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clifm - Man Page

The Command Line File Manager

Examples (TL;DR)


clifm [OPTION]... [PATH]


1. Getting help

2. Description

3. Parameters
  . Positional parameters
  . Options

4. Commands

5. File Filters (by file name, file type, and MIME type)

6. Keyboard shortcuts

7. Theming

8. Built-in expansions

9. Resource opener (third-party openers are also supported)

10. Shotgun, a built-in files previewer

11. Auto-suggestions (including a warning prompt for invalid command names)

12. Shell functions

13. Plugins

14. Autocommands

15. File tags

16. Virtual directories

17. Note on speed

18. Kangaroo frecency algorithm

19. Environment

20. Security

21. Miscellaneous notes

22. Files

23. Examples

1. Getting Help

There are several ways of getting help in clifm. Once in the program, enter ? or help for some basic usage examples, or press F1 to access this manpage, F2 to go to the COMMANDS section of this very manpage, or F3 to jump to the KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS section.

To get help about some specific topic, type help <TAB> to get a list of available help topics. Choose the topic you want and then press Enter.

For a list of available commands and a brief description type cmd<TAB>.

Help for all internal commands can be accessed via the -h or --help flags. For example, to get help about the selection function, s -h or s --help.

A convenient way of getting full information about clifm commands is via the ih action, bound by default to the interactive help plugin (ihelp.sh). Enter ih to run the plugin (it depends on fzf(1)) and select the command you want to obtain information about.

For a quick introduction jump to the EXAMPLES section at the bottom of this document.

2. Description

Clifm is a Command Line Interface File Manager. This is its main feature and strength: all input and interacion is performed via commands typed in a prompt. In other words, clifm is a REPL, since it's basic structure is simply this: Read (user input via a command line), Evaluate/Execute the command, Print the results, Loop (start all over again).

Unlike most terminal file managers out there, indeed, clifm replaces the traditional TUI interface (also known as curses or text-menu based interface) by a simple command-line interface (REPL). In this sense, it is a file manager, but also a shell extension: search for files, copy, rename, and trash some of them, but, at the same time, update/upgrade your system, add some cronjob, stop a service, and run nano (or vi, or emacs, if you like).

Simply put, with clifm the command-line is still there, never hidden, but enriched with file management oriented functionalities.

3. Parameters

Positional Parameters

If the first non-option parameter is a directory, clifm will start in this directory (for example, the command clifm /etc instructs clifm to start in the directory /etc).

If not specified, the first workspace is used. To start in a different workspace use the -w option (for instance, clifm -w4 /etc).

If no positional parameter, and the -w option is not used, clifm starts by default in the last visited directory (and in the last active workspace). To disable this behavior use --no-restore-last-path (see below).


Note: If compiled in POSIX mode, the following list of options does not apply. In this case, run clifm -h to get the actual list of options. (To make sure run clifm -v: if compiled in POSIX mode the version number is followed by "-POSIX").
-a,  --show-hidden

do not ignore entries starting with .

-A,  --no-hidden

ignore entries starting with .

-b,  --bookmarks-file=FILE

set an alternative bookmarks file

-c,  --config-file=FILE

set an alternative configuration file

-D,  --config-dir=DIR

set an alternative configuration directory (if configuration files do not exist already, they will be created in DIR).

-e,  --no-eln

do not print ELN's (entry list number) at the left of file names. Bear in mind, however, that though ELN's are not printed, they are still there and can be used as always.

-E,  --eln-use-workspace-color

ELN's use the current workspace color

-f,  --dirs-first

list directories first

-F,  --no-dirs-first

do not list directories first

-g,  --pager

enable Mas, the built-in pager for files listing

-G,  --no-pager

disable the files pager

-h,  --help

show this help and exit

-H,  --horizontal-list

list files horizontally (instead of vertically)

-i,  --no-case-sensitive

ignore case distinctions when listing files

-I,  --case-sensitive

do not ignore case distinctions when listing files

-k,  --keybindings-file=FILE

set an alternative keybindings file

-l,  --long-view

print file extended metadata next to file names. Displayed fields can be customized via --prop-fields (PropFields in the configuration file). Set a custom time/date format using --time-style (TimeStyle in the configuration file).

-L,  --follow-symlinks-long

when running in long view, show information for the file symbolic links reference rather than for the symbolic links themselves

-m,  --dirhist-map

enable the directory history map to keep in view previous, current, and next entries in the directory history list

-o,  --autols

the cd command changes directory and lists files automatically

-O,  --no-autols

the internal cd command works like the shell cd command: change directory but do not list files automatically

-P,  --profile=PROFILE

use PROFILE as profile. If PROFILE does not exist, it will be created. The default profile is default.

-r,  --no-refresh-on-empty-line

do not refresh the current list of files when pressing Enter on an empty line

-s,  --splash

enable the splash screen

-S,  --stealth-mode

in stealth mode (also known as incognito or private mode) no trace is left on the host system. Nothing is read from files nor any file is created: all settings are set to the default values. However, most settings can still be controlled via command line options and dedicated environment variables (see the ENVIRONMENT section below). Take a look as well to the history command and the --no-history command line switch.

-t,  --disk-usage-analyzer

run in disk usage analyzer mode. Equivalent to --sort=size --long-view --full-dir-size --no-dirs-first. The total size of the current directory, plus the name and size of the largest file, will be printed after the list of files. Press Ctrl-Alt-i (or Alt-TAB) to toggle this mode on/off in-place.

-T,  --trash-dir=DIR

set an alternative trash directory

-v,  --version

show version details and exit

-w,  --workspace=NUM

start in workspace NUM. By default, clifm will recover the last visited directory for each workspace. However, you can override this behaviour using positional parameters to start in workspace NUM and in path PATH. Ex: clifm -w4 /etc.

-x,  --no-ext-cmds

disallow the use of external (shell) commands

-y,  --light-mode

enable the light mode to speed up clifm. See the NOTE ON SPEED section below.

-z,  --sort=METHOD

sort files by METHOD, where METHOD is one of: 0 = none, 1 = name, 2 = size, 3 = atime, 4 = btime, 5 = ctime, 6 = mtime, 7 = version, 8 =  extension, 9 = inode, 10 = owner, 11 = group, 12 = blocks, or 13 = links. Both numbers and strings are allowed. E.g: --sort=9 or --sort=inode.


set the terminal bell type, where TYPE is: 0 = none, 1 = audible, 2 = visible (requires readline >= 8.1), and 3 = flash. Defaults to 1 (visible), and, if not available, 0 (none). Only numbers are allowed.


do not ignore case when consulting the jump database (via the j command)


enable case sensitive path completion


write the last visited directory to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/.last to be later accessed by the corresponding shell function at program exit. Consult the SHELL FUNCTIONS section below for more information.


use the color scheme named NAME


colorize symbolic links using the target file color


print the current working directory in the terminal window title (otherwise, only the program name is printed)


load data files, such as plugins, color schemes, and default configuration files, from DIR


enable desktop notifications. Enter help desktop-notifications in clifm for more information.


show disk usage for the file system the current directory belongs to (in the form free/total (free-percentage) fs-type dev-name)


when running in long view, print the full (or total) size of directories


fuzzy matching algorithm, where VER is either 1 (faster, but not Unicode aware), or 2 (slower, Unicode aware). Bear in mind however that the second algorithm will fallback to the first one (because it's faster) whenever the query string contains only ASCII characters, to minimize thus the performance penalty.


enable fuzzy matches for filename/path completions and suggestions


enable file previews for TAB completion (fzf mode only) with the preview window hidden (toggle it via Alt-p)


use fzf to display completion matches


use fnf to display completion matches


enable icons


instead of a specific color, icons take the color of the corresponding file name (specified either via file type or file extension). Useful when building custom color schemes. This option implies --icons. Only if compiled with support for either icons-in-terminal or Nerdfonts. The default build is compiled with emoji-icons support, in which case this option is ignored (Unicode icons has their own color built-in)


allow the use of internal variables (ex: VAR=/bin; cd $VAR)


list files and quit. Useful in conjunction with positional parameters. Ex: ´clifm --list-and-quit /etc´


short for --list-and-quit


read file colors from the LS_COLORS environment variable (GNU ls only). Bear in mind that clifm-specific colors (like empty directory or inaccessible file) will be disabled. Note also that colors for specific file names, as defined in LS_COLORS, are not supported. Consult dircolors(1) for more information.


maximum number of visited directories to remember


list only up to NUM files. Use -1 or ´unset´ to remove the files limit (default). See the mf command for a more detailed description.


set the maximum number of characters after which the current directory in the prompt line will be abbreviated to the directory base name (whenever the \z code is used in the prompt)


use udisks2 instead of udevil (default), for the media command


print file sizes as used blocks (actual device usage) instead of used bytes (apparent size)


disable bold colors (applies to all color schemes)


by default, clifm changes directories by just specifying the corresponding ELN (e.g. ´12´ instead of ´cd 12´). This option forces the use of cd.


by default, clifm appends a file type indicator character to file names when running with no colors (see the --no-color option below) and a directory indicator (plus a files counter) when running with colors. Classification characters are:
/n: directories (n = files counter)
@:  symbolic links
!:  broken symbolic links
|:  fifo/pipes
=:  sockets
*:  executable files
+:  block devices
-:  character devices
?:  unknown file type Use this option to disable file type classification.


do not clear the screen before listing files


disable colors


disable columns for files listing (use a single column)


disable the directory jumper function


do not check file capabilities when listing files (only meaningful for performance reasons)


do not check file extensions (mostly used to colorize specific file names) when listing files


disable the files counter for directories (speeding up this the listing process: counting files in directories is particularly expensive).


do not follow symbolic links when listing files (links to directories will be listed as regular files). Overrides both -L and --color-links-as-target.


disable file previews for TAB completion (fzf mode only)


disable syntax highlighting. To customize highlighting colors see the COLOR CODES section below.


do not write commands into the history file (see also the HistIgnore option in the configuration file)


same as --no-cd-auto, but for files instead of directories


do not attempt to refresh the list of files upon window's resize


by default, clifm saves the last visited directory for each workspace to be restored in the next session. Use this option to disable this behavior.


disable the auto-suggestions system


disable startup tips


do not trim file names (see MaxFilenameLen in the configuration file)


disable the warning prompt (used to highlight invalid command names)


disable the welcome message


list directories only


run as a standalone resource opener: open FILE and exit, where FILE could be a regular file or a directory, using either standard notation (/dir/file) or the URI file scheme (file:///dir/file]), or a URL (www.domain or https://domain).


use APPLICATION (ex: rifle or xdg-open) as files opener/launcher (instead of Lira, clifm's default opener).


list files in the pager according to MODE. Possible values: auto (use the current listing mode - this is the default), long (list files in long view), and short (list files in short view).


same as --no-apparent-size


display a preview of FILE (via Shotgun) and exit. Use --shotgun-file to set an alternative confiuguration file via. Consult the SHOTGUN section below for more information.


print the list of selected files. The maximum number of selected files to be printed can be specified via the MaxPrintSelfiles option in the configuration file. Defaults to 0 (auto, i.e. never take more than half terminal height). Use -1 to remove the limit or any other positive value.


set fields to be displayed in long view mode. For information on how to construct this format string consult the PropFields option in the configuration file.


time/date style used by the p/pp command and the --stat/--stat-full command line switches. Available styles: default, iso, long-iso, full-iso, full-iso-nano, +FORMAT. FORMAT is interpreted like in strftime(3). Nano-second precision is available via the %N modifier (like in date(1)).


run in read-only mode (internal commands able to modify the file system are disabled). Disabled commands are: ac, ad, bb, bl/bleach, br/bulk, c, dup, l, le, m, md, n/new, oc, paste, pc, r, rr, t/trash, tag, te, u/undel/untrash, and vv, plus the shell commands cp, rm, mv, ln, mkdir, rmdir, link, and unlink.


set readline to vi editing mode (defaults to emacs editing mode)


filter commands passed to the OS to mitigate command injection attacks (--secure-env is implied). Consult the SECURITY section below


run clifm in a secure environment (regular mode). Consult the SECURITY section below


run clifm in a secure environment (full mode). Consult the SECURITY section below


set FILE as selections file


make the Selection Box common (that is, accessible) to different profiles. By default, each profile has a private Selection Box.


set FILE as shotgun´s configuration file. Only effective when running as a standalone files previewer via the --preview switch. See the SHOTGUN section below for more information


print file sizes in powers of 1000, as defined by the International System of Units (SI), instead of 1024


use smenu to display completion matches


sort files in reverse order (ex: z-a instead of a-z)

--stat FILE...

run the p command on FILE(s) and exit. This must be the last option on the command line. Use --ptime-style to set a custom date/time format.

