Linux Commands Examples

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Visual diff and merge tool for the GNOME Desktop


meld [options]
[options] FILE1
[options] DIR1
[options] FILE1 FILE2 [FILE3]
[options] DIR1 DIR2 [DIR3]

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Run meld without initiating a diff.

meld FILE1

Initiate a diff between FILE1 and the version-controlled copy of FILE1.

meld DIR1

Initiate a recursive diff between DIR1 and the version-controlled copy of DIR1.

meld FILE1 FILE2

Initiate a diff between FILE1 and FILE2.


Initiate a 3-way diff between FILE1, FILE2, and FILE3.

meld DIR1 DIR2

Initiate a recursive diff between directory DIR1 and DIR2.

meld DIR1 DIR2 DIR3

Initiate a recursive 3-way diff between directory DIR1, DIR2, and DIR3.

meld --diff FILE1 FILE2 --diff FILE3 FILE4

Initiate a diff between FILE1 and FILE2, and a separate diff between FILE3 and FILE4.

meld $2 $5

diff and patch tool

Although I've never used Meld, I have a feeling it's actually using 'diff' under the covers. The way I've always generated patch files is simple:

$ diff -ruN ${dir1} ${dir2} > ${patchfile}.patch

That generates a single large patch file, which you can then break up as apporpriate. To generate individual patch files for each change found, you would simply run that large file through a script that split when it saw a new changeset (a script I don't have handy or know of, since I've never used one like it).


How do I turn on line numbering in Meld diff viewer?

Just believe it needs other dependencies, I saw them on Meld homepage but they are optional. On Fedora, try this

yum install gtksourceview
yum install gnome-python2-gtksourceview
yum install gnome-python2-gnomeprint 


Meld is a graphical diff viewer and merge application for the Gnome desktop. It supports 2 and 3-file diffs, recursive directory diffs, diffing of directories under version control (Arch, Bazaar, Codeville, CVS, Darcs, Git, Mercurial, Monotone, RCS), as well as the ability to manually and automatically merge file differences.


--auto-compare, -a

Automatically compare all differing files on startup.


Create a diff tab for the given files or directories. Note that "meld --diff FILE1 FILE2" is functionally equivalent to "meld FILE1 FILE2". However, the --diff argument can be given multiple times for one invocation of meld which allows the user to automatically initiate multiple diffs when meld starts. See examples below.

--help, -h

Print application help and usage.

--LABEL=<label>, -L <label>

Set application window title to <label>.


Print application version and exit.


If you find a bug, please report it at or mail a description of the issue to meld-list[:at:]gnome[:dot:]org.


See the AUTHORS text file in meld’s source code (

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