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zh-CN:ranger Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki: another text-based file manager with vi-like keybinds. Template:Article summary end

ranger is a text-based file manager written in Python with vi-style key bindings. It has an extensive set of features, and you can accomplish file management tasks with a few keystrokes with no need for the mouse.


ranger can be installed from the official repositories. There is also ranger-gitAUR in AUR.

Optional, for file previews with "scope.sh":


To start ranger, launch a terminal such as xterm, and type the command ranger. Or, you can use the command

xterm -e ranger

Comparison with other file managers

Compared to graphical mouse-based file managers, ranger is much more efficient, but still visually appealing. ranger has one pane with multiple columns for different directories in the path, and file previews on the right. Compared to double-pane file managers, ranger shows more directory and file information. You can quickly move between directories using keystrokes, bookmarks or the command history. Previews of files and directory contents automatically show up for the current selection. ranger's features include: vi-style key bindings, bookmarks, selections, tagging, tabs, command history, the ability to make symbolic links, several console modes, and a task view. ranger has customizable commands and key bindings, including bindings to external scripts. The closest competitor is Vifm, which has two panes and vi-style key bindings, but has fewer features overall.


ranger's man page can be opened by typing ?. You can also press 1? for a list of key bindings, 2? for a list of commands and 3? for a list of settings.


After startup, ranger creates a directory ~/.config/ranger/. You can copy the default configuration files to this directory with the following command:

ranger --copy-config=all

They can then be customized. Some basic knowledge of python is useful.

  • rc.conf controls startup commands and key bindings
  • commands.py controls the commands which are launched with the ":" key
  • rifle.conf controls the applications used when a given type of file is launched.

You can launch files with "l" (ell) or "<Enter>". For rc.conf, you need only include changes from the default file, since both are loaded. For commands.py, if you do not include the whole file, put this line at the top:

from ranger.api.commands import *

Binding keys

Use the file ~/.config/ranger/rc.conf to modify key bindings. There are many keybindings already defined, and you can learn the syntax by reading the file.

The following example shows how to use "DD" to move selected files to a directory ~/.Trash/. Put this code in ~/.config/ranger/rc.conf

# move to trash
map DD shell mv -t /home/myname/.config/ranger/Trash %s

Defining commands

Continuing the above example, adding the following entry to ~/.config/ranger/commands.py would define a command to empty the trash directory ~/.Trash.

class empty(Command):

    Empties the trash directory ~/.Trash

    def execute(self):
        self.fm.run("rm -rf /home/myname/.Trash/{*,.[^.]*}")

To use it, you would type ":empty<Enter>", using tab completion if desired.

Warning: Note that [^.] is an essential part of the above command. Otherwise, it will remove all files and directories of the form ..*, thereby wiping out everything in your home directory.

Opening files with a given application

Modify ~/.config/ranger/rifle.conf. Since the beginning lines are executed first, you should put your modifications at the beginning of the file. For example, the following entry will open a tex file with kile.

ext tex = kile "$@"

Syncing path with shell

Starting ranger from a shell or an X session

ranger provides a shell function /usr/share/doc/ranger/examples/bash_automatic_cd.sh you can source or copy into your shell configuration file. Now running rangercd instead of ranger will sync the paths, i.e. when quitting ranger the shell will automatically cd to the last browsed folder.

If you launch ranger from a graphical launcher (e.g. using $TERMCMD -e ranger, TERMCMD being an X terminal), you cannot use rangercd here because it is a shell function. The trick is to create an executable script:

export RANGERCD=true # could be any value

and add this at the very end of your shell configuration:

[ -n "$RANGERCD" ] && unset RANGERCD && rangercd

Note that it is important to unset the variable, otherwise launching a subshell from this terminal will automatically re-launch ranger.

Starting a shell from ranger

With the previous method you can switch to a shell in last browsed path simply by leaving ranger. However you may not want to quit ranger for several reasons (numerous opened tabs, copy in progress, etc.). You can start a shell from ranger (Template:Keypress by default) without losing your ranger session. Unfortunately, the shell will not switch to the current folder automatically. Again, this can be solved with an executable script:

export AUTOCD="$(realpath "$1")"


and - as before - add this to at the very end of your shell configuration:

cd "$AUTOCD"

Now you can change your shell binding for ranger:

map S shell shellcd %d

Alternatively, you can make use of your shell history file if it has any. For instance, you could do this for zsh:

## Prepend argument to zsh dirstack.
BUF="$(realpath "$1")
$(grep -v "$(realpath "$1")" "$ZDIRS")"
echo "$BUF" > "$ZDIRS"


Change ZDIRS for you dirstack.

