Folder comparison: Files showing error colors/icon despite no differences

I am doing a folder comparison of the whole of an older copy of my filesystem on an external drive to a newer one on my internal drive. There is a single file that shows as an error ( orange foreground text color and warning icon) in both the old and new folder/filesystem being compared. But this file has no differences between the old and new filesystem copy (shasum 256 match). What can cause this? The file in question is a virtualbox vdi image and isn’t a symbolic link, but there are several other vdi images on the drive that don’t show up with an error in meld like this.

Almost all comparison errors will give an additional error description. I think one of the only ones that won’t (not for a good reason, just because) is if we get a generic IO error while reading file contents.

What would cause a generic IO error on the same file in two separate drives? Fsck shows both drives as clean. I am doing a comparison of just the files at the moment. If meld was started from the command line, would it log/output IO errors?

The error may not be happening on both files. If there is a generic error when comparing the two files, both sides will be marked as an error case.

If you are hitting the code path I suspect, then no there won’t be any additional logs from the command line. The relevant code path will be at the end of _files_same in meld.dirdiff if you wanted to investigate yourself.

I think what may be happening is the file is too large and it’s timing out, although I can’t find evidence to support that after a quick look at the source code. The file that’s showing the error colors in meld is around 60 GB (metric) and the highest file it didn’t error on is around 48 GB (metric). Thoughts?

Meld doesn’t have any timeout logic for file comparison. However, while we try to handle these cases, we are definitely not designed for comparing files of that size. There isn’t anything I’m aware of that will specifically fail at given sizes though.

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