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Emacs Dired buffers.png
Some Dired buffers as implemented in Emacs, with some custom colors.
Developer(s) Stan Kugell (original), Richard Stallman (for Emacs)
Initial release Circa 1974; 41 years ago (1974)
Stable release 7.17 / 30 July 2009; 6 years ago (2009-07-30)[citation needed]
Operating system Unix-like
Type File manager
License GPL (Free Software)
Website Mike Sperber's dired page

Dired is a visual directory editor, a computer program for editing file system directories. Dired runs on any Emacs platform. Its commands are generally more modal than most Emacs commands because Dired is a specialized major mode on its own. Dired can perform all expected operations; in operation and use it is akin to an orthodox file manager like Midnight Commander.

Dired was the first visual editor of file system information, or File Manager.[1][2] Later examples include the Windows File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer) and the Apple Macintosh Finder.

Dired was invented circa 1974 at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) as a stand-alone program by Stan Kugell.[1] It was quickly incorporated into Emacs,[citation needed] re-implemented in other operating systems,[citation needed] and became the basis for modern window-oriented file directory displays.[citation needed]

Several Emacs Lisp scripts have been developed to extend Dired functionalities in Emacs. In combination with Tramp[3] it is able to access remote file systems for editing files by means of SSH, FTP, telnet and many other protocols, as well as the capability of accessing as another user for editing files with restricted permissions (such as administrator access) in the same session. There are also functionalities that make it possible to rename multiple files via search and replace[4] or apply regular expressions for marking (selecting) multiple files.[5]


  1. ^ a b Kugell, Stanley G. (1974). "SAILDART/1978-08". Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab DART (Dump and Restore Technique) Archive. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  2. ^ SAILDART Username key for above
  3. ^ "Tramp User Manual". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  4. ^ "WDired". 
  5. ^ "Dired Marks vs. Flags". 

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