A command-line file manager

Nimble Tree Climber

© Photo by Kev Kindred on Unsplash

© Photo by Kev Kindred on Unsplash

Article from Issue 250/2021

The broot file manager guarantees clearer, quicker navigation of the directory tree at the command line.

You most likely use a file manager daily to do a variety of tasks from navigating the filesystem to creating, deleting, moving, and copying files. File managers come in many shapes and sizes, from command-line-only tools to the many Norton Commander clones (e.g., Midnight Commander) to graphical tools such as Dolphin (KDE), Nautilus (Gnome), Thunar (Xfce), or PCManFM (LXDE). In particular, if you have ever had to work with Windows Explorer, you will probably appreciate a good file manager.

Amongst the plethora of file managers, broot (pronounced "be root") clearly stands out from the competition in terms of functionality. Broot, an interactive file manager for the command line written in Rust, offers an innovative concept. It replaces commands such as ls and tree with an interactive display.

Copied from tree

Broot is maintained on GitHub [1] and works on Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, macOS, and Windows. Even in very large directories, this nimble file manager provides the user with a better and quicker overview. In principle, broot's display is based on the output from the tree command (Figure 1). However, broot displays the directory tree in a more compact way and makes the display interactive, in contrast to tree. You can search broot's tree display at lightning speed using fzf [2], a fuzzy search tool.


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