nnn is an excellent command line based file manager for Linux, macOS and BSDs- gHacks Tech News

The program nnn is one of many lightest file managers out there for Linux, macOS, BSDs. It is not your conventional file browser although because it lacks a graphical consumer interface.

Tip: in case you are trying for a conventional file manager as an alternative, try File Commander.

nnn is an excellent command line based file manager for Linux, macOS and BSDs

To set up it, obtain one of many pre-compiled binaries from the releases web page. Since it is a command line interface app, fireplace up a terminal and kind nnn to launch it. There you go, a file manager contained in the terminal. I got here throughout it in a YouTube video by Luke Smith and was intrigued by it.


Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate up or down within the file and folder construction, and left and proper arrow keys return or ahead. The Enter-key opens a folder or file, and you need to use Page Up or Down to scroll up and down a listing. Use the Q key to give up the app or exit sure views.

nnn folder view

Note: Hit the ? key to view a cheat-sheet of all of the keyboard shortcuts. Use the H key when within the assist menu to view an clarification of the shortcuts.

nnn help

Speaking of which there are lots of keyboard shortcuts which use the Shift and Control key for combos. For e.g. you need to use Shift + P to repeat recordsdata, Ctrl + O to open with (and enter the identify of the file handler program). The numbers that you simply see on the high will be activated by holding down the Shift-key and urgent the corresponding quantity on the keyboard. These work like tabs in different packages in order that you could have completely different views open.

Selecting recordsdata

Want to pick out a single file? Highlight it and hit the house key. Once chosen, you could carry out actions on the choice resembling utilizing F2 to rename the file.  Control is used for vary choice (that is the identical as multi choice which you’d do with Shift).

Once you are in a folder, you possibly can entry the recordsdata in it by deciding on them. Since nnn lacks a previewer, it can open the recordsdata of their default handler app. But the one exception to this is textual content paperwork which it could open instantly. You can edit textual content recordsdata by hitting e, or view them by utilizing p.

nnn text viewer

Search for folders immediately

nnn has an as-you-type search which will be toggled with the / key. It helps regex and substring codecs; the performance supplies superior search performance however superior queries require that customers know the right way to use common expressions and the choices offered by the file manager.

nnn help detailed

File Archiver

Did you already know nnn can be utilized as a file archiver? It can open, extract and create archives. Use F to create an archive, and Ctrl + F to extract one. T opens the archive and Shift + F lists the contents of the archive.


nnn helps plugins which vastly enhance its performance (play music, add to imgur, view PDF, and so forth). You can set up plugins with the command:

curl -Ls https://uncooked.githubusercontent.com/jarun/nnn/grasp/plugins/getplugs | sh

nnn plugins

To entry plugins use Shift + R, which shows a listing of accessible plugins. Execute the plugin with the enter key. For e.g. for those who needed to calculate the checksum worth of a file, it’s best to choose the file. Then use Shift + R, spotlight the checksum plugin and enter.

I have not scratched nnn’s floor. You can do much more with this system, however this could hopefully get you began with the fundamentals.

This article was partially based on the official nnn Wiki. I simplified it a bit.

Closing Words

The file manager nnn is an superior device which will attraction to customers who use Terminal repeatedly probably the most. Its superior capabilities could make it attention-grabbing to superior customers who must find particular recordsdata and folders rapidly, or run actions on these. The out there plugins prolong the performance of this system considerably.

Now You: What is your favourite file manager on *nix techniques?

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