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Manan Singh c225a0d5ef
Merge pull request #54 from StephenPate/master
1 year ago
scripts Improved w3mimg scripts 3 years ago
user_scripts Added user scripts for archiving files and extracting archives 3 years ago
.gitignore Started using Make instead of CMake 3 years ago
LICENSE Initial commit 3 years ago
Makefile Packaging changes 2 years ago Corrected references to "cache" to "config" 1 year ago
cf.c Added code for removing leading newline character for shellscript mime 1 year ago
cf.png updated readme photo 3 years ago
cfiles.1 Added keybinding to toggle borders 3 years ago
config.h Added option to edit bookmarks 2 years ago


Latest release Arch Linux Homebrew


cfiles is a terminal file manager with vim like keybindings, written in C using the ncurses library. It aims to provide an interface like ranger while being lightweight, fast and minimal.



  • ncursesw
  • cpand mv for copying and moving
  • fzf for searching
  • w3mimgdisplay or Überzug for image previews
  • mediainfo for viewing media info and file sizes
  • atool for archive previews
  • poppler(specifically pdftoppm) for pdf previews

Compiling and Installation

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users can use the AUR package.


macOS users can use brew or macports


To compile, run


and then run,

sudo make install

to install.


Key Function
h j k l Navigation keys
G Go to end
g Go to top
H Go to top of current view
M Go to middle of current view
L Go to bottom of current view
pgup Scroll Up One Page
pgdn Scroll Down One Page
f Search using fzf
F Search using fzf in the present directory
S Open Shell in present directory
space Add/Remove to/from selection list
tab View selection list
e Edit selection list
u Empty selection list
y Copy files from selection list
v Move files from selection list
a Rename Files in selection list
dd Move files from selection list to trash
dD Remove selected files
i View mediainfo and general info
I View preview
. Toggle hidden files
b Toggle borders
' View/Goto bookmarks
m Add bookmark
E Edit bookmarks
p Run external script
r Reload
q Quit

Directories Used

cfiles uses $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cfiles directory to store the clipboard file. This is used so that the clipboard can be shared between multiple instances of cfiles. That's why I won't be adding tabs in cfiles because multiple instances can be openend and managed by any terminal multiplexer or your window manager. Note that this also means the selection list will persist even if all instances are closed.

cfiles also uses $HOME/.local/share/Trash/files as the Trash Directory, so make sure this directory exists before you try to delete a file.

For storing bookmarks, cfiles uses $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cfiles/bookmarks file. Bookmarks are stored in the form <key>:<path>. You can either edit this file directly or press m in cfiles to add new bookmarks.

cfiles looks for external scripts in the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cfiles/scripts directory. Make sure the scripts are executable before moving them to the scripts directory.

If $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not set, then $HOME/.config is used.

Opening Files

You can set FILE_OPENER in config.h to specify your file opening program. It is set to use xdg-open by default but you can change it to anything like thunar. macOS users need to set it to open.

Image Previews

You can either go with w3mimgdisplay or Überzug (link) for image previews. Each method has it's own pros and cons.

  1. Überzug

To use Überzug for image previews, set DISPLAYIMG and CLEARIMG in config.h to the paths of displayimg_uberzug and clearimg_uberzug scripts respectively.

  • Pros
    1. Better previews when compared to w3mimgdisplay
  • Cons
    1. Can't generate previews for mp3 album arts
    2. Non functional scrolling with arrow keys

I recommend Überzug because the previews scale well with change in terminal size and don't disappear on changing workspaces.

  1. w3mimgdisplay

To use w3mimgdisplay for image previews, set DISPLAYIMG and CLEARIMG in config.h to the paths of displayimg and clearimg scripts respectively.

  • Pros
    1. Faster scrolling
    2. Can generate previews of album arts for mp3 files
  • Cons
    1. Previews are very inconsistent and may disappear on resizing the terminal or changing workspaces
    2. You may have to redraw the UI while scrolling by pressing KEY_RELOAD (defaults to R)

You may have to modify the scripts a little, about which you can read here.

Why C?

I wanted to improve my C and learn ncurses so I decided this would be an ideal project.

Apart from this, I have always wanted an alternative to ranger that is faster while still having a similar UI.