git-difftool - Linux


git difftool is a powerful tool for visually comparing and merging changes between two files or commits. It provides an intuitive interface to resolve conflicts and streamline code reviews.


git difftool [options] [commit | branch]... [<file>...]


  • -y: Automatically accept all changes without prompting.
  • -m: Enable interactive merging mode.
  • –tool=: Specify the difftool to use (e.g., meld, kdiff3).
  • –no-prompt: Suppress interactive prompting.
  • –cached: Compare the working tree against the staged changes.


  • Compare the current working tree with the latest commit:
git difftool HEAD
  • Resolve conflicts between two branches:
git difftool branch1 branch2
  • Use ‘meld’ as the difftool:
git difftool --tool=meld HEAD~1 HEAD
  • Automatically accept all changes:
git difftool -y HEAD~2 HEAD

Common Issues

  • Difftool not found: Make sure the desired difftool is installed and on the PATH.
  • Merge conflicts: Use interactive merging mode (-m) to manually resolve conflicts.
  • Incorrect comparison: Verify that the specified commit/branch and file arguments are correct.


  • Git merge: Use git difftool to visualize and resolve conflicts during merge operations.
  • Commit hooks: Add git difftool to pre-commit or pre-push hooks to enforce code style or prevent errors.
  • External editors: Integrate git difftool with your preferred code editor for seamless diffing and merging.

Related Commands

  • git mergetool: Invokes an external merge tool for resolving conflicts.
  • git diff: Shows differences between files or commits in text format.
  • git commit: Commits changes after resolving conflicts.