ranger (file manager)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Toon Nolten, Wojciech Siewierski, Roman Zimbelmann[1]
Initial releaseJune 9, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-06-09)[1]
Stable release
1.9.3[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 31 December 2019
Written inPython
Operating systemLinux
Size274 KB (tar.gz source)[3]
Available inEnglish only[4]
TypeFile manager
Websiteranger.github.io Edit this on Wikidata

ranger is a free and open-source file manager with text-based user interface for Unix-like systems. It is developed by Roman Zimbelmann and licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The program can accomplish file management tasks with a few keystrokes, and mouse input is optional. In conjunction with extensions including the rifle file opener and scope.sh, ranger can be scripted to open files with pre-defined programs, and to display a preview of the selected file by calling external programs.[6]


  • UTF-8 support
  • Multi-column display (Miller columns)
  • Preview of the selected file/directory
  • Common file operations (create/chmod/copy/delete/...)
  • VI-like console and hotkeys
  • Renaming multiple files at once
  • Automatically determine file types and run them with correct programs
  • Integration with External Programs
  • Shell directory changing after exit
  • Tabs, bookmarks and mouse support
  • True-color image previews
  • Video thumbnails


ranger is written in Python and the text-based interface uses ncurses.[7][8] The program makes use of the Miller columns visualization technique to display folder structures in three columns, whose default width ratios are 1:3:4. The currently active folder is always displayed in the central column, while folders higher up in the hierarchy are on the left. The rightmost column is used for displaying deeper folders and file previews.[5][9]


ranger borrows its keybindings from vi where possible, but also accepts mouse buttons and shares a few keybindings with GNU Readline and Midnight Commander. All configurable keybindings are defined in the ranger/config/rc.conf configuration file, which is located in $HOME/.config/ by default.[10]

Comparison with other file managers[edit]

Due to its use of the Miller columns layout, ranger has been compared to Finder,[11][12] the default file manager used on the classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems. It has also been suggested as a viable alternative to users accustomed to Directory Opus.[13][14] ranger shares similarities with other text-based file managers including Midnight Commander, from which it borrowed its function key keyboard shortcuts, and with vifm, which also borrows features from vi and Mutt. In addition, most core utilities related to file management (cd, ls, rm, mv, ln, touch, etc.) are available from within ranger's distinct command language layer.[15] File browser with a similar text user interface include rover[16] and nnn.[17]


A 2012 survey among Arch Linux users found that ranger was the most used text-based file manager among respondents, surpassing Midnight Commander, the second most widely used text-based file manager, by a factor of two and a half (20% to 8%).[18] ranger also received 0.9% of votes in the "Best File Manager" category in a 2013 survey by Linux Journal.[19] LinuxLinks named it one of the "10 Best Orthodox Free Linux File Managers", and one of its "5 Top Console Linux File Managers".[20][21] It is often cited in magazine articles and software blogs for power users as an illustration of the power and versatility of the command line interface.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ranger home page". Ranger - console file manager with VI key bindings. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
  2. ^ "Release 1.9.3". 31 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Download". ranger - file manager. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Ranger: le file-manager en python" (PDF). arpinux.org (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. [...] le seul défaut de ranger serait qu'il est anglophone…
  5. ^ a b "ranger - visual file manager". ranger(1) manpage. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  6. ^ Kemp, Juliet (16 August 2010). "Ranger: Console-Based File Management". ServerWatch. IT Business. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  7. ^ Bezroukov, Dr. Nikolai. "History of Scripting Language based OFMs". Softpanorama. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  8. ^ 黑日白月 (4 October 2010). "Ranger: 控制台下的文件管理器". LinuxTOY (in Chinese). Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  9. ^ Arora, Himanshu (5 September 2013). "Ranger – A Text Based File Manager For Command Line Users". MyLinuxBook. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  10. ^ Vogelgesang, Matthias (17 October 2012). "Ranger File Manager". Bloerg. Retrieved 18 June 2014. the first thing you will notice is a window layout similar to MacOS' finder
  11. ^ Mottram, Jack (30 April 2010). "Ranger". One Thing Well. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  12. ^ Hartnell, Brian (March 2012). "Directory Opus" (PDF). Full Circle Magazine (in French) (59): 42. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  13. ^ Beckers, Ludo (April 2012). "Directory Opus" (PDF). Full Circle Magazine (in French) (60): 43. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  14. ^ Bezroukov, Dr. Nikolai (November 2012). "OFM2012 -- Cutting Edge Features of Orthodox File Managers". Softpanorama. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Rover -- simple file browser for the terminal".
  16. ^ "Jarun/NNN". GitHub. 26 October 2021.
  17. ^ "LnF Awards 2012 - The best Light & Fast apps of 2012". bbs.archlinux.org. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  18. ^ Shawn Powers (December 2013). "Readers' Choice Awards 2013". Linux Journal (236): 79. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  19. ^ 陈皓 (11 July 2012). "28个Unix/Linux的命令行神器". Chinese Software Developer Network (CSDN) (in Chinese). Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links[edit]