Code Compare Software For Linux


There are several alternatives, most of them are CLI-based, but there are a few GUI-based code comparing programs. Since, I like many others prefer GUI-based programs, I will list them first and the CLI-based ones last.

These softwares are for programmers / hackers.

Kompare is a GUI front-end program that enables differences between source files to be viewed and merged. It can be used to compare differences on files or the contents of folders, and it supports a variety of diff formats and provide many options to customize the information level displayed.

NOTE: Since it is supported by several big businesses, it is unlikely it will be discontinued.

License: GNU/GPL Version 2.
Patrons: Bluesystems, Canonical, Google, Private Internet Access,  SUSE and Qt.

- Comparing directories
- Reading diff files
- Creating and applying patches
- Supports multiple diff formats
- Supports comparison of directories
- Supports reading diff files
- Customizable interface
- Creating and applying patches to source file

How to install via a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install kompare

Press Enter, done.

There are other GUI based code compare software like SourceGears DiffMerge, but this only support Windows, OSX, Fedora and Ubuntu, so forget this piece of software, unless you are an Ubuntu user.

Meld is a visual diff and merge tool targeted at developers. Meld helps you compare files, directories, and version controlled projects. It provides two- and three-way comparison of both files and directories, and has support for many popular version control systems.

Latest version: 3.20 ( Needs tpo be built from code )

License: GNU/GPLv2 +

Version in Debians repository: 3.16

How to install via a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install meld

Press Enter, done.

Meld helps you review code changes and understand patches. It might even help you to figure out what is going on in that merge you keep avoiding.

- Two- and three-way comparison of files and directories
- File comparisons update as you type
- Auto-merge mode and actions on change blocks help make merges easier
- Visualisations make it easier to compare your files
- Supports Git, Bazaar, Mercurial, Subversion and more....


- Python 3.3
- GTK+ 3.14
- GLib 2.36
- PyGObject 3.14
- GtkSourceView 3.14
- pycairo

Developers website

Diffuse is a small and simple text merge tool written in Python. With Diffuse, you can easily merge, edit, and review changes to your code. Diffuse supports the original Debian, the copy Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, but can also be installed on Arch Linux and Gentoo.

To Compare a Set of Files via a terminal:

$ diffuse file1 file2 file3

Review Local Changes or Fix Merge Conflicts

$ diffuse -m

Compare Specific Revisions

$ diffuse -r rev1 -r rev2 file

Inspect a Revision

$ diffuse -c rev

But we will be using the GUI:

The software is written in Python and offers two major functionalities.

File comparison and version control, allowing file editing, merging of files and also output the difference between files.

You can view a comparison summary, select lines of text in files using a mouse pointer, match lines in adjacent files and edit different file. Other features include:
- Syntax highlighting
- Keyboard shortcuts for easy navigation
- Supports unlimited undo
- Unicode support
- Supports Git, CVS, Darcs, Mercurial, RCS, Subversion, SVK and Monotone.

How to install via a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install diffuse

Press Enter, done.

Developers website

xxdiff is provided under the GNU GPL open source license. It has reached stable state, and is known to run on many popular unices, including IRIX, Linux, Solaris, HP/UX, DEC Tru64. It has been deployed inside many large organizations and is being actively maintained by its author (Martin Blais).

NOTE: The author does not publish binaries anymore and it seems very outdated: 2004 ?
The version 1.4.0 is however still available in Debian 9 Stable repo. However, it doesn't work !!!!

Thus it should be removed from the repo.

KDiff3 is a graphical text difference analyzer for up to 3 input files, provides character-by-character analysis and a text merge tool with integrated editor. It can also compare and merge directories. Platform-independant.

Languages supported:Tamil, French, Dutch, Polish, Lithuanian, Italian, English, Portuguese, Serbian, Estonian, Swedish, Turkish, Hindi, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, German, Japanese, Spanish, Hungarian.

License: GNU/GPLv2

How to install via a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install kdiff

Press Enter, done.

Developers website


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