New tab in current folder

You may have noticed there is two shortcuts for opening a new tab in home (Template:KeypressTemplate:Keypress and Template:Keypress). Let's rebind Template:Keypress:

map <c-n>  eval fm.tab_new('%d')

Useful commands

External Drives

External drives can be automatically mounted with a udev rule or with the help of an automounting Udev wrapper. Drives mounted under /media can be easily accessed by pressing Template:Keypress (go, media).

Network drives

Archive related

These commands use atool to perform archive operations.


The following command implements archive extraction by copying (yy) one or more archive files and then executing ":extracthere" on the desired directory.

import os
from ranger.core.loader import CommandLoader

class extracthere(Command):
    def execute(self):
        """ Extract copied files to current directory """
        copied_files = tuple(self.fm.env.copy)

        if not copied_files:

        def refresh(_):
            cwd = self.fm.env.get_directory(original_path)

        one_file = copied_files[0]
        cwd = self.fm.env.cwd
        original_path = cwd.path
        au_flags = ['-X', cwd.path]
        au_flags += self.line.split()[1:]
        au_flags += ['-e']

        self.fm.env.cut = False
        if len(copied_files) == 1:
            descr = "extracting: " + os.path.basename(one_file.path)
            descr = "extracting files from: " + os.path.basename(one_file.dirname)
        obj = CommandLoader(args=['aunpack'] + au_flags \
                + [f.path for f in copied_files], descr=descr)

        obj.signal_bind('after', refresh)


The following command allows the user to compress several files on the current directory by marking them and then calling :compress package name. It supports name suggestions by getting the basename of the current directory and appending several possibilities for the extension. You need to have atool installed. Otherwise you will see an error message when create the archive.

import os
from ranger.core.loader import CommandLoader

class compress(Command):
    def execute(self):
        """ Compress marked files to current directory """
        cwd = self.fm.env.cwd
        marked_files = cwd.get_selection()

        if not marked_files:

        def refresh(_):
            cwd = self.fm.env.get_directory(original_path)

        original_path = cwd.path
        parts = self.line.split()
        au_flags = parts[1:]

        descr = "compressing files in: " + os.path.basename(parts[1])
        obj = CommandLoader(args=['apack'] + au_flags + \
                [os.path.relpath(f.path, cwd.path) for f in marked_files], descr=descr)

        obj.signal_bind('after', refresh)

    def tab(self):
        """ Complete with current folder name """

        extension = ['.zip', '.tar.gz', '.rar', '.7z']
        return ['compress ' + os.path.basename(self.fm.env.cwd.path) + ext for ext in extension]

Image mounting

The following command assumes you are using cdemu as your image mounter and some kind of system like autofs which mounts the virtual drive to a specified location ('/media/virtualrom' in this case). Don't forget to change mountpath to reflect your system settings.

To mount an image (or images) to a cdemud virtual drive from ranger you select the image files and then type ':mount' on the console. The mounting may actually take some time depending on your setup (in mine it may take as long as one minute) so the command uses a custom loader that waits until the mount directory is mounted and then opens it on the background in tab 9.

import os, time
from ranger.core.loader import Loadable
from ranger.ext.signals import SignalDispatcher
from ranger.ext.shell_escape import *

class MountLoader(Loadable, SignalDispatcher):
    Wait until a directory is mounted
    def __init__(self, path):
        descr = "Waiting for dir '" + path + "' to be mounted"
        Loadable.__init__(self, self.generate(), descr)
        self.path = path

    def generate(self):
        available = False
        while not available:
                if os.path.ismount(self.path):
                    available = True

class mount(Command):
    def execute(self):
        selected_files = self.fm.env.cwd.get_selection()

        if not selected_files:

        space = ' '
        self.fm.execute_command("cdemu -b system unload 0")
        self.fm.execute_command("cdemu -b system load 0 " + \
                space.join([shell_escape(f.path) for f in selected_files]))
        mountpath = "/media/virtualrom/"

        def mount_finished(path):
            currenttab = self.fm.current_tab
            self.fm.tab_open(9, mountpath)

        obj = MountLoader(mountpath)
        obj.signal_bind('after', mount_finished)

See also