I need to compare/diff/merge files in an easy way. In Dark ages when i'm a windows user I would use WinMerge. What alternatives for this are available in Ubuntu?

The things I must be able to do:

  1. See 2 files line by line next to each other, with the differences highlighted
  2. Have an option for merging this files together
  • 4
    Meld seems to be very popular for this.
    – muru
    Jul 22 '15 at 3:02
  • tkdiff and kdiff3 are other popular options
    – NZD
    Jul 22 '15 at 6:55
  • 1
    I expect not too many people on a Linux forum are earnest WinMerge users. There are things the common diff tools don't do, that WinMerge seems to breeze over. Even the plugin-s make sense once you "get it". Anyway I wanted to ask in context; has anyone had success using WinMerge with Wine on Linux?
    – will
    Dec 7 '15 at 12:45
  • An excellent tool is VSCode. For comparison between two files, but for folders, you'll need to have a git project. Comparing files: stackoverflow.com/questions/30139597/… Comparing folders: github.com/L13/vscode-diff For merging you can use the command git merge
    – danilo
    Apr 27 '20 at 15:53

I don't know if paid software can be recommended, but after testing a lot of free tools, I finally decided to go for Beyond Compare.

Meld was my previous choice but abandonned it due to instabilities during merging of very large folders.


There are plenty of tools for this, here are a few with a GUI:

They all do pretty much the same thing, but the first two possibly offer the best user experience. Those with an asterisk are available from the Software Centre.

  • 3
    I've tested all these tools and unfortunately none of them surpass WinMerge (over Wine, of course) in performance (mainly) and functionality. The closest one is Meld (very good). The only "problem" I have with WinMerge (over Wine) currently is this superuser.com/questions/1270588/… . Thanks! Nov 22 '17 at 12:44
  • 1
    personally I think Beyond Compare is the best tool across platforms, and the next is winmerge. Unfortunate on Ubuntu there's no other free tool that matches winmerge's level so I use meld.
    – phuclv
    May 19 '18 at 10:24
  • 1
    Some of these look like they're from the Stone Age.
    – Andrew
    Jun 24 '19 at 19:51

If you like Winmerge very much and would like to continue to use it in Ubuntu like me, you can do that by using Wine Windows Program loader to install Winmerge and run the program. It runs very well for me.

I find none of the above GUI tools that come with Ubuntu to be as good as Winmerge. Maybe I am too biased for Winmerge :-)

  • 1
    Works great! And if you try to launch WinMerge through Wine and get an error that mfc90u.dll is missing, just download it from www.dllme.com and put it in the WinMerge root folder.
    – Dr_Zaszuś
    Oct 27 '17 at 10:30

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