--stat-full FILE..

same as --stat, but it runs the pp command (instead of p) on FILE(s)


use the standard mode (readline´s built-in) for TAB completion


time/date style used in long view. Available styles: default, relative, iso, long-iso, full-iso, +FORMAT. FORMAT is interpreted like in strftime(3).


the r command executes the built-in ´trash´ (see the t command) instead of rm(1) to prevent accidental deletions


use PATH as CliFM´s virtual directory


print file names in virtual directories as full paths instead of just base names


run in VT100 compatibility mode

Options precedence order: 1) command line flags; 2) configuration file; 3) default values.

4. Commands

Help for all commands listed here can be accessed via the -h or --help options. For example: p --help to get help about the properties function.

NOTE: ELN = Entry List Number. Example: in the line "12 openbox" (when listing files), 12 is the ELN corresponding to the file named "openbox". The slash followed by a number (/xx) after directories and symbolic links to directories (the files counter) indicates the amount of files contained by the corresponding directory, excluding self and parent directories ("." and ".." respectively).

NOTE 2: In case of ELN-filename conflict the backslash can be used to prevent ELN expansion. For example, if we have at least two files and one of them is named "2", then clifm cannot know in advance if the command refers to the ELN 2 or to the file name "2". In we want the ELN, we just write the ELN number, for example: s 2. But if we want the file name, we need to escape the file name using the backlash character: s \2.

NOTE 3: clifm supports fused parameters for internal commands taking an ELN or range of ELN´s as parameters. Much like short options for command line programs, you can drop or omit the space between internal commands and the corresponding ELN passed as argument. In general, you can write CMDELN instead of CMD ELN. For example: o12 or s1-5 instead of o 12 and s 1-5 respectively. Bear in mind, however, that in thus omitting the space char TAB completion for ELN's will not be available. If there is a file named o12 (more generally, CMDELN), and if you want to refer to this file instead of a clifm command, escape the file name to prevent the split; for example: s \o12.

NOTE 4: clifm implements a fastback function, that is to say, the conversion of "... n" or "cmd ... n" into "../.. n" or "cmd ../.. n". In other words, subsequent dots after ".." will be converted each into "/..". For example, if you are in your home directory and type "..." or "cd ...", and since "..." amounts to "../..", you will be taken to the root directory. TAB completion is available for the fastback function: "....bin" -> TAB -> "../../../bin".


if the autocd and auto-open functions are enabled, which is the default value, open FILE or change directory to DIR. In other words, FILE amounts to open FILE or o FILE, and DIR to cd DIR. ELN's, of course, are allowed. Example: 12.

/PATTERN [-filetype] [-x] [DIR]

this is the quick search function. Type / followed by a glob or regular (or extended regular) expression, and clifm will list all matches in the current working directory. For example, both /*.pdf and /.pdf$ expressions will list all PDF files in the current working directory, the former using wildcards, and the second a regular expression.

You can list previously used search patterns via TAB: /*<TAB>.

Note: By default, the search function attempts to resolve a pattern first as glob, and then, if no matches are found, as a regular expression. This behavior can be customizad however in the configuration file, via the SearchStrategy option.

Note 2: If no further parameter is provided, but only a glob pattern (wildcards), you can expand the pattern into the corresponding matches via the TAB key. For example, to list all C files in the current directory: /*.c<TAB>.

Note 3: Expressions containing no pattern metacharacter are automatically transformed into a glob/regular expression (depending on the value of the SearchStrategy option). For example, /test becomes *test* or /.*test.*.

1. Case sensitivity

By default, regular expressions are case insensitive (glob expressions, by contrast, are always case sensitive). However, you can enable case sensitive search by setting the CaseSensitiveSearch option to true in the configuration file.

2. Destiny directory

To search for files in any directory other than the current directory, specify the directory name as a further parameter. This parameter (DIR) could be an absolute path, a relative path, or an ELN. For example, enter /^A 7 to search for all files starting with ´A´ in the directory corresponding to the ELN 7.

3. File type filter

The result of the search could be further filtered by specifying a filter type: -b, -c, -d, -f, -l, -p, -s, -D, and -P (block device, character device, directory, regular file, symbolic link, FIFO/pipe, socket, door (Solaris), and port (Solaris) respectively. For example, /[.-].*d$ -d Documents/ will list all directories containing a dot or a dash and ending with ´d´ in the directory named Documents.

4. Negate a pattern

The quick search function also supports invert search: prepend the exclamation mark (!) to negate a given search pattern. For example: !.*s$ -d /etc will match all directories in /etc NOT ending with ´s´, just as !D* will match all files in the current directory NOT starting with ´D´.

5. Recursive search

To perform a recursive search use the -x parameter, and, optionally, a search path (DIR) (file type filter is not allowed). The search will be performed using find as follows: find DIR MODE PATTERN. If no search path is provided, the search is executed starting in the current directory. Otherwise, the search starts in DIR. MODE is one of:

-name: SearchStrategy is not regex-only and CaseSensitiveSearch is set to true

-iname: SearchStrategy is not regex-only and CaseSensitiveSearch is set to false

-regex: SearchStrategy is regex-only and CaseSensitiveSearch is set to true

-iregex: SearchStrategy is regex-only and CaseSensitiveSearch is set to false

;[CMD], :[CMD]

If no CMD, run the system shell in the current working directory. If CMD is specified, skip all clifm expansions (see the BUILT-IN EXPANSIONS section below) and run the input string (CMD) as is via the default system shell.

ac, ad ELN/FILE...

archive/compress and dearchive/decompress one or multiple files and/or directories. The archiver function brings two modes: ac, to generate archives or compressed files, and ad, to decompress or dearchive files, either just listing, extracting, recompressing, or mounting their content. In this latter case, the mountpoint used automatically is $HOME/.config/clifm/PROFILE/mounts/ARCHIVE_NAME.

The function accepts single and multiple file names, wildcards, ELN ranges, and the 'sel' keyword. For example: ac sel, ac 4-25 myfile, or ad *.tar.gz. Multiple archive/compression formats are supported, including Zstandard. When it comes to ISO 9660 files only single files are supported.

The archive mount function for non ISO files depends on archivemount, while the remaining functions depend on atool and other third-party utilities for achive formats support, for example, p7zip. p7zip is also used to manage most decompressing options for ISO 9660 files, except for mount, in which case mount(8) is used. Creation of ISO files is done via genisoimage(1). For more information consult atool(1), archivemount(1), zstd(1), and 7z(1).

acd, autocd [on, off, status]

toggle the autocd function on/off. If set to on, DIR amounts to cd DIR.

actions [list] [edit [APP]]

to list available actions (or plugins) use the list subcommand. Note that, since list is the default action, it can be omitted.

Use the edit subcommand to add, remove or modify custom actions (using APP if specified or the default associated application for text files otherwise).

The aim of this function is to allow the user to easily add custom commands and functions to clifm. In other words, the actions function is a plugins capability.

The general procedure is quite simple: a) edit the actions file (via actions edit) and bind a custom action name to an executable file (written in any language you want, be it a shell or Python script, a C program or whatever you like). Example: "myaction=myscript.sh". b) Now, drop the corresponding script (in our example, myscript.sh) into the plugins directory (see the FILES section below). 3) Once this is done, you can call the script using the custom action name defined before as if it were any other command: run myaction, and myscript.sh will be executed.

All arguments passed to the action command are passed to the script or program as well (which is executed via the system shell).

The plugins bundled with clifm (take a look at the plugins directory) could be used as a starting point to create new plugins.

alias [import FILE] [ls,list] [NAME]

with no argument (or with ls,list parameters), it prints the list of available aliases, if any. To get the description of a specific alias enter alias followed by the alias name. To write a new alias simply enter edit (or press F10) to open the configuration file and add a line like this: "alias name=´command args...´" or "alias name=´directory´".

To import aliases from a file, provided it contains aliases in the specified form, use the import parameter. Aliases conflicting with some of the internal commands won´t be imported.

However, a neat usage for the alias function is not so much to bind short keys to commands, but to files and directories visited regularly. In this way, it is possible to bind as many files or directories, no matter how deep they are in the file system, to very short strings, even single characters. For example, "alias w=´/some/file/deep/in/the/filesystem´. Now, no matter where we are, we can just enter ´w´, provided autocd and/or auto-open function is enabled, to access the file or directory we want. Theoretically at least, this procedure could be repeated until the system memory is exhausted.

To create multiple aliases for files at once, this is the recommended procedure: 1) Select all files you want to alias with the sel function: s file1 file2 file3 .... 2) Export the selected files into a temporary file running exp sel; 3) Edit this file to contain only valid alias lines:

alias a1=´file1´
alias b1=´file2´
alias c1=´file3´

NOTE: Make sure alias names do not conflict with other commands, either internal or external. To bypass the conflicts check, performed automatically by the ´alias import´ command, you can edit the aliases file manually (F10).

4) Finally, import this file with the alias function: alias import tmp_file. Now, you can access any of these files by entering just a few characters: a1, b1, and c1.

ao, auto-open [on, off, status]

toggle the auto-open function on/off. If set to on, FILE amounts to open FILE.

b, back [h, hist] [clear] [W!ELN]

unlike cd .., which sends you to the parent directory of the current directory, this command (with no argument) sends you back to the previously visited directory.

clifm keeps a record of all visited directories (to prevent a directory from being added to the directory history list use the DirhistIgnore option in the main configuration file). You can see this list by typing b hist or b h, and you can access any element in this list by simply passing the corresponding ELN in this list to the back command. Example:
       :) > ~ $ bh
       1 /home/user
       2 /etc
       3 /proc
       :) > ~ $ b !3
       :) > /proc $

NOTE: the line printed in green indicates the current position of the back function in the directory history list.

Finally, you can also clear this history list by typing b clear.

The best way of navigating the directory history list, however, is via the directory jumper function. See the j command below. You can take a look at the dh command as well.

bb, bleach ELN/FILE...

Bleach is a built-in file names cleaner (based on detox [https://github.com/dharple/detox]), whose main aim is to rename file names using only safe characters. Bleach cleans file names up either by removing unsafe (extended-ASCII/Unicode) characters without an ASCII alternative/similar character, or by translating these unsafe characters into an alternative ASCII character based on familiarity/similarity.

