When comparing WinMerge vs GitKraken, the Slant community recommends GitKraken for most people. In the question“What are the best merge applications for Git?” GitKraken is ranked 5th while WinMerge is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose GitKraken is:
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined. It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something. It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows. It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view. It has undo and redo buttons on the main window. It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Compare folders and files
Can show what files has been changed in a folder, allows comparing files in tabs.
Pro Lightweight, quick startup
Binary is less than 3 MB, so it starts quickly
Pro In line comparison
Can show differences within a line.
Can filter out files for folder comparison, lines for file comparisons, with regular expressions.
Options also allow to ignore whitespace differences, white lines, case change, line-ending changes, etc.
Pro Free & Open source
Winmerge is a free and open source tool.
Pro Good navigation
Keyboard shortcuts (and toolbar buttons) to navigate to next (previous) difference, side panel shows a map of the files with changed lines and allows to jump to a given place.
Pro Good detection of moved lines
Detects when a block of lines has been moved in the file and shows the relation.
Pro File edition
You can quickly copy changed lines (or files in folder comparison) in both directions with keyboard shortcuts. You can edit the files as well, with syntax highlighting of some languages.
Pro Good shell integration
Select two files and compare them. Alternatively, select one file, navigate elsewhere, select the other file to compare.
Also supports drag'n'drop of files / folders from Explorer.
History of past comparisons.
Pro Beautiful user interface
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined.
It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something.
It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows.
It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view.
It has undo and redo buttons on the main window.
It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Built on top of Electron, so it runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Pro Free version available
There are both pro and free versions available. The free version is pretty complete feature-wise for day-to-day operations.
Pro Offers a simple way of undoing mistakes
GitKraken has simple undo/redo buttons that work the same way you'd expect in any other software.
Pro Extremely easy to use
A lot of care has gone into trying to make GitKraken as easy and intuitive as possible and it show. Every action is quick and painless with no more user interaction than necessary. For example, switching to another branch is as easy as a double-click on the sidebar.
Pro Some of the best integration with hosted version control services
GitKraken can be connected to Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket accounts through OAuth. From that point onward most if not all actions that are related to these services can be done inside GitKraken. Things like: cloning or forking a repository, adding a remote, pushing to a remote repository hosted on these services can be done inside the app.
You can even manage pull requests inside GitKraken for example. All pull requests for a certain branch for example are shown on that branch's graph.
Pro Has a FuzzyFinder
GitKraken has a fuzzy finder to switch between repos / files.
Pro GitFlow support out of the box
Supports GitFlow out of the box.
Pro Under constant improvement
A quick glance at GitKraken's release notes shows how frequently it's updated. Updates are released on a 2-4 week cycle and each one brings new features and bug fixes.
Pro Good keyboard shortcuts
Pro Perfect for beginner developers
GitKraken is easy to use and is brilliant for the beginner developers
Con Windows only
It's only available for Windows. No Mac or Linux versions available. It is possible to run in Linux via WINE, although a bit unstable.
Con Development is stopped
No update for years; last official release was made in 2013.
Two forks are still in active development as of 2017.
As of 2015 it was on par with the historical version, and has additional features such as showing only differences and a 64-bit version.
Winmerge-v2-jp: https://bitbucket.org/sdottaka/winmerge-v2 and https://github.com/sdottaka/winmerge-v2
Adds support for 3-way merge, diff-only view, and improvements to the diff algorithm among other additions. Has a 64-bit version.
An 'official' list of forks is maintained (despite the url) at http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley-SanJose/8165/unofficial_winmerge_nightly_builds.html
Con No 3-way merge
Cannot merge 3 files, can do only comparisons by pairs.
Makes it unsuitable for merging operations, still useful to compare two versions in the history.
Con Must log into GitKraken servers to use the free version
All functionality is disabled unless you register for a free account and remain logged in.
There is the $79/user/yr Enterprise option. It allows you to deploy a Linux License Server in an air-gapped/offline environment.
Con Not open source
It is gratis (no cost) but is not open source. The community cannot fix problems in it, audit it for security, or trust it in general.
Con Has memory-related issues
Like most Electron apps, GitKraken has some memory-related issues. For starter, it requires more memory for an action than an equivalent non-Electron application. Although this should not be a problem most of the time for people who use machines with lots of RAM (after all, RAM is pretty cheap nowadays), it can have some issues when opening large repositories and there have been cases where GitKraken failed to open very large repositories or started lagging once they were opened.
Con Crashes once in a while
Under specific circumstances, like resetting 5000+ changes, the GUI will crash.
Con Not free for commercial use
The free version of GitKraken cannot be used in commercial projects.
Con Amending merge output is a pro feature
In most cases of Merge Conflicts, users are stuck with auto-merge or manually resolving it by hand. This is because in the Free Tier, users can only (1) Keep File (ver 1), (2) Keep File (ver 2), (3) Auto-merge, or (4) Use External Merge Tool.
In addition, using External Merge Tools is very limited because GitKraken (all tiers) restricts External Merge Tools to only those it managed to Auto-detect. It also does not support custom arguments for the External Tools.
Modifying the merge output directly, or Selecting lines to keep/discard, is a Paid Feature.
Con Has annoying popup reminders that ask you to upgrade to the Pro version
Understandable, since nobody is entitled to use work done by others for free, but annoying nonetheless.
Con Cannot multi-select files
No Ctrl-Click or Shift-Click for multi-selecting files. For example, if you have a few files you wish to delete, it is a slow process. You have to delete them individually; that is, right click a file then delete, right click another then delete, and so on.
Can take between 2 and 5 seconds to load a repository, if not crashing while loading
Con No tab support
Cannot access multiple repositories in the same session.
Con Ugly, looks like a web app
Con Missing some advanced features
Checkout & Hard Reset
Advanced or Interactive Rebase (aka history rewrite)
Progress bar indicator