ranger: The day has come

If you’re a ranger fan, the day has finally arrived where your team is up to bat.


I can remember when ranger first appeared, or at least when I first heard about it on the Arch Linux forums.

My personal impression is that ranger is different from a lot of other console file managers, in part because it sticks closely to vi/m’s keystroke behavior, but also because it seems more concerned with navigability than display arrangement.

Midnight Commander and its kin establish defined sections, mark them out with ASCII borders, and unless you tell otherwise, keep everything in its proper box.

ranger — and a few others too, I imagine — eschew boundaries and regions and allow the space to be used however necessary. Some prefer that, some don’t.

ranger also doubles as a file viewer, as you can see in the gif. Kick out to the right until you reach a file, and eventually it will jump right to your $EDITOR. You can do that from anywhere by pressing SHIFT-E, if you like.

I can give ranger a few other positive marks; as far as speed, it’s very fast for moving through the folder tree. mc and similar programs that require you to press return to shift between folders feel rather slow by comparison.

ranger has some built-in bookmarks, if you press the g key. And of course ranger has color. Everybody likes color. 😉

I feel obligated to mention that ranger is a python program; if you’re working at very low speeds, ranger might feel slow. It’s rather quick to start with though, so I don’t think it would be much of a problem.

If I have to be honest, I’ll be sticking with mc though. I don’t hold any dislike for ranger and I admire its speed and relative lightness. I just can’t let go of my two-pane arrangement. Sorry. … 😐

6 thoughts on “ranger: The day has come

  1. Guido

    I found ranger when I browsed the comments on your old blog while searching for a nice file manager. Thank you so much for your blog! I always find new tools which are fast and do just the right job!

  2. darkstarsword

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been using ranger for a few days now and I must say – I like!
    Most of the time I don’t need a file manager at all – and when I did I generally just ran vim on the directory, but ranger seems much better suited to this, so thanks!

  3. Dr Dreyeth

    MC supports the same lynx style of folder navigation that Ranger does, its just not enabled by default,
    go to panel options and enable Lynx-like motion.

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