I just updated to 10.7.3 and can no longer find the FileMerge application, which is part of the Xcode developer tools package. Did apple remove this in 10.7.3?

I've checked in my developer directory, and used Spotlight, but it is nowhere to be found.

  • 1
    It's still there for me. /Developer/Applications/Utilities/FileMerge.app – ughoavgfhw Feb 17 '12 at 16:14
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    You can access it via the command line with opendiff. – lhf May 15 '12 at 9:53
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    I had the same problem after the 10.9 Mavericks upgrade, and after accepting all the suggested Xcode upgrades, I was able to choose FileMerge from the Xcode "Tools" menu, after which FileMerge appeared in the Spotlight suggestions once more. – Andrew Swan Oct 24 '13 at 4:21
up vote 39 down vote accepted

With Xcode 4.3, Apple has moved the content of /Developer to the usual places for applications etc. Filemerge is accessible by starting Xcode and then accessing Xcode -> Open Developer Tool. If it's not listed there, select "More Developer Tools" to install it.

Physically it's part of Xcode.app (Xcode.app/Contents/Applications/FileMerge.app) and can be executed stand-alone by inspecting the package content of Xcode.app. If you really need it outside of Xcode often, you can also create an alias/symlink to start it directly (or just drag it into the Dock).

  • FYI Spotlight indexes aliases so create an alias and drop it in ~/Applications folder to have it show up in Spotlight. – Steve Moser Mar 22 '12 at 17:12
  • I found that an alias to FileMerge.app would give me the error "Item is used by Mac OS X and can't be opened" when opening from Spotlight, and a symlink didn't show up in Spotlight. Not sure if there's a solution. – Andrew Vit Apr 23 '12 at 17:41
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    Copying the app to the Applications folder yields an error as well - apparently the app needs to run in its own native folder. But @Till's AppleScript approach works great! Open the AppleScript editor, paste in his line, "Save as..." an app in the Applications folder - and enjoy FileMerge! Thanks @Till! – Traveling Tech Guy Jan 3 '13 at 21:01
  • If I execute Xcode.app/Contents/Applications/FileMerge.app my commandprompt enters that directory. How can I get the cmdline to launch the program? – Harry Moreno Apr 21 '16 at 14:44
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    @HarryMoreno open -a FileMerge.app – nohillside Apr 21 '16 at 16:25

You can save an AppleScript as application to launch FileMerge inside Xcode:

tell application "/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Applications/FileMerge.app" to activate

If you want to launch it from Terminal:

open -a FileMerge

open -b com.apple.FileMerge

(Both are case insensitive.)

You can also save this as a shell script and make an app with the following directory structure:

+ Launch FileMerge.app/
  + Launch FileMerge

Here's a shell script that will make such an app:

EXE_NAME='Launch FileMerge'
mkdir "$EXE_NAME".app
cd "$EXE_NAME".app
echo -e '#!/bin/sh\nopen -b com.apple.FileMerge' > "$EXE_NAME"
chmod a+x "$EXE_NAME"
  • 1
    You can also use the opendiff utility, which is installed in /usr/bin by Xcode – Neil Mayhew Jan 19 '15 at 21:51

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