xplr is a terminal UI based file explorer that aims to increase our terminal productivity by being a flexible, interactive orchestrator for the ever growing awesome command-line utilities that work with the file-system.

To achieve its goal, xplr strives to be a fast, minimal and more importantly, hackable file explorer.

xplr is not meant to be a replacement for the standard shell commands or the GUI file managers. Rather, it aims to integrate them all and expose an intuitive, scriptable, keyboard controlled, real-time visual interface, also being an ideal candidate for further integration, enabling us to achieve insane terminal productivity.



xplr is built with configurability in mind. So it allows you to perform a vast set of operations and make it behave just the way you want.

A few things you can do with the xplr configuration


Although speed is not the primary concern, xplr is already fast enough so that you can take it out for a walk into your node_modules or /nix/store any time you want. I currently measure the most commonly used operations and I have seen it improve significantly over time, and it's only the start.

Tip: A quick and easy way to optimize UI rendering is reducing the number of columns in the table.

Note: If you feel xplr is not behaving at its optimal, this is probably because I am waiting for someone to complain. I want to avoid optimizing things I don't need to, because optimization often requires either complexity or feature sacrifice or both.


xplr prefers to stay minimal, both in terms of features and binary size, but just like speed, minimalism isn't as aggressively pursued as configurability. If adding some feature, lines of code, or a dependency allows the users to be a little more productive or allows xplr to be a little more configurable, it will be considered. But of-course, the bulk vs productivity gain per user balance will also be considered in the decision-making.

Other features

  • Embedded LuaJIT for portability and extensibility.
  • Switchable recover mode: Saves you from doing unwanted things when in a hurry.
  • Sane (vim-like) defaults:
    • Use h, j, k, l or arrow keys for basic navigation.
    • Go to top using g g, and bottom using G.
    • Travel history using ctrl-o and ctrl-i.
    • Go to home directory using ~.
    • Enter search mode with / or ctrl-f.
    • Go to absolute index (e.g. 4) using 4 enter or : 4 enter.
    • Go to relative index (e.g. 4 down) using 4 down or : 4 down.
    • Follow symlink using g f.
    • Open in GUI using g x.
    • Spawn terminal using : !.
    • Toggle selection using v or space.
    • Toggle select all using V or ctrl-a.
    • Clear selections using ctrl-u.
  • Separate keys for navigation: navigation keys are separated from the action keys (e.g. file opening action) to avoid mistakenly performing unwanted actions while navigating.
  • Always visible panels to save you brain cycles:
    • Selection list.
    • Help menu.
    • Input & logs.
    • Filter and sort pipeline.
  • Batch creation: Create multiple files and directories without repeating keys.
  • Batch sort & filter: Apply sorters and filters in without repeating keys.
  • Custom file properties: Display custom file properties with custom colors in the table using Lua functions.
  • Input buffer: Read user input using the built-in input buffer with customizable behavior.
  • Switchable layouts: Switch layouts dynamically without leaving xplr.
  • Saved locations: Never lose context when traveling back and forth directories.
  • Auto refresh state: Auto refresh app state when the $PWD changes.
  • Manually refresh UI when other apps mess it up.
  • FIFO-based previews: Easy to manage FIFO file that can be used to integrate with previewers.
  • Different quit options:
    • Quit with success without any output (q).
    • Quit with success and the result printed on stdout (enter).
    • Quit with success and the present working directory printed on stdout (: q p).
    • Quit with success and the path under focus printed on stdout (: q f).
    • Quit with success and the selection printed on stdout (: q s).
    • Quit with failure (ctrl-c).