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nnn is a portable terminal file manager written in C. It is easily extensible via its plugin system where you can add your own scripts alongside already available plugins. A (neo)vim plugin is also available.

In addition to being a file manager, nnn is also a disk usage analyzer, a fuzzy app launcher, a batch file renamer and a file picker.

nnn supports instant search-as-you-type with regex (or simple string) filters and a navigate-as-you-type mode for continuous navigation in filter mode with directory auto-select. It supports contexts, bookmarks, multiple sorting options, SSHFS, batch operations on selections (a group of selected files) and a lot more.

Despite its capabilities, nnn is designed to be easy to use.


nnn can be installed with the nnn package.


nnn can be controlled with the vim-like characters hjkl or the arrow keys. Don't memorize keys. Arrows, / and q suffice. Press ? for help on keyboard shortcuts anytime.


nnn is configured via environment variables, by editing ~/.bashrc. For detailed information on these settings see the included, well-documented man page man nnn as well as the additional configurations on the nnn wiki.

Here is a example configuration you can add to you ~/.bashrc:

export NNN_BMS='d:~/Documents;u:/home/user/Cam Uploads;D:~/Downloads/'
export NNN_USE_EDITOR=1                                 # use the $EDITOR when opening text files
export NNN_NO_AUTOSELECT=1                              # do not auto select in navigate-as-you-type-mode
export NNN_NOTE="$HOME/mynotes"                         # if you already have your own notebook, 
export NNN_OPS_PROG=1                                   # if you have installed advcp from the AUR. Giving you progress bars for mv and cp
export NNN_SSHFS_OPTS="sshfs -o follow_symlinks"        # make sshfs follow symlinks on the remote

The most important setting would be the NNN_BMS variable which lets you choose shortcuts to quickly jump to your bookmarked directories. By default they are reached with <leader-key> which is set to , (a comma). In the example configuration hitting the keys: ,D would result in nnn jumping into ~/Downloads. But all of these are optional, nnn will consistently behave the same on all of your machines.

Get selected files in terminal

To get a list of the files you have selected in nnn one could create the following alias:

alias ncp="cat ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/nnn/.selection | tr '\0' '\n'"

which later could be used to pipe the selected files to other tools.

Indicate depth level within nnn shells

If you use ! to spawn a shell in the current directory, it could be nice to add:

[ -n "$NNNLVL" ] && PS1="N$NNNLVL $PS1"

To have your prompt indicate that you are within a shell that will return you to nnn when you are done.

This together with #cd on quit (CTRL-G) becomes a powerful combination.

cd on quit (CTRL-G)

To exit nnn and cd to the current working directory, you could add the following to your ~/.bashrc.

Note: You can find similar scripts for various shells here.
    export NNN_TMPFILE=${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/nnn/.lastd

    nnn "$@"

    if [ -f $NNN_TMPFILE ]; then
            . $NNN_TMPFILE
            rm -f $NNN_TMPFILE > /dev/null

And then start another terminal or run:

source ~/.bashrc

This will cause your shell to reload the ~/.bashrc.

From now on you can run nnn as:

$ n

Which will correctly handle CTRL-G upon exiting nnn.

Add your own plugins

You can run your own plugins by putting them in ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/nnn/plugins. For example you could create a executable shell script

#!/usr/bin/env sh
git log -p -- "$@"

And then trigger it by hitting R and selecting git-changes which will conveniently show the git log of changes to the particular file along with the code for a quick and easy review.

See also