These following simple rules are used to compose clean/safe file names:
   - NUL (\0) and slash (/) characters are completely disallowed
   - Only characters from the Portable Filename Characters Set (a-zA-Z0-9._-) are allowed
   - { [ ( ) ] } are replaced by a dash (-). Everything else is replaced by an underscore (_)
   - Unicode characters are translated, whenever possible, into an ASCII replacement. Otherwise, they are just ignored. For example, an upper case A with diacritic (accent, umlaut, diaresis, and so on) will be replaced by an ASCII A, but the smiley face emoji will be simply ignored. A few special signs will be translated into text, for instance, the pound sign will be replaced by "_pound_" and the Euro symbol by "EUR". Translations are made via a translation table (cleaner_table.h)
   - File names never start with a dash (-)
   - Files named . and .. are not allowed
   - Append .bleach to one character long file names
   - Do not let a replacement file name start with a dot (hidden) if the original does not
   - Max file name length is NAME_MAX (usually 255)

Modified file names will be listed on screen asking the user for confirmation, allowing besides to edit (by pressing 'e') the list of modified file names via a text editor.

If the replacement file name already exists, a dash and a number (starting from 1) will be appended. Ex: file-3.

bd [NAME]

bd is the backdir function: it takes you back to the parent directory matching NAME.

With no arguments, bd prints a menu with all parent directories relative to the current directory, allowing the user to select an entry. Otherwise, it checks the absolute current directory against the provided query string (NAME): if only one match is found, it automatically changes to that directory; if multiple matches are found, the list of matches is presented to the user in a selection menu. If NAME is a directory name, bd just changes to that directory, be it a parent of the current directory or not.

TAB completion and suggestions are available for this function.


Provided that the current directory is /home/user/git/repositories/lambda, entering bd git will take you immediatelly to /home/user/git.

Note that there is no need to type the entire directory name; if the query is unambiguous, only a few characters, and even just one, suffices to match the appropriate directory. In our example, bd g is enough to take you to /home/user/git, just as bd h will take you to /home.

The query string could match any part of a directory name: bd er, for instance, will take you to /home/user, since it is an unambiguous query.

bl FILE...

Create symbolic links (in the current directory) for each specified file. For example, to create symbolic links in the directory dir for all PNG files in the current directory, issue these commands: s *.png, cd dir, and then bl sel.

bm, bookmarks [a, add FILENAME NAME [SHORTCUT]] [d, del [NAME]] [e, edit [APP]] [NAME, SHORTCUT]

Bookmarks can be manager either from the bookmarks manager screen or from the command line.

1. The bookmarks manager screen

To access the bookmarks manager screen simply enter bm. Here you can cd into the desired bookmark by entering either its ELN or name (regular files can be bookmarked as well). In this screen you can also add, remove, or edit your bookmarks by simply entering 'e' to edit the bookmarks file (which is simply a list of lines with this format: name:path. Ex: "docs:/home/user/documents"). Make your changes, save, and exit.

2. The command line

bm add /media/mount mntBookmark the /media/mount directory as "mnt"
bm mntChange to/open the bookmark named "mnt"
bm del mntDelete the bookmark named "mnt"
bm editEdit your bookmarks

A handy use for the bookmarks function is to create bookmarks using short names, which will be later easily accessible via TAB completion.

The b: construct

The b: construct is used as a way to quickly access/operate on bookmarks. A few examples:

b:<TAB>List available bookmarks
b:netChange to the bookmark named "net" (1)
p b:bm1 b:bm2Print file properties of the bookmarks named "bm1" and "bm2"
s b:Select all bookmarks at once

(1) If your are not sure about where a bookmark points to, type b:NAME<TAB>.

br, bulk ELN/FILE... [:EDITOR]

rename at once all files passed as arguments to the function. It accepts single and multiple file names, wildcards, ELN ranges, and the sel keyword. Example: br myfile 4-10 sel.

Each file name will be copied into a temporary file, which will be opened via EDITOR (default associated application for plain text files if omitted), letting the user modify it. Once the file has been modified and saved, the modifications are printed on the screen and the user is asked for confirmation.

This built-in bulk rename function won´t deal with deletions, replacements, file name conflicts and the like. For a smarter alternative use qmv(1).

c, m, md, r

short for the following commands respectively: cp -iRp, mv -i, mkdir -p, and rm (for files) or rm -r (for directories).

Note that the r command prompts the user for confirmation (printing the list of files to be removed) if the list of files contains: 1. at least one directory, 2. three or more files, 3. at least one non-explicitly-expanded ELN (ex: r 12).

By default, the c, m, and r commands ask for confirmation before operations. Since this might sometimes be quite intrusive (specially when operating on large amount of files), it is possible to turn interactivity off in two different ways:

 a) For the current command only: via the -f, --force switch. Example: c -f sel, m -f sel, or r -f *.

 b) Permanently. Use the cpCmd, mvCmd, and rmForce options in the configuration file to permanently set any of these commands to non-interactive mode.

To use these commands without any of these arguments, or with any other argument you want, use the non-abbreviated (shell) command, for instance, cp instead of c. Of course, you can also create aliases to use you preferred commands, for example, "c=´cp -adp´". Consult the alias command above for more information.

The l command allows the use of the e, edit option to modify the destination of a symbolic link. Example: l edit 12 (or le 12)  to relink the symbolic link corresponding to the file whose ELN is 12.

When using the sel keyword and no destiny is provided, c and m will copy/move selected files into the current directory. Whenever sel is not used, but just a source file name (and no destiny is provided), the m command behaves much like the imv(1) shell command (from the ´renameutils´ package), providing an interactive renaming function: it prompts the user to enter a new name using the source file name as base, so that it does not need to be typed twice. For this alternative prompt, only TAB completion for file names is available.

clifm supports advcp(1), wcp, and rsync(1) to copy files (they include a progress bar). To use them instead of cp(1) set the corresponding option (cpCmd) in the configuration file. If advcp is selected, the command used is advcp -giRp (or advcp -gRp, for non-interactive mode). If rsync, the command is rsync -avP. wcp takes no argument.

advmv(1) is also supported to move files (to add a progress bar to the move command). Use the mvCmd option in the configuration file to choose this alternative implementation of mv. In this case, the command used is advmv -gi (or advmv -g for non-interactive mode).

cd [ELN/DIR]

Change the current working directory to ELN/DIR.

Directories check order:
 1. If no argument, change to the home directory (HOME, or, if HOME is not set, the sixth field of the entry corresponding to the current user in /etc/passwd)
 2. If argument is an absolute path (begins with a slash character), or the first component is dot (.) or dot-dot (..), convert to canonical form (via realpath(3)) and, if a valid directory, change into that directory.
 3. Check CDPATH environment variable and append /DIR to each of the paths specified here. If the result of the concatenation is a valid directory, change into it.
 4. Check directories in the current working directory. If a matching directory is found, change to it.

You can use either ELN´s or a string to indicate the directory you want. Ex: cd 12 or cd ~/media. If autocd is enabled (default), cd 12 and cd ~/media could be written as 12 and ~/media respectively as well.

Unlike the shell cd(1) command, clifm's built-in cd function not only changes the current directory, but also lists its content (provided the option CdListsAutomatically is enabled, which is the default) according to a comprehensive list of color codes. By default, the output of cd is much like this shell command: cd DIR && ls --color=auto --group-directories-first.

Automatic files listing can be disabled by either setting AutoLs to "false" in the configuration file or running clifm with the -o or --no-autols option.

cl, columns [on, off]

toggle columns on/off.

cmd, commands

show this list of commands. A more convenient way of getting information about clifm commands is via the interactive help plugin (depends on fzf), by default bound to the "ihelp" action name.


print the list of currently used color codes

config [edit [APP]] [reset, dump]

Manage the main configuration file.

To edit the configuration file use the edit subcommand. If an application is specified (config edit APP), APP will be used to open the file (otherwise, the default associated program will be used). Edit settings to your liking if necessary, save, and quit the editor. Changes are automatically applied. Note that, since edit is the default action, it can be omitted. Enter just config to open the configuration file, or config APP to open it using APP.

Use the reset subcommand to generate a fresh configuration file and create a backup copy of the old one (named clifmrc.YYYYMMDD@HH:MM:SS).

The dump subcommand prints the list of settings (as defined in the main configuration file) with their current value. Those differing from the default values are highlighted, and the default value for the corresponding option is displayed in brackets.

NOTE: The edit command (though deprecated) can be used as well instead of config.

cs, colorschemes [edit [APP]] [n, name] [NAME]

with no arguments, list available color schemes (cs name (or cs n) to print the current color scheme name).

Use the edit subcommand to open/edit the configuration file of the current color scheme (open with APP if specified or via the default associated application).

To switch color schemes, specify the color scheme name: cs NAME. (TAB completion is available: cs <TAB>).

d, dup FILE...

Duplicate files passed as parameters, either directories or regular files. The user will be asked for a destiny directory. Duplicated file names are generated by appending ".copy" to the basename of each source file. For example: d /my/file will copy /my/file into the directory selected by the user as file.copy. If file.copy already exists, an extra suffix will be added as follows: file.copy-N, where N is a positive integer (starting at 1).

If rsync(1) is found, it will be used as follows: rsync -aczvAXHS --progress. Else, cp(1) will be used: cp -a.


With no parameters, it prints the directory history list. To filter this list just pass a query string: only entries matching this query will be displayed. In both cases, TAB completion is available. For example: dh down<TAB> will list only those entries matching down (fuzzily, if fuzzy-matching is enabled).

To access a specific entry, you can pass the entry number preceded by an exclamation mark. For example, if you want the entry number 12, enter dh !12 to change to the corresponding directory.

Finally, if an absolute path is passed as first parameter, dh works just as the cd command.

Note: Take a look at the j command as well. Both commands deal with the list of visited directories, but in slightly different ways: while dh deals with the list of the last MaxDirhist entries (see the configuration file), the j command deals with the ranked list of visited directories.

ds, desel [*, a, all] [FILE]...

deselect one or more selected files.

If no parameter is passed, the user is prompted to either mark selected files to be deselected or to edit the selections file (entering ´e´) via a text editor to manually deselect files.

Use *, a or all to deselect all selected entries at once. Ex: ds *.

You can also pass the file name(s) (or ELN´s) to be deselected as a parameter. For example: ds myfile 24.

TAB completion is available for this command.

exp [FILE]...

with no argument, export the list of files in the current working directory to a temporary file. Otherwise, export only those specified as further arguments: they could be directories, file names, ELN´s or some search expression like "*.c".

ext [on, off, status]

toggle external commands on/off.

f, forth [h, hist] [clear] [!ELN]

it works just like the back function, but it goes forward in the history record. Of course, you can use f hist, f h, and f !ELN.

fc [on, off, status]

By default, clifm prints the amount of files contained by listed directories next to directories name. However, since this is an expensive feature, it might be desirable (for example, when listing files in a remote machine) to disable this feature. Use the off subcommand to disable it. To permanently disable it, use the FilesCounter option in the configuration file.

ff, dirs-first [on, off, status]

toggle list directories first on/off.


print an extract from 'What is Free Software?', written by Richard Stallman.

ft, filter [unset] [[!]REGEX,=FILE-TYPE-CHAR]

filter the current list of files, either by file name (via a regular expression) or file type (via a file type character).

With no argument, ft prints the current filter. To remove the current filter use the unset option. To set a new filter enter ft followed by a filter expression (use the exclamation mark to reverse the meaning of a filter). Examples:

Exclude hidden files:
ft !^.

List only files ending with .pdf:
ft .*\.pdf$

List only symbolic links:
ft =l

Exclude socket files:
ft !=s

The list of file type characters is included in the FILE FILTERS section below.

