meld - Man Page

Visual diff and merge tool for the GNOME Desktop

Examples (TL;DR)


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


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 (Bazaar, CVS, Darcs, Fossil, Git, Mercurial, Monotone), as well as the ability to manually and automatically merge file differences.


--auto-compare,  -a

Automatically compare all differing files on startup.


Automatically merge files


Load a saved comparison from a Meld comparison file


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>.

--newtab,  -n

Open the comparison as a new tab in an already-running instance.

--output,  -o

Sets the save path for the middle buffer in a three-pane merge view. This is useful for loading the middle buffer from one file and saving it to another, for example in use as a version control merge helper.

--unified,  -u

Ignored for compatibility


Print application version and exit.



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.


If you find a bug, please report it at or mail a description of the issue to


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


26 Sept 2010