I need to compare/diff/merge files in an easy way. In windows I would use WinMerge. What alternatives for this are available in Ubuntu?

The things I must be able to do:

  • See 2 files line by line next to each other, with the differences highlighted
  • Have an option for merging this files together
  • Are you looking for a form of synchronization tools? – Ivo Flipse Jul 23 '09 at 9:58
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    I'll just note that in a pinch, when Meld hasn't been quite up to snuff, I've used WinMerge running under WINE. – Evan Jul 23 '09 at 11:03

Meld (alternative link)

Meld is a visual diff and merge tool. You can compare two or three files and edit them in place (diffs update dynamically). You can compare two or three folders and launch file comparisons. You can browse and view a working copy from popular version control systems such such as CVS, Subversion, Bazaar-ng and Mercurial. Look at the screenshots page for more detailed features.

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  • Thanks! This is great! (I will only wait a small moment more, before I accept your answer) – Peter Smit Jul 23 '09 at 10:18
  • Not in a hurry ;-) Glad you liked it! – Ivo Flipse Jul 23 '09 at 10:39
  • I accepted this answer, but as far I can see, diffuse is a as good option. – Peter Smit Jul 24 '09 at 10:53

I like diffuse:

Diffuse is a graphical tool for merging and comparing text files. Diffuse is able to compare an arbitrary number of files side-by-side and gives users the ability to manually adjust line-matching and directly edit files. Diffuse can also retrieve revisions of files from Bazaar, CVS, Darcs, Git, Mercurial, Monotone, Subversion, and SVK repositories for comparison and merging.

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  • Great! And this one is also in the repository! – Peter Smit Jul 23 '09 at 10:32
  • Then I'll just upvote Diffuse ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 24 '09 at 10:57
  • It does not support comparing dirrectories, very sad. – pavelkolodin Aug 14 '14 at 7:15

gvimdiff is handy for quick comparisons. Install gvim to get it.

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    This will be surely a good one for vim users. (So not for me, I don't like vim) – Peter Smit Jul 23 '09 at 11:17

KDiff3 is cross-platform and has advanced line and character diff capability. See more about its features here.

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  • I can't say that I find its interface intuitive. – anatoly techtonik Feb 17 '15 at 4:58

Beyond Compare, supports Ubuntu 6.06 - 9.04, at least 32-bit.


The open-source tool Kompare is worth adding to your diff tools on linux:

  1. It makes effective use of color
  2. It works great form the command line to pipe recursive multi-file diff sets directly from Subversion (or any other version control system)

    [~/path/to/project/source]$svn diff | kompare -o -

  3. Works great with Gnome Ubuntu even though it is a KDE native app.

To install on ubuntu: $sudo apt-get install kompare


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