The filter will be lost at program exit. To permanently set a filter use the Filter option (in the configuration file) or the CLIFM_FILTER environment variable (consult the ENVIRONMENT and the FILE FILTERS sections below).

fz [on, off]

Toggle full directory size on/off (only for long view mode).

hf, hh, hidden [on, off, status]

toggle hidden files on/off.

history [edit [APP]] [clear] [-n] [on, off, status, show-time]

with no arguments, it prints the commands history list (use show-time to print timestamps as well). If clear is passed as argument, it will delete all entries in the history file. Use edit to open the history file and modify it if needed (the file will be opened with APP, if specified, or with the default associated application otherwise). -n tells the history command to list only the last 'n' commands in the history list. Finally, you can disable history (subsequent entries won´t be written to the history file) via history off (you can also use the HistIgnore option in the configuration file to prevent specific command lines from being added to the history list).

You can use the exclamation mark (!) to perform some history commands:
 !<TAB>: List history entries
 !!: Execute the last command.
 !n: Execute the command number ´n´ in the history list.
 !-n: Execute the ´last - n´ command in the history list.
 !STRING: Execute the command starting with STRING. TAB completion is available in this case: !STRING<TAB>.

icons [on, off]

toggle icons on/off

j [--purge [NUM]] [--edit], jc, jl, jp [STR]..., je

j is the fastest way of using Kangaroo, a directory jumper function used to quickly navigate through the jump database (i.e. a database of visited directories).

With no argument, j just lists the entries in the jump database (1), printing: a) order number of the corresponding entry, b) total sum of visits, c) days since the first visit, d) hours since the last visit, e) the rank value, and f) the directory name itself. An asterisk next to the rank value means that the corresponding directory will not be removed from the database, despite its rank, either becuase it has been visited in the lasat 24 hours, or because it is bookmarked, pinned, or currently active in some workspace.

(1) To prevent a directory from being added to the jump database use the DirhistIgnore option in the main configuration file.

Otherwise, if a query string is provided as parameter, j searches for this string in the database and cd into the best ranked matching entry. Example: j Down will probably take you to /home/user/Downloads, provided this directory has been already visited and is the best ranked match in the database. For a more detailed description of the matching algorithm see the KANGAROO FRECENCY ALGORITHM section below.

Multiple query strings could be passed to the function. For example, j et mo will first check for "et" in the jump database and then will further filter the search using the second parameter: "mo". It will most probably take you (again, provided the directory has been already visited and is the best ranked match) to /etc/modprobe.d directory. Bear in mind that if STR is an actual directory, jump will just cd into it without performing any query.

The backslash (\) and the slash (/) could be used to instruct Kangaroo to search for the string query only in the first or last path segment of each entry in the database respectively. Let´s suppose we have two entries matching src in the database: /media/src/images and /home/user/Downloads/clifm/src. If the first entry is better ranked than the second, j src will match this first entry. However, if what we really want is the second entry, appending a slash to the query string instructs Kangaroo to only match entries having src in the last path segment, here /home/user/Downloads/clifm/src.

Since it is not always obvious or easy to know where exactly a query string will take you, clifm (if the suggestions system is enabled) will print, at the right of the cursor, the path matched by Kangaroo. If that is the actually intended path, press the Right arrow key to accept the suggestion. Otherwise, it will be ignored. You can also use TAB completion to print the list of matches for the current query string. For example: j - c<TAB> to list all entries in the directory history list containing a dash (-) and a ´c´.

j accepts four modifiers: ´e´, ´p´ ´c´, and ´l´, the first standing for "edit", the second for "parent", the third for "child", and the last one for "list". Thus, je (or j --edit) will open the jump database to be edited if needed; jc will search for files querying only child directories relative to the current working directory, while jp will do the same but for parent directories. Finally, jl just prints the matches for the given query string(s), but without changing the current directory. Examples:

jp fooChange to the best ranked parent directory containing the string "foo".
jc bar testChange to the best ranked child directory containing the string "bar" and "test"
jl fooPrint all entries in the database containing the word "foo"

(1) TAB completion is available to expand order numbers into the corresponding paths.

Use the --purge option to shrink the database. Without further parameters, --purge removes all non-existent (un-stat´able) directories from the database. If a numeric parameter is passed, by contrast, all entries ranked below this number will be removed from the database. For example, j --purge 100 will remove all entries ranked below 100.

You can also manually edit the database file using the je (or j --edit) command: edit whatever needs to be edited, save changes, and close the editor. This is useful, for example, to remove a specific entry/directory from the database (however, bear in mind that if the directory is in the directory history, it won't be removed from the jump database).

To mark an entry as permanent (prevent it from being removed from the database), follow any of these procedures:
a. Bookmark it.
b. Edit the jump database (je or j --edit) and prepend a plus sign (+) to the corresponding entry.

An alternative way of navigating the jump database is using the jumper plugin (located in the plugins directory and bound by default to the "++" action name), which uses fzf to enable fuzzy searches. Enter ++ to perform a fuzzy search over the jump database.

Take a look at the dh command as well.


if running in long view, toggle follow-links (Alt-+ is also available). See the -L,--follow-symlinks-long command line switch.


toggle max-filename-len on/off (Ctrl-Alt-l is also available)

kb, keybinds [list] [edit [APP]] [conflict] [reset] [readline]

with no argument (or if the argument is list), prints the current keyboard codes and their associated functions. To edit the keybindings file, use the edit option (the file will be opened with APP, if specified, or with the default associated application otherwise). If you somehow messed up your keybindings, you can check your keybindings for conflicts with the conflict option, or use the reset option to create a fresh keybindings file with the default values. To list readline keybindings, use the readline option. Bear in mind that these keybindings are not provided by clifm, but by readline itself, and as such depend on the system settings (they can be customized however via the ~/.inputrc file).

l, le

Create (l) or edit (le) symbolic links.

The syntax for the l command is: l TARGET [LINK_NAME]. Note that if LINK_NAME is omitted, the symbolic link is created as TARGET_BASENAME.link in the current directory.

To edit the target of a symbolic link use the le command followed by the desired link name. The user will be prompted to enter a new link target, using the current one as template.

ll, lv [on, off]

Toggle long/detail view mode

lm [on, off]

Toggle the light mode on/off. This option, aimed at making files listing faster than the default mode, is especially useful for really old hardware or when working on remote machines (for more information see the NOTE ON SPEED section below).

log [cmd [list, on, off, status, clear]] [msg [list, on, off, status, clear]]

Enable, disable, clear, list or check the status of the program logs, either message (errors and warnings) or command logs. Example: log cmd on, to enable command logs, or log msg clear, to clear/remove message logs.

Consult the FILES section below for information about how logs are written into the logs file.


NOTE: This command is Linux-specific

List available storage devices and mount/unmount the selected one using either udevil or udisks2 (at least one of these must be installed. udevil will be preferred over udisks2). If the device is unmounted, it will be automatically mounted, and if mounted, it will be automatically unmounted.

Though mountpoints are determined by the mounting application itself (udevil or udisks2), clifm will automatically cd into the corresponding mountpoint whenever the mount operation was succesfull.

When unmounting, and if the current directory is inside the mountpoint, clifm will attempt to cd into the previous visited directory, and, if none, into the home directory, before unmounting the device.

To get information about a device, enter iELN, for example, i12, provided ´12´ is the ELN of the device you want.

mf [NUM, unset]

List only up to NUM files (valid range: >= 0). Use unset to list all files (default). An indicator (listed_files/total_files) will be printed below the list of files whenever some file is excluded from the current list (e.g. 20/310). Note however that though some files are excluded, all of them are loaded anyway, so that you can still perform any valid operation on them. For example, even if only 10 files are listed, you can still search for ALL symbolic links in the corresponding directory using the appropriate command: /* -l.

mm, mime [open FILE] [info FILE] [edit [APP]] [import]

This is Lira, clifm's resource opener.

Use the open subcommand to open a file with the default associated application. Note that, since open is the default action, it can be omitted. For example: mm file.pdf. The same can be achieved more easily via the open command: open file.pdf (or using the short command, o file.pdf). Or, even shorter, just file.pdf.

The info option prints MIME information about FILE: its MIME type, and, if any, the application associated to this file name or to the file's MIME type.

The edit option allows you to edit and customize the MIME list file. So, if a file has no default associated application, first get its MIME info or its file extension (running mm info FILE), and then add a value for it to the MIME list file using the edit option (mm edit or F6). Check the RESOURCE OPENER section below for information about the mimelist file syntax.

Finally, via the import option clifm will try to import MIME associations from the system looking for mimeapps.list files in those paths specified by the Freedesktop specification (see https://specifications.freedesktop.org/mime-apps-spec/mime-apps-spec-latest.html). If at least one MIME association is successfuly imported, it will be stored as mimelist.clifm.XXXXXX (where XXXXXX is a random six digits alphanumerical string). You can add these new associations to your mimelist file using the mime edit command.

mp, mountpoints

list available mountpoints and change the current working directory to the selected mountpoint.

msg, messages [clear]

with no arguments, prints the list of messages in the current session. The clear option tells clifm to empty the messages list.

n, new [FILE]... [DIR/]...

create new empty files and/or directories.

If a file name ends with a slash (/), it will be taken as a directory name. Else, it will be created as a regular file. Ex: n myfile mydir/, to create a file named myfile and a directory named mydir. If no file name is provided, the user will be asked to enter one.

File name validation is performed over names before creation. In case of an unsafe name, the user is warned and asked for confirmation.

A name (namely, any component of a path) is considered unsafe if:
 1. Starts with a dash (-): command option flags collision
 2. Is a reserved keyword/expression (internal): fastback (...), ELN/range (12, 1-45), and MIME/file type expansion (@query, =x)
 3. Is a reserved system/shell keyword (´~´, ´.´ ,´..´)
 4. Contains embedded control characters (0x00-0x1f in the ASCII table)
 5. Contains embedded shell meta-characters (*?:[]"<>|(){}&'!\;$)
 6. It is too long (larger than NAME_MAX, usually 255 bytes)

For more information about unsafe file names consult https://dwheeler.com/essays/fixing-unix-linux-filenames.html.

net [NAME] [list] [edit] [m, mount NAME] [u, unmount NAME]

1. The configuration file

The net command manages connections to remote systems via a simple samba-like configuration file ($HOME/.config/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/nets.clifm). Here you can specify multiple remotes and options for each of these remotes. Syntax example for this file:

Comment=A nice descriptive comment
MountCmd=sudo mount.cifs // %m -o Options
UnmountCmd=sudo umount %m
AutoUnmount=true (Auto-unmount this remote at exit)
AutoMount=false (Auto-mount this remote at startup)

Note: %m could be used as a placeholder for Mountpoint. %m will be replaced by the value of Mountpoint.

1.a. Mounting remote file systems

A Samba share:
 Comment=My samba share
 MountCmd=sudo mount.cifs // %m -o mapchars,credentials=/etc/samba/credentials/samba_share
 UnmountCmd=sudo umount %m

A SSH file system (sshfs):
 Comment=My ssh share
 MountCmd=sshfs user@ %m -C -p 22
 UnmountCmd=fusermount3 -u %m

1.b. Mounting local file systems

Though originally intended to manage remote file systems, net can also manage local file systems. Just provide the appropriate mount and unmount commands. Since the device name assigned by the kernel might change accross reboots (specially when it comes to removable drives), it is recommended to mount using the device´s UUID (Universal Unique Identifier) instead of the drive name. For example:

 MountCmd=sudo mount -U c98d91g4-6781... %m

Here´s an example of how to set up net to mount USB devices, one with a FAT file system, and another with an ISO9660 file system:

 [Sandisk USB]
 Comment=Sandisk USB drive
 MountCmd=sudo mount -o gid=1000,fmask=113,dmask=002 -U 5847-xxxx %m
 UnmountCmd=sudo umount %m

 [Kingston USB]
 Comment=Kingston USB drive
 MountCmd=sudo mount -t iso9660 -U 2020-10-01-15-xx-yy-zz %m
 UnmountCmd=sudo umount %m

NOTE: The gid, fmask, and dmask options are used to allow the user to access the mountpoint without elevated privileges.

