I like WinMerge on Windows because the option shown here makes it super fast to sanity-check and sync projects between my working and backup drives:

enter image description here

Without slogging through the contents of some potentially large files (feature-length 1080p movies, etc.), I can still see what changed, content-compare only the ones that look suspicious to me, and then update (or restore) the backup.

Is there something that does that on the Pi? Compare only the metadata and not the full contents at first, then full contents only for specific files, then merge/overwrite as directed?

I've been using Meld, but it always compares the full contents of everything with no option not to. Everything else I've looked at - KDiff3, Diffuse, tkdiff, etc. - doesn't say anything about it at all, which leads me to believe that they also look at full contents always.

  • why are you not asking at a linux site?
    – jsotola
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 23:54
  • @jsotola Because I'm going to use it on a Pi, which has an ARM chip on it, and the Linux sites are focused more on x86/64. Incompatible instruction sets, even if it's the same source code. I can compile from source, but it's somewhat painful on a Pi, so I'd much rather not if I don't have to.
    – AaronD
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


Okay, so Meld does actually have that option:

enter image description here

I thought I knew my way around it, so I didn't need to check again, but then I got bored during another long comparison and started poking around...

This screenshot is on Windows because the keyboard that I'm using on the Pi doesn't have a PrntScrn key, but the Pi version has the same option.


That's essentially what the "Quick" compare option in mc does:

enter image description here

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