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I am looking for a tool that is able to compare directories, not only files. Also it is important to be able to call the tool from the command line.

It would be great to have a free tool, if not free please specify the price.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Diffmerge should meet all your requirements.

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I just hope that they will make an installer that will be able to install the command line starters and improve the current install experience. – sorin Mar 16 '11 at 17:24
This is an old topic - but I installed it via brew cask install diffmerge and it installed without problems. – Rainer Oct 16 '15 at 7:17
Apr 2016: It is still maintained, and still one of my go-to development tools. – JRobert Apr 14 at 13:16

FileMerge (free), shipped with Xcode, offers a directory view.
A command line version is available through the Terminal application opendiff.

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+1 for opendiff – Nate Mar 15 '11 at 12:26
I would like to choose this answer because opendiff could be considered almost "bundled" with the OS X but when I tries to diff two folders it opened an ugly view that was not so easy to understand and also I was not able to see how do I merge two files in file view. I'm sure it is possible but if this basic feature is not obvious, I will prefer to look for something better ;) – sorin Mar 16 '11 at 17:22

I recently purchased a copy of Kaleidoscope (approx $40 US). It's a clean app.

vimdiff is also available via the commandline and is portable across most UNIXy domains.

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I've been using Kaleidoscope for a few months now. Worth the price. It goes on sale occasionally. – Ian C. Mar 15 '11 at 13:49

The diff tool that comes with Bare Bones Software's Text Wrangler has directory comparison, although it only shows which files are in both directories, and which are only in each of the directories. When you select a file that's in both you can edit by merging changes line by line with the click of a button. It doesn't let you move files though. You have to do this externally (eg via Finder).
I find it to be one of the better free options.

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I use Folder Sync It costs $8.99 on the Mac App Store It works really nicely.

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For all the googlers... check out Beyond Compare it rules. Costs 30$ or 50$ for Pro version.

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If you don't mind using the terminal, the diff command can compare directories:

diff -rq directory1/ directory2/

-r indicates recurse through subdirectories, and -q gives brief output (ie don't show the actual diffs, just note what files/dirs are different).

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