If the device data is unknown, as it often happens when it comes to removable devices, you should use the media command instead.

2. Command syntax

Without arguments (or via the list subcommand), net lists the configuration for each remote available in the configuration file.

Use the edit option to edit the remotes configuration file. If no further argument is specified, the file will be opened with the current resource opener. However, you can pass an application as second parameter to open to configuration file. Example: ´net edit nano´.

If not already mounted, the m, mount option mounts the specified remote using the mount command and the mounpoint specified in the confifuration file and automatically cd into the corresponding mountpoint. Example: net m smb_work. Since mount is the default action, it can be omitted: net smb_work.

The u, unmount option unmounts the specified remote using the unmount command specified in the configuration file. For example: net u smb_work. TAB completion is also available for this function.

NOTE: If you only need to copy some files to a remote location (including mobile phones) without the need to mount the resource, you can make use of the cprm.sh plugin, bound by default to the cr action. Set up your remotes (cr --edit) and then send the file you want (cr FILE).


open FILE, which can be either a directory, in which case it works just like the cd command (see above), a regular file, or a symbolic link to either of the two. For example: o 12, o filename, o /path/to/filename.

By default, the open function will open files with the default application associated to them via Lira, the built-in resource opener (see the mime command above). However, if you want to open a file with a different application, add the application name as second argument, e.g. o 12 leafpad or o12 leafpad.

If you want to run the program in the background, simply add the ampersand character, as usual: o 12 &, o 12&, o12& or (if auto-open is enabled) just 12&.

If the file to be opened is an archive/compressed file, the archive function (see the ad command above) will be executed instead.

oc ELN/FILE...

Interactively change files ownership

A new prompt is displayed using user and primary group common to all files passed as parameters as ownership template.

Ownership (both user and primary group, if specified) is changed for all files passed as parameters. If the file is a symbolic link, the operation is performed on the target file, and not on the symbolic link itself. Bear in mind that recursion is not supported: use chown(1) (with the -R option) instead.

Both names and ID numbers are allowed (TAB completion for names is available).

If only a name/number is entered, it is taken as the user who owns the file(s).

Use the pc command to edit files permissions.

opener [default] [APPLICATION]

with no argument, prints the currently used resource opener (by default, Lira, clifm´s built-in opener). Otherwise, set APPLICATION (say rifle or xdg-open) as opener or, if default is passed instead, use Lira.


If APPLICATION is specified, open ELN/FILE with APPLICATION. In case you need to add parameters to APPLICATION, it is recommended to quote the expression: ow FILE "APP ARG...".

If no APPLICATION is specified, the list of available applications associated to ELN/FILE (either via its MIME type or its file extension) is printed, allowing the user to choose one of these applications, and then open the file with the selected application.

This command supports TAB completion. Type "ow filename <TAB>" and those applications able to open ELN/FILE will be listed.

p, pp, prop ELN/FILE...

print file properties for ELN/FILE. The output of this function is much like the combined output of ls -l and stat.

By default, directories size is not shown. Use pp instead of just p to print directories size as well (it could take longer depending on the directory's content). On the other side, and unlike p, pp provides information about the dereferenced symlinks (namely, the symlink target) instead of the symlink itself. However, note that, in case of symbolic links to directories, p provides information about the link target if the provided file name ends with a slash. Otherwise, information about the link itself is displayed.

The time format used to display time information can be customized via the PTimeStyle option in the configuration file (defaults to "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S.%N %z", where %N stands for nano-second precision).

If you need to list the properties of all files in the current directory, try the long view mode (ll or Alt-l). Fields displayed in this mode can be customized using the PropFields option in the configuration file. For custom timestamp formats use the TimeStyle option.

For more information about file details consult the file-details help topic: help file-details.

pc ELN/FILE...

Interactively change files permissions (only traditional Unix permissions are supported).

A new prompt is displayed using actual permissions (in symbolic notation) of the file to be edited as template. If editing multiple files with different sets of permissions, only shared permission bits are set in the permissions template.

Bear in mind that, if editing multiple files at once, say pc sel or pc *.c, the new permissions set will be applied to all of them.

Both symbolic and octal notation for the new permissions set are allowed.

Recursivelly setting file permissions is not supported. Use chmod(1) with the -R flag instead.

If you just need to toggle the executable permission bit on a file, you can use the te command.

Use the oc command to edit files ownership.

pf, profile [ls, list] [set, add, del PROFILE] [rename PROFILE NEW_NAME]

with no arguments, prints the name of the currently used profile. Use the ls or list option to list available profiles. To switch, add, delete, or rename a profile, use the set, add, del, and rename options respectively.

pg, pager [on, off, once, status, [NUM]]

toggle Mas, the built-in pager, on/off. Useful to list directories with hundreds or thousands of files, the pager will start working, if set to on, whenever the screen is not enough to list all files.

Set it to any positive integer greater than 1 to run the pager whenever the amount of files in the current directory is greater than or equal to this value, say 1000 (0 amounts to off and 1 to on).

Set to once to run the pager only once. Since this is the default parameter, pg (with no parameter) is equivalent to pg once. Alt-0 is also available.

While paging, the following keys are available:

?, h: Help
Down arrow, Enter, Space: Advance one line
Page down: Advance one page
q: Stop paging (without printing remaining files)
c: Stop paging (printing remaining files)

Note: To scroll lines up, use whatever your terminal emulator has to offer (ex: mouse scrolling or some keybinding).

By default, the pager lists files using the current listing mode (long or short). Use PagerView in the configuration file (or --pager-view in the command line) to force the use of a specific mode. Possibles values:

auto: Use the current listing mode (default)
long: List files in long view
short: List files in short view

pin [FILE/DIR]

pin a file or a directory to be accessed later via the comma (,) keyword. For example, run pin mydir and then access mydir as follows: cd  where the comma is automatically expanded to the pinned file, in this case mydir. The comma keyword could be used with any command, either internal or external, e.g, ls .

With no arguments, the pin command prints the current pinned file, if any. If an argument is given, it will be taken as a file name to be pinned. Running this command again, frees the previous pinned file and sets a new one. In other words, only one pin is supported at a time.

An easy alternative to create as many pins or shortcuts as you want, and how you want, is to use the alias function. Bookmarks could also be used to achieve a very similar result.

At program exit, the pinned file is written to a file in the configuration directory (as .pin) to be loaded in the next session.

prompt [set NAME] [list] [edit [APP]] [unset] [reload]

Manage clifm's prompts. Use the set subcommand to temporarily change the current prompt to the prompt named NAME (use the unset subcommand to unset the current prompt and set the default one). Available prompts (which can be listed via prompt list or prompt set <TAB>) are defined in the prompts file ($HOME/.config/clifm/prompts.clifm). To permanently set a prompt, edit your color scheme file (via the cs edit command) and set Prompt to either a prompt code or a prompt name (as defined in the prompts file).

q, quit, exit

Quit clifm.

rf, refresh

refresh the screen, that is, reprint files in the current directory and update the prompt. If the current directory is not accessible for any reason, rf will go up until it finds an accessible one and then will change to that directory.

rl, reload

Reload all settings, except those passed as command line arguments, from the configuration file.


Remove files and/or directories in bulk using a text editor.

rr sends all files in DIR (or in the current directory if DIR is omitted) to a temporary file and opens it using EDITOR (or the default associated application for text/plain MIME type, if EDITOR is omitted).

Once in the editor, remove the lines corresponding to the files you want to delete. Save changes and close the editor. Removed files will be listed and the user asked for confirmation.

s, sel ELN/FILE... [[!]PATTERN] [-filetype] [:PATH]

send one or multiple files (either regular files or directories) to the Selection Box. sel accepts individual elements, range of elements, say 1-6, file names and paths, just as wildcards (globbing) and regular expressions. Example: s 1 4-10 ^r file* filename /path/to/filename.

If not in light mode, once a file is selected, and if the file is in the current working directory, the corresponding file name will be marked with an asterisk (colored according to the value of li in the color scheme file (by default bold green)), at the left of the file name (and at the right of its ELN).

Just as in the search function, it is also possible to further filter the list of matches indicating the desired file type. For instance, s ^ -d will select all directories in the current working directory. For available file type filters see the search function above.

By default, the selection function operates on the current working directory. To select files in any other directory use the ":PATH" expression. For example, to select all regular files with a .conf extension in the /etc directory, the command would be: s .*\.conf$ -f :/etc, or using wildcards: s *.conf -f :/etc. Of course, you can also do just s -f /etc/*.conf.

Just as in the case of the search function, inverse matching is supported for patterns, either wildcards or regular expressions. To invert the meaning and action of a pattern, prepend an exclamation mark (!). E.g., to select all non-hidden regular files in the Documents directory, issue this command: s !^. -f :Documents, or, to select all directories in /etc, except those ending with ".d": s !*.d -d :/etc.

Glob and regular expressions could be used together. For example: s ^[r|R].*d$ /etc/*.conf will select all files starting with either 'r' or 'R' and ending with 'd' in the current working directory, plus all .conf files in the /etc directory. However, this use is discouraged if both patterns refer to the same directory, since the second one will probably override the result of the first one.

It is important to note that glob expressions are evaluated before regular expressions, in such a way that any pattern that could be understood by both kinds of pattern matching mechanisms will be evaluated first according to the former, that is, as a glob expression. For example, '.*', as regular expression, should match all files. However, since glob expressions are evaluated first, it will only match hidden files. To select all files using a glob expression, try ´.* *´, or, with a regular expression: ´^´ or ´(.*?)´. The keyboard shortcut Alt-a is also available to perform the same operation.

The Selection Box is accessible from different instances of the program, provided they use the same profile (see the profile command below). By default, indeed, each profile keeps a private Selection Box, being thus not accessible to other profiles. You can nonetheless modify this behavior via the ShareSelbox option in the configuration file. If ShareSelbox is enabled, selected files are stored in /tmp/clifm/username/.selbox.clifm. Otherwise, /tmp/clifm/username/.selbox_profilename.clifm is used (this is the default).

Operating on selected files

To operate on one or more selected files use the sel keyword (s: can be used as well). For example, to print the file properties of all selected files: p sel (or p s:). Use s:<TAB> to list selected files (multi-selection is available if running in FZF mode).

Listing selected files

To list selected files use the sb command (standing for Selection Box). You can also type s:<TAB>.

Deselecting files

To deselect files use the ds command. See above. You can also press Alt-d to deselect all files at once.

Note:  If there is a file named sel in the current directory, use ./sel to distinguish it from the sel keyword. For example, enter p ./sel to tell CliFM that you want to get the properties of the file named sel rather than the properties of the currently selected files.

For more information consult the BUILT-IN EXPANSIONS section below.

sb, selbox

show the elements currently contained in the Selection Box.


show the splash screen.

st, sort [METHOD] [rev]

with no argument, print the current sorting order. Else, sort files by METHOD, where METHOD is one of: 0 = none, 1 = name, 2 = size, 3 = atime, 4 = btime, 5 = ctime, 6 = mtime, 7 = version, 8 = extension, 9 = inode, 10 = owner, 11 = group, 12 = blocks, or 13 = links. Both numbers and names are allowed (ex: st 3 or st atime). Bear in mind that methods 10 and 11 sort by owner and group ID number, not by owner and group names. The default is version.

