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External diff/merge tool does not launch


After update to 3.1.3 version of sourcetree I can't launch external diff/merge tool.

I've tried everything that I could find, but it didn't help much.

I use IntelliJ IDEA tool and set it as follows in Tools -> Options -> Diff -> External Diff/Merge section:

1.jpg2.jpg.gitconfig file:

tool = sourcetree
[difftool "sourcetree"]
cmd = 'C:/Program Files/JetBrains/IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2019.1.3/bin/idea64.exe' diff $LOCAL $REMOTE
tool = sourcetree
[mergetool "sourcetree"]
cmd = 'C:/Program Files/JetBrains/IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2019.1.3/bin/idea64.exe' merge $LOCAL $REMOTE $BASE $MERGED
trustExitCode = true

When I try to launch external diff tool by RMC -> External Diff in Process Viewer I see the following:


But when I use git command line:


press Enter and the tool is opening.

Do anybody know what to do with that?



I've tried to change diff/merge tools to another one but error was the same. I've tried to find all gitconfig files and Total Commander gave me few:


I noticed that when I change anything in tools > Options none of the gitconfig files are changed and it looks like SourceTree stores settings in a different file.

My setting from the Git tab are:


I've tried to reinstall SourceTree - did't help

3 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

The problem was because of HOMESHARE system environment...

In this topic I found that SourceTree uses the following rules to locate your global git config:

  1. HOME, if defined in the global Windows environment (NOT in .profile or similar, only Bash sees that)
  2. HOMEDRIVE + HOMEPATH as a first fallback
  3. USERPROFILE as a last resort

My HOME variable had a nonexistent path. Although my USERPROFILE varibale was ok the SourceTree didn't want to look for .gitconfig file int it.

In windows 7 external diff suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason.

I upgraded to 3.2.6 to no avail.

In the end it were the wrong quotes (replace ' by ") in the .gitconfig file in my home dir (cd ~ in terminal)

wrong .gitconfig file:

tool = sourcetree
[difftool "sourcetree"]
cmd = 'C:/Program Files/JetBrains/IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2019.1.3/bin/idea64.exe' diff $LOCAL $REMOTE

 Correct .gitconfig file (see the usage of " instead of ' at the cmd lines:

tool = sourcetree
[difftool "sourcetree"]
cmd = "C:/Program Files/JetBrains/IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2019.1.3/bin/idea64.exe" diff $LOCAL $REMOTE


0 votes
Mike Corsaro Atlassian Team Jun 04, 2019

Hello! I think this might be caused by the .gitconfig being configured for the system-wide git rather than embedded git. Could you try switching from embedded git to system git under Options > Git (or verify it's already using system git)?

Hi, thanks for reply! I've tried switch to embedded git, try use extrenal diff, then back to System git and it didn't help. I've updated my question.

Off-top: It's strange that the latest version from official site is 3.1.2 that wants to update to 3.1.3 after install

Mike Corsaro Atlassian Team Jun 05, 2019

Could you check if the setting "Allow Sourcetree to modify your global Git and Mercurial config files" is checked under "Options > General"?

Yes, it is checked. Looks like I found a file that changes it is 


I looked for all files that contains ( diff \"$LOCAL\" \"$REMOTE\" ) on the system disk, with the Total Commander search tool and it found only the file above


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