I sometimes have to make git merges on the console. Up to now, for resolving conflicts, I was using Xcode 3's FileMerge (you can open it on the console using the 'opendiff' command). If conflicts show, I use 'git mergetool' which automatically invokes opendiff for each of the conflicting files.

However, Xcode 4 features a much nicer mergetool component for resolving conflicts. I believe this component is part of the Xcode 4 executable, rather than standalone. It allows you to preview the merged file, and directly edit merged code on a case-by-case basis, which makes merging complex conflicts incredibly fast and satisfactory.

Is there any way to use the Xcode 4 mergetool when invoking 'git mergetool' from the Terminal?

I cannot find an executable for this tool inside the Xcode 4 bundle. Any hack that achieves this would be welcome.

  • In case anybody else is interested in this feature: it seems there is no official way of doing it. I submitted a feature request to Apple through bugreport. Here's the radar. I guess it's quite hopeless, but you never know. For anybody else interested, I suggest showing interest by submitting a similar bug report to Apple. – Ricardo Sanchez-Saez Apr 8 '13 at 19:33

opendiff takes two filename arguments, and an --ancestor parameter with a third filename, to produce a three-way diff, and a --merge parameter to say the output file to use for the conflict resolution.

So go:

[mergetool "opendiff"]
    cmd = "opendiff \"$LOCAL\"  \"$REMOTE\" \"$(if test -f \"$BASE\"; then echo \"--ancestor $BASE\"; else echo \"--ancestor $LOCAL\"; fi)\" --merge=\"$MERGED\" "
    tool = opendiff

That should make git use opendiff as its merge tool, when there are merge conflicts.

That said, I VERY much prefer DiffMerge from SourceGear, which is a free diff and three-way-merge tool that does much better, word-oriented, conflict resolution. And in DiffMerge's documentation there's what to tell git to make it the default diffing and merging tool.

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  • Thanks for trying to help, but Filemerge/opendiff is not what I am trying to use. Also, I tried DiffMerge (and DeltaWalker for what it's worth) and I don't like its UI very much. Kaleidoscope is waaay nicer, but it doesn't feature merging/editing, just difference showing. – Ricardo Sanchez-Saez Aug 18 '11 at 16:49
  • I'm pretty sure Xcode 4 is just wrapping FileMerge. I discovered the same disappointment about Kaleidoscope. – Dan Ray Aug 18 '11 at 17:03
  • I would say Xcode 4 is not wrapping FileMerge. On FileMerge you cannot edit the merged file, you just select which side of the merge you want to use for each conflict. On Xcode 4 pull-conflict resolver you can edit the conflicting lines and do a pull with the file the exact way you want it to be. Besides, the UI is completely different from Filemerge. – Ricardo Sanchez-Saez Aug 18 '11 at 17:05
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    Kaleidoscope 2 beta was recently released, and it allows inline editing of merged files. Check it out, it's quite good. The only thing it's missing is a different color for conflicts (it uses the same color as code substitution for those). – Ricardo Sanchez-Saez Dec 6 '12 at 2:22
  • After some months using Kaleidoscope and despite it being generally good, I have to say that it's still kind of buggy and/or confusing, specially when compared to Xcode 4.x conflict-resolving component. Still hoping for Apple to do the unexpected and implement it as a standalone tool invokable from, say, Tower. ;-) – Ricardo Sanchez-Saez Jun 30 '13 at 16:13

You can edit in the (very basic) text editor within FileMerge by opening the editor pane -- which is closed by default. To open the editor in FileMerge, drag the dot below the center diff column up to open the editor pane.

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This ended up working for me

  tool = opendiff

  keepBackup = false

[mergetool "opendiff"]
  cmd = "opendiff \"$LOCAL\" \"$REMOTE\" -merge \"$MERGED\""
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  • 2
    Opendiff is what Xcode 3.x used for merges. My question was about Xcode 4.x merge component, which is a completely different tool (it allows inline editing of the resulting file, unlike opendiff/filemerge). Thanks anyway. – Ricardo Sanchez-Saez Dec 6 '12 at 2:21

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