By default, files are sorted from less to more (ex: from ´a´ to ´z´ if sorting by name). Use the rev subcommand to invert this order. Ex: st rev or st inode rev. Switch back to the previous state running st rev again.


print statistics about files in the current directory (not available in light mode).

t, trash [ELN/FILE]... [ls, list] [clear, empty] [del [FILE]...]]

with no argument (or by passing the ls option), it prints the list of currently trashed files. The clear or empty parameter removes all files from the trash can, while the del parameter lists trashed files allowing the user to remove one or more of them. If using del, TAB completion to list/select currently trashed files is available.

The trash directory is $XDG_DATA_HOME/Trash, usually ~/.local/share/Trash. Since this trash system follows the Freedesktop specification, it is able to handle files trashed by different Trash implementations.

To restore trashed files (to their original location) see the undel command below.

tag [add, del, list, list-full, new, merge, rename, untag] [FILE]... [[:]TAG]

tag is the main Etiqueta command, clifm's built-in files tagging system. See the FILE TAGS section for a complete description of this command.

te FILE...

toggle executable bit (on user, group, and others) on FILE(s). It is equivalent to the -x and +x options for the chmod(1) command.


print the list of clifm tips

u, undel, untrash [*, a, all] [FILE]...

If file names are passed as parameters, undelete these files, that is, restore them to their original location. Otherwise, this function prints a list of currently trashed files allowing the user to choose one or more of these files to be restored. Use the *, a or all parameters to restore all trashed files at once. TAB completion to list/select currently trashed files is available.


this command takes no argument. It just frees the current pin and, if it exists, deletes the .pin file generated by the pin command..TP vv FILE... DIR copy FILE(s) into DIR and bulk rename them at once.

ver, version

show clifm version details.

view [edit [APP]]

preview files in the current directory (full screen). Requires fzf(1). Alt+- is also available.

To edit the previewer configuration file, enter view edit, or view edit vi to open it with a specific application, in this case, vi(1).

By pressing Enter or Right, the currently highlighted file will be selected and view closed. To select multiple files, mark them with the TAB key and then press Enter or Right to confirm. To quit view press Escape or Left.

For image previews consult the Wiki (https://github.com/leo-arch/clifm/tree/master/misc/tools/imgprev).

For further information consult the SHOTGUN section below.

ws [NUM/NAME [unset], +, -]

clifm offers up to eight workspaces, each with its own independent path.

With no argument, the ws command prints the list of workspaces and its corresponding paths, highlighting the current workspace.

Use NUM to switch to the workspace number NUM, NAME to switch to the workspace named NAME, the plus sign (+) to switch to the next workspace, and the minus sign (-) to switch to the previous workspace.

To unset a workspace use the unset subcommand preceded by the workspace (either number or name) to be unset. For example: ws 2 unset.

Four keyboard shortcuts are available to easily switch to any of the first four workspaces: Alt-[1-4].

Every time an empty workspace is created, it starts in the current working directory.

Though by default workspaces are unnamed, you can name them wathever you like using the WorkspaceNames option in the configuration file.

Use autocommands to persistenly set options per workspace, for example, to always list files in the third workspace in long view. See the AUTOCOMMANDS section below for more information.

Make local settings private to the current workspace by setting the PrivateWorkspaceSettings option to true in the configuration file: settings changed via either the command line or keyboard shortcuts (say Alt-l, to toggle the long view) will apply only to the current workspace and will be remembered even when switching workspaces.

x, X [DIR]

open DIR, or the current working directory if DIR is not specified, in a new instance of clifm (as root if X, as the current unprivileged user if x) using the value of TerminalCmd (from the configuration file) as terminal emulator. If this value is not set, xterm will be used as fallback terminal emulator. This function is only available for graphical environments.

Shell-builtins implementations

pwd [-LP]

 print the current working directory

export NAME=VALUE...

 export variables to the environment

umask [VALUE]

 print/set the current umask value

unset NAME

 remove a variable from the environment

5. File Filters

Clifm provides multiple ways to filter the current list of files:

a) Hidden files: via the -A and -a command line flags, the hh command, and the Alt-. keybinding.

Files listed in a file named .hidden in the current directory will hidden as well whenever dotfiles are not shown. Wildcards are supported.

b) Directories: via the --only-dirs command line switch and the Alt-, keybinding.

c) File names and file types: either via a regular expression or a file type character (see below) using the ft command (the Filter option in the configuration file and the CLIFM_FILTER environment variable are also available). For example, to exclude backup files (ending with a tilde):

CLIFM_FILTER=´!.*~$´ clifm

or (in the configuration file):


or (via the ft command):

ft !.*~$

See the ft command for a few more examples.

d) Filtering files via the TAB key:

You can filter files by name using wildcards. For example: p *.mp3<TAB> (or /*.mp3<TAB>) to get a list of MP3 files in the current directory.

Files can also be filtered by MIME-type via the ´@´ keyword. Type @<TAB> to list all MIME-types found in the current directory, or @query<TAB> to list all files whose MIME-type includes the string "query". For example, @image<TAB> will list all files in the current directory whose MIME type includes the string "image".

Finally, files can be filtered as well by file type using the ´=´ keyword followed by a file type character (see below). For example, =l<TAB> to get a list of symbolic links in the current directory.

Note: If using TAB completion in fzf mode, multi-selection is allowed (except in the case of @<TAB>).

Available file type characters:

b: Block devices
c: Character devices
C: Files with capabilities (1)(2)
d: Directories
f: Regular files
g: SGID files (2)
h: Multi-hardlink files (directories excluded)
l: Symbolic links
o: Other-writable files (2)
p: FIFO/pipes (2)
s: Sockets (2)
D: Doors (Solaris only)
P: Event ports (Solaris only)
t: Files with the sticky bit set (2)
u: SUID files (2)
x: Executable files (2)

(1) Only for TAB completion

(2) Not available in light mode

e) Grouping files (via automatic expansion):

By means of the above features, you can easily group and operate on groups of files. For example, this command:

vt :b @image =x sel t:work *.txt

opens a virtual directory (see the VIRTUAL DIRECTORIES section below) automatically expanding the above expressions as follows:

:bAll your bookmarks (paths)
@imageAll image files (CWD)
=xAll executable files (CWD)
selAll selected files
t:workAll files tagged as work
*.txtAll .txt files (CWD)

6. Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl-Alt-j: Switch to vi editing mode
Ctrl-Alt-e: Switch back to emacs editing mode (default)
Right, Ctrl-f: Accept the entire current suggestion
Alt-Right, Alt-f: Accept only the first word of the current suggestion (up to first slash or space)
Alt-c: Clear the current command line buffer
Alt-q: Delete last word (up to last slash or space)
Alt-i, Alt-.: Toggle hidden files on/off
Alt-l: Toggle long view mode on/off
Alt-+: Toggle follow links (long view only)
Alt-g: Toggle list-directories-first on/off
Alt-,: Toggle list only directories on/off
Ctrl-Alt-l: Toggle max file name length on/off
Ctrl-Alt-i:, Alt-TAB: Toggle disk usage analyzer on/off
Alt-w: Toggle full path file names in virtual directories
Ctrl-l: Refresh the screen (reprint the list of files in the current directory)
Alt-t: Clear program messages
Alt-m: List mountpoints
Alt-b: Launch the Bookmarks Manager
Alt-h: Show directory history
Alt-n: Create new file or directory
Alt-s: Open the Selection Box
Alt--: Launch the files previewer (view command)
Alt-a: Select all files in the current working directory
Alt-d: Deselect all selected files
Alt-0: Run MAS, the files pager
Alt-p: Change to pinned directory
Alt-1: Switch to workspace 1
Alt-2: Switch to workspace 2
Alt-3: Switch to workspace 3
Alt-4: Switch to workspace 4
Alt-r: Change to root directory
Alt-e, Home: Change to home directory
Alt-u, Shift-Up: Change to parent directory
Alt-j, Shift-Left: Change to previous visited directory
Alt-k, Shift-Right: Change to next visited directory
Ctrl-Alt-o: Switch to previous profile
Ctrl-Alt-p: Switch to next profile
Ctrl-Alt-a: Archive selected files
Ctrl-Alt-e: Export selected files
Ctrl-Alt-r: Rename selected files
Ctrl-Alt-d: Remove selected files
Ctrl-Alt-t: Trash selected files
Ctrl-Alt-u: Restore trashed files
Ctrl-Alt-g: Open/change-to last selected file/directory
Ctrl-Alt-n: Move selected files into the current directory
Ctrl-Alt-v: Copy selected files into the current directory
Alt-y: Toggle light mode on/off
Alt-z: Switch to previous sorting method
Alt-x: Switch to next sorting method
Ctrl-x: Launch a new instance of clifm
Ctrl-y: Copy the contents of the line buffer to the clipboard (1)
F1: Go to the manpage
F2: List commands
F3: List keybindings
F6: Open the MIME list file
F7: Open the shotgun configuration file
F8: Open the current color scheme file
F9: Open the keybindings file
F10: Open the main configuration file
F11: Open the bookmarks file
F12: Quit
NOTE 1: Some of these keybindings might not work on your console/terminal emulator, depending on your system. Some useful tips on this regard:
(1) This shortcut is bound to the xclip plugin. See the PLUGINS section below for more information.
Haiku terminal: Most of these keybindings won´t work on the Haiku terminal, since Alt plays here the role Ctrl usually plays in most other systems (see the Haiku documentation). To fix this, set your custom keybindings.
Kernel built-in console: Key sequences involving the Shift key (S-up, S-left, and S-right in our case) will just not work. Use the alternative key sequences instead: M-u, M-j, and M-k respectively
NetBSD (wsvt25) and OpenBSD (vt220) kernel consoles: Key sequences involving the Alt key won´t work out of the box. Here´s how to make it work:

On OpenBSD:
1) Copy /etc/examples/wsconsctl.conf to /etc (if it does not already exist)
2) Add the metaesc flag to your current keyboard enconding. For example keyboard.encoding=us.metaesc
You might need to reboot the machine for changes to take effect.

On NetBSD:
Add the metaesc flag to your current encoding in /etc/wscons.conf. Example: encoding us.metaesc
You might need to reboot the machine for changes to take effect.

Konsole: If Shift+left and Shift+right are not already bound to any function, you need to bind them manually. Go to Settings -> Edit current profile -> Keyboard -> Default (Xfree4), and add these values:

Left+Shift \E[1;2D
Right+Shift \E[1;2C

If they are already bound, by contrast, you only need to unbound them. Go to "Settings -> Configure keyboard shortcuts", click on the corresponding keybinding, and set it to "Custom (none)").

