sometimes light can be TOO light.

My solution to disliking Thunar is to use Dolphin, which is a KDE app and my favorite file manager, hands down. Installing it pulls in a shedload of KDE dependencies but that doesn't bug me.

You could just try installing nautilus. If doing a web search on "xfce thunar compare files" or something similar I yielded nothing I'd definitely do it.


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