Terminology/Yakuake: Shift+left and Shift+right are already bound to other functions, so that you only need to unbind them or rebind the corresponding functions to different key sequences.
Of course, the above two procedures should be similar in case of keybinding issues in other terminal emulators.
In case some of these keybindings are already used by your Window Manager, you only need to unbind the key or rebind the corresponding function to another key. Since each Window Manager uses its own mechanisms to set/unset keybindings, you should consult the appropriate manual.
Customizing keybindings
The above are the default keyboard shortcuts. However, they can be freely modified using the ´kb edit´ command (or pressing F9), or editing the keybindings file (see the FILES section below) to your liking.
Since clifm does not depend on the curses library, keybindings are set up via ANSI escape codes, for example, "\[17~" for the F6 key. The two main difficulties with ANSI escape codes are: 1) They are not intuitive at all, and 2) They vary depending on the terminal emulator used. This is why we provide a plugin (kbgen) to more easily configure your keybindings.
The plugin can be found in the plugins directory as a C source file. The first step, therefore, is to compile this source file to produce a binary file. Compile as follows:
gcc -o kbgen kbgen.c
Note: Depending on your system, you might need to link against the curses library adding either -lcurses or -lncurses to the above line.
Now, run the plugin by entering ´./kbgen´. Use either octal, hexadecimal codes or symbols. Example: For F12 'kbgen' will print the following lines:

Hex  | Oct  | Symbol
---- | ---- | ------
\x1b | \033 | ESC (\e)
\x5b | \133 | [
\x32 | \062 | 2
\x34 | \064 | 4
\x7e | \176 | ~

In this case, supposing you want to use F12 to open the configuration file, the keybinding would be any of the following:

open-config:\x1b\x5b\x32\x34\x7e (Hex)
open-config:\033\133\062\064\176 (Oct)
open-config:\e[24~ (Symbol)

GNU emacs escape sequences are also allowed (ex: "\M-a", Alt-a in most keyboards, or "\C-r" for Ctrl-r). Some codes, especially those involving keys like Ctrl or the arrow keys, vary depending on the terminal emulator and the system settings. These keybindings should be set up thus on a per terminal basis. You can also consult the terminfo database via the infocmp command. See terminfo(5) and infocmp(1).
Readline keybindings
System readline keybindings for command line editing, such as Ctrl-a, to move the cursor to the beginning of the line, or Ctrl-e, to move it to the end, should work out of the box. Of course, you can modify readline keybindings using the $HOME/.inputrc file, either globally or for some specific terminal or application. In this latter case, it is possible to set keybindings specifically for clifm using the application construct, that is, telling readline that the following keybindings apply only to clifm. For example, to bind the function "kill-whole-line" to Ctrl-b, add the following lines to your .inputrc file:

$if clifm
"\C-b": kill-whole-line

Keybindings for plugins
clifm provides four customizable keybindings for custom plugins. The procedure for setting a keybinding for a plugin is the following:

1) Copy your plugin to the plugins directory (or use any of the plugins already in there)
2) Link pluginx (where ´x´ is the plugin number [1-4]) to your plugin using the ´actions edit´ command. Ex: "plugin1=myplugin.sh"
3) Set a keybinding for pluginx using the ´kb edit´ command. Ex: "plugin1:\M-7"

7. Theming

All customization settings (theming) are made from a single configuration file (the color scheme file), installed by default in XDG_DATA_DIRS/clifm/colors (usuallly /usr/local/share/clifm/colors or /usr/share/clifm/colors), though color scheme files found in XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/colors (usually HOME/.config/clifm/colors) take precedence.
Note: Color scheme files are copied automatically into the local colors directory when running the cs edit command.
Each color scheme may include any (or all) of the below options:
FiletypeColors = Colors for different file types, such as directory, regular files, and so on. See the COLORS section below.
InterfaceColors = Colors for clifm's interface, such as ELN's, file properties bits, suggestions, syntax highlighting, etc. See the COLORS section below.
ExtColors = Colors for files based of file name's extension. See the COLORS section below.
DateShades = A comma delimited list of colors used to print timestamps (long view). Consult the default color scheme file for more information.
SizeShades = A comma delimited list of colors used to print file sizes (long view). Consult the default color scheme file for more information.
DirIconColor = Color for the directory icon (when icons are enabled). See the COLORS section below. Only when using icons-in-terminal or Nerfonts. If using rather emoji-icons (default build), this option is ignored.
Prompt = Define CliFM´s prompt. See the THE PROMPT section below.
DividingLine = The line dividing the current list of files and the prompt. See the THE DIVIDING LINE below.
FzfTabOptions = Options to be passed to fzf when using the fzf mode for TAB completion, including colors. See the BUILT-IN EXPANSIONS section below.
The color scheme (or just theme) can be set either via the command line (--color-scheme=NAME), via the ColorScheme option in the main configuration file, or using the cs command, for instance, cs mytheme. Enter just cs to list available color schemes (TAB completion is available). To edit the current color scheme enter cs edit.
If 256 colors support is detected for the current terminal, and not set in any other way (either via the ColorScheme option in the configuration file or the --color-scheme command line switch), clifm will attempt to load the 256 colors version of the default color scheme: default-256. Otherwise, it falls back to the 16 colors version.
All color codes are specified in the corresponding color scheme file (by default ~/.config/clifm/colors/default.clifm). You can edit this file pressing F8 or entering cs edit.
Color codes
Colors are specified using the same format used by dircolors(1) and the LS_COLORS environment variable, namely, a colon separated list of codes with this general format: name=value, where name refers to an interface element, and value to the color to be used by this element.
This is the list of file type codes (you will find them in the FiletypeColors section of the current color scheme file):

di = directory
ed = empty directory
nd = directory with no read/exec permission
fi = regular file
ef = empty regular file
nf = file with no access permission
ln = symlink
mh = multi-hardlink file
or = orphaned or broken symlink
bd = block device
cd = character device
pi = FIFO, pipe
so = socket
su = SUID file
sg = SGID file
tw = sticky and other writable directory
st = sticky and not other writable directory
ow = other writable directory
ex = executable file
ee = empty executable file
ca = file with capabilities
oo = door/port (Solaris only)
no = unknown file type
uf = unaccessible files (fstatat(3) error)

The following codes are used for different interface elements (in the InterfaceColors section of the current color scheme file):

sb = shell built-ins
sc = aliases and shell command names
sd = internal commands description
sf = ELN's, bookmarks, tag, and file names
sh = commands history entries
sx = suggestions for clifm's internal commands and parameters
sp = suggestions pointer (ex: 56 > filename, where '>' is the suggestion pointer)
sz = file names (fuzzy)

Syntax highlighting
hb = brackets ´()[]{}´
hc = comments (lines starting with '#')
hd = slashes
he = expansion chars ´~*´
hn = numbers
hp = option parameters (starting with ´-´)
hq = quoted strings (both single and double quotes)
hr = process redirection (>)
hs = process separators (; & |)
hv = variable names (starting with ´$´)
hw = Backslash (aka whack)

Prompt elements
li = selected files
ti = trash indicator
em = error message indicator
wm = warning message indicator
nm = notice message indicator
ro = read-only mode indicator
si = stealth mode indicator
tx = command line text (regular prompt)

File properties
db  = file allocated blocks
dd  = last access/change/modification time (1)
de  = file inode number (long view only)
dg  = file ID (UID, GID) whenever the current user owns the file or is in the file´s group
dk  = number of links (long view only)
dn  = dash (unset property)
do  = octal value for file properties
dp  = SUID, SGID, sticky bit
dr  = read permission bit
dw  = write permission bit
dxd = executable permission bit (directories)
dxr = executable permission bit (regular files)
dz  = size (1)

(1) If unset, gradient colors are used (based on file size and file age). This is the default.

NOTE: For a better graphical representation of file properties, 256 colors are used if possible (otherwise, clifm falls back to 16 colors).

Miscellaneous interface elements
bm  = bookmarked directory in the bookmarks screen
fc  = files counter
df  = default color
dl  = dividing line
el  = ELN color
lc  = symbolic link indicator (ColorLinksAsTarget only)
mi  = misc indicators (disk usage, sort method, bulk rename, jump database list)
ts  = matching suffix for possible TAB completed entries
tt  = tilde for trimmed file names
wc  = welcome message
wsN = color for workspace N (1-8)
xs  = exit code: success
xf  = exit code: failure

Supported colors
Colors are basically traditional ANSI color codes less the escape character and the final ´m´. Thus, for instance, if you want non-empty directories to be bold blue, add this to the FiletypeColors line in the corresponding color scheme file: di=01;34. If you want ELN's to be red, add this code to the InterfaceColors line: el=00;31
Color codes can be used for file extensions as well (regular files only) using this format: *.ext=color. For example, to print C source files in bold green, add this to the ExtColors line in the corresponding color scheme file: *.c=01;32
Note: Non-accessible (non-readable by the current user), executable (including SUID and SGID) files, and files with capabilities take precedence over file extensions. For example, the file file.mp3, if executable, will be printed using the color code associated to executable files (ex) even if there is a color code associated to .mp3 files.
Six digits hexadecimal color codes are supported as well using this general format: #RRGGBB[-[1-9]], where 1-9 is a display attribute. This is the list of attributes:

1: Bold or increased intensity
2: Faint, decreased intensity or dim
3: Italic (Not widely supported)
4: Underline
5: Slow blink
6: Rapid blink
7: Reverse video or invert
8: Conceal or hide (Not widely supported)
9: Crossed-out or strike

Note: Some attributes might not be supported by all terminal emulators.

For example, if you want directories to be bold Spring Green: di=#00ff7f-1
Finally, Xterm-like color names are also supported. For example: ex=DodgerBlue2.
This is the list of color names (as defined by vifm(1)):

 0 Black                  86 Aquamarine1           172 Orange3
 1 Red                    87 DarkSlateGray2        173 LightSalmon3_2
 2 Green                  88 DarkRed_2             174 LightPink3
 3 Yellow                 89 DeepPink4_2           175 Pink3
 4 Blue                   90 DarkMagenta           176 Plum3
 5 Magenta                91 DarkMagenta_2         177 Violet
 6 Cyan                   92 DarkViolet            178 Gold3_2
 7 White                  93 Purple                179 LightGoldenrod3
 8 LightBlack             94 Orange4_2             180 Tan
 9 LightRed               95 LightPink4            181 MistyRose3
10 LightGreen             96 Plum4                 182 Thistle3
11 LightYellow            97 MediumPurple3         183 Plum2
12 LightBlue              98 MediumPurple3_2       184 Yellow3_2
13 LightMagenta           99 SlateBlue1            185 Khaki3
14 LightCyan             100 Yellow4               186 LightGoldenrod2
15 LightWhite            101 Wheat4                187 LightYellow3
16 Grey0                 102 Grey53                188 Grey84
17 NavyBlue              103 LightSlateGrey        189 LightSteelBlue1
18 DarkBlue              104 MediumPurple          190 Yellow2
19 Blue3                 105 LightSlateBlue        191 DarkOliveGreen1
20 Blue3_2               106 Yellow4_2             192 DarkOliveGreen1_2
21 Blue1                 107 DarkOliveGreen3       193 DarkSeaGreen1_2
22 DarkGreen             108 DarkSeaGreen          194 Honeydew2
23 DeepSkyBlue4          109 LightSkyBlue3         195 LightCyan1
24 DeepSkyBlue4_2        110 LightSkyBlue3_2       196 Red1
25 DeepSkyBlue4_3        111 SkyBlue2              197 DeepPink2
26 DodgerBlue3           112 Chartreuse2_2         198 DeepPink1
27 DodgerBlue2           113 DarkOliveGreen3_2     199 DeepPink1_2
28 Green4                114 PaleGreen3_2          200 Magenta2_2
29 SpringGreen4          115 DarkSeaGreen3         201 Magenta1
30 Turquoise4            116 DarkSlateGray3        202 OrangeRed1
31 DeepSkyBlue3          117 SkyBlue1              203 IndianRed1
32 DeepSkyBlue3_2        118 Chartreuse1           204 IndianRed1_2
33 DodgerBlue1           119 LightGreen_2          205 HotPink
34 Green3                120 LightGreen_3          206 HotPink_2
35 SpringGreen3          121 PaleGreen1            207 MediumOrchid1_2
36 DarkCyan              122 Aquamarine1_2         208 DarkOrange
37 LightSeaGreen         123 DarkSlateGray1        209 Salmon1
38 DeepSkyBlue2          124 Red3                  210 LightCoral
39 DeepSkyBlue1          125 DeepPink4_3           211 PaleVioletRed1
40 Green3_2              126 MediumVioletRed       212 Orchid2
41 SpringGreen3_2        127 Magenta3              213 Orchid1
42 SpringGreen2          128 DarkViolet_2          214 Orange1
43 Cyan3                 129 Purple_2              215 SandyBrown
44 DarkTurquoise         130 DarkOrange3           216 LightSalmon1
45 Turquoise2            131 IndianRed             217 LightPink1
46 Green1                132 HotPink3              218 Pink1
47 SpringGreen2_2        133 MediumOrchid3         219 Plum1
48 SpringGreen1          134 MediumOrchid          220 Gold1
49 MediumSpringGreen     135 MediumPurple2         221 LightGoldenrod2_2
50 Cyan2                 136 DarkGoldenrod         222 LightGoldenrod2_3
51 Cyan1                 137 LightSalmon3          223 NavajoWhite1
52 DarkRed               138 RosyBrown             224 MistyRose1
53 DeepPink4             139 Grey63                225 Thistle1
54 Purple4               140 MediumPurple2_2       226 Yellow1
55 Purple4_2             141 MediumPurple1         227 LightGoldenrod1
56 Purple3               142 Gold3                 228 Khaki1
57 BlueViolet            143 DarkKhaki             229 Wheat1
58 Orange4               144 NavajoWhite3          230 Cornsilk1
59 Grey37                145 Grey69                231 Grey100
60 MediumPurple4         146 LightSteelBlue3       232 Grey3
61 SlateBlue3            147 LightSteelBlue        233 Grey7
62 SlateBlue3_2          148 Yellow3               234 Grey11
63 RoyalBlue1            149 DarkOliveGreen3_3     235 Grey15
64 Chartreuse4           150 DarkSeaGreen3_2       236 Grey19
65 DarkSeaGreen4         151 DarkSeaGreen2         237 Grey23
66 PaleTurquoise4        152 LightCyan3            238 Grey27
67 SteelBlue             153 LightSkyBlue1         239 Grey30
68 SteelBlue3            154 GreenYellow           240 Grey35
69 CornflowerBlue        155 DarkOliveGreen2       241 Grey39
70 Chartreuse3           156 PaleGreen1_2          242 Grey42
71 DarkSeaGreen4_2       157 DarkSeaGreen2_2       243 Grey46
72 CadetBlue             158 DarkSeaGreen1         244 Grey50
73 CadetBlue_2           159 PaleTurquoise1        245 Grey54
74 SkyBlue3              160 Red3_2                246 Grey58
75 SteelBlue1            161 DeepPink3             247 Grey62
76 Chartreuse3_2         162 DeepPink3_2           248 Grey66
77 PaleGreen3            163 Magenta3_2            249 Grey70
78 SeaGreen3             164 Magenta3_3            250 Grey74
79 Aquamarine3           165 Magenta2              251 Grey78
80 MediumTurquoise       166 DarkOrange3_2         252 Grey82
81 SteelBlue1_2          167 IndianRed_2           253 Grey85
82 Chartreuse2           168 HotPink3_2            254 Grey89
83 SeaGreen2             169 HotPink2              255 Grey93
84 SeaGreen1             170 Orchid
85 SeaGreen1_2           171 MediumOrchid1

Just as with hex colors, a single attribute can be appended to color names. For example, SteelBlue1-1 to get the bold version of this color.
Color variables
Up to 128 custom color variables can be used via the define keyword to make it easier to build and read theme files. Example:

define RED=00;31
define MY_SPECIAL_COLOR=04;38;2;255;255;0;48;2;0;14;191


These variables can only be used for FiletypeColors, InterfaceColors, ExtColors, and DirIconColor. The Prompt line (if using a prompt code) use full ANSI escape sequences instead.
Though by default clifm uses only 16 colors, you can use 256 and 24-bit colors as well. For example:


will print regular files underlined and using a bold orange RGB color on a blue background. In this case, just make sure to use a terminal emulator supporting RGB colors. To test your terminal color capabilities use the colors.sh script (in the plugins directory).
NOTE: It might happen that, for some reason, you need to force clifm to use colors despite the value of the TERM variable. The OpenBSD console, for example, sets TERM to vt220 by default, which, according to the terminfo database, does not support color. However, the OpenBSD console does actually support color. In this case, you can set the CLIFM_FORCE_COLOR to either true or  1 to use color even if the value of TERM says otherwise.
To see a colored list of the currently used file color codes run the colors command.
To run colorless use the --no-color command line option or set either CLIFM_NO_COLOR or NO_COLOR environment variables to any value. For more information about the no-color initiative see https://no-color.org/
For a full no-color experience recall to edit your prompt removing all color codes.
clifm's prompt (regular and warning ones) is taken from the Prompt line in the color scheme file using a prompt name as defined in the prompts file, for example, Prompt="security-scanner".
Prompts can be customized via the prompt edit command.
Each prompt is built following almost the same escape codes and rules used by the Bash prompt, except that it does not accept shell functions (like conditionals and loops). Command substitution (in the form $(cmd)), string literals, and escape codes can be used to build the prompt line and its colors. This is a list of supported escape codes:
\e: Escape character
\s: The name of the shell (everything after the last slash) currently used by clifm
\S: Current workspace number (or name, if named), colored according to wsN code in the InterfaceColors section in the color scheme file
\l: Print an ´L´ if in light mode
\P: The current profile name
\u: The username
\H: The full hostname
\h: The hostname, up to the first ´.'.TP

\n: A newline character

\r: A carriage return
\a: A bell character
\d: The date, in abbreviated form (ex: ´Tue May 26´)
\t: The time, in 24-hour HH:MM:SS format
\T: The time, in 12-hour HH:MM:SS format
\@: The time, in 12-hour am/pm format
\A: The time, in 24-hour HH:MM format
\w: The full current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
\W: The basename of $PWD, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
\p: A mix of the two above, it abbreviates the current working directory only if longer than PathMax (a value defined in the configuration file).
\z: Exit code of the last executed command (colored according to the xs (success) and xf (failure) codes in InterfaceColors in the color scheme file)
\i: The value of CLIFMLVL (number of nested instances of clifm)
\I: Same as \I, but formatted as "(n)" (nothing is printed if CLIFMLVL is 1)
\$ ´#´, if the effective user ID is 0, and ´$´ otherwise
\nnn: The character whose ASCII code is the octal value nnn
\\: A literal backslash
\[: Begin a sequence of non-printing characters. This is mostly used to add color to the prompt line
\]: End a sequence of non-printing characters
The following files statistics escape codes are also recognized (not available in light mode):
\D: Amount of sub-directories in the current directory
\R: Amount of regular files in the current directory
\X: Amount of executable files in the current directory
\.: Amount of hidden files in the current directory
\U: Amount of SUID files in the current directory
\G: Amount of SGID files in the current directory
\F: Amount of FIFO/pipe files in the current directory
\K: Amount of socket files in the current directory
\B: Amount of block device files in the current directory
\C: Amount of character device files in the current directory
\x: Amount of files with capabilities in the current directory
\L: Amount of symbolic links in the current directory
\o: Amount of broken symbolic links in the current directory
\M: Amount of multi-link files in the current directory
\E: Amount of files with extended attributes in the current directory
\O: Amount of other-writable files in the current directory
\>: Amount of door files in the current directory (Solaris only)
\": Amount of files with the sticky bit set in the current directory
\?: Amount of files of unknown file type in the current directory
\!: Amount of unstatable files in the current directory
Escape codes for prompt notifications (mostly used for custom prompts which need to handle notifications themselves, in which case Notifications should be set to false in the color scheme file to prevent automatic insertion of notifications at the left of the prompt):
\*: ´*´ + amount of selected files
\%: ´T´ + amount of trashed files
\#: ´R´ if root user
\): ´W´ + amount of warning messages
\(: ´E´ + amount of error messages
\=: ´N´ + amount of notice messages
Note: Except for '\#', nothing is printed if the number is zero.
By default, for example, clifm's prompt line is this:

"\[\e[0m\][\S\[\e[0m\]]\l \A \u:\H \[\e[00;36m\]\w\n\[\e[0m\]<\z\[\e[0m\]>\[\e[0;34m\] \$\[\e[0m\] "

which once decoded should look something like this:

[1] 13:45 user:hostname /my/path
<0> $

with the workspace number printed in blue, the path in cyan, the last exit status in green, and the dollar sign in blue.
A more "classic" prompt could be built as follows:

"\u@\U \w> "

or, using now command substitution:

"$(whoami)@$(hostname) $(pwd)> "

Advanced prompt customization
Besides commands substitution, which allows you to include in the prompt any information you like via shell scripts or simple shell commands, the use of Unicode characters allows you to build colorful and modern prompts.
Inserting Unicode characters in the prompt can be made in two ways:
a) Pasting the character itself using a text editor
b) Entering the octal code corresponding to the character. Use hexdump(1) as follows to get the appropriate hex code:

echo -ne "[paste the char here]" | hexdump -c

The first line of the output will be something along these lines:

00000000  256 234 356               |...|

In this case, the octal code is: "256 234 356". So, to insert this Unicode character in the prompt, add it as follows:

Prompt="... \256\234\356 ..."

Note: Make sure you have installed a font able to display Unicode characters.
A few advanced prompt examples can be found in the prompts file.
A simple use case for the files statistics escape codes
We all want to keep our systems safe. One of the many ways to get a bit of safety is by checking that there is not file in our file system that could somehow endanger our machines. SUID, SGID, executable, and other-writable files are to be count among these dangers. This is why it could be useful to build a little files scanner for our prompt using the above mentioned files statistics escape codes. This is the code for our scanner:


By adding this code to our prompt line, we get something like this:


This tells us that in the current directory we have 24 SUID files (printed in bold red), 2 SGID files (bold yellow), no other-writable file, and 2389 executable files.
NOTE: A predefined prompt with this files scanner integrated can be found in the prompts.clifm file.
NOTE 2: Most of the information these escape codes rely on depends on stat(3). Now, since stat(3) is not used when running in light mode (for performance reasons), this information won´t be available in light mode either.
Prompt notifications
A bold red ´R´ at the left of the prompt reminds the user that the program is running as root. A bold green asterisk indicates that there are elements in the Selection Box. In the same way, a yellow 'T' means that there are currently files in the trash can, just as a bold blue 'S' means that the program is running in stealth mode. Finally, clifm makes use of three kind of messages: errors (a red ´E´ at the left of the prompt), warnings (a yellow ´W´), and simple notices (a green ´N´).
If Notifications is set to "false" in the prompts file, the above notifications won´t be printed by the prompt, but is still available to the user as escape codes (see above) and environment variables (see the ENVIRONMENT section below) to build custom prompts.
The Warning Prompt
The suggestions system includes a secondary, warning prompt, used to highlight wrong/invalid/non-existent command names. Once an invalid command is entered, the regular prompt will be switched to the warning prompt and the whole input line will turn dimmed red (though it can be customized to your liking).
The wrong command name check is omitted if the input string:

Is quoted (ex: "string" or ´string´)
Is bracketed (ex: (string), [string], or {string})
It starts with a stream redirection character (ex: <string or >string)
Is a comment (ex: #string)
It starts with one or more spaces
Is an assignment (ex: foo=var)
It is escaped (ex: \string)

The warning prompt could be customized by means of the same rules used by the regular prompt. To use a custom warning prompt, modify the WarningPrompt line in the prompts file (via the prompt edit command). It defaults to

"\[\e[0;2;31m\](!) > "

the last line of the regular prompt will become "(!) > ", printed in a dimmed red color, including the input string.
To disable this feature use the --no-warning-prompt command line switch or set the EnableWarningPrompt option to false in the prompts file.
NOTE: Bear in mind that the warning prompt depends on the suggestions system, so that it won´t be available if this system is disabled.
The line dividing the current list of files and the prompt. It could be customized via the DividingLine option in the color scheme file to fit your prompt design and/or color scheme.
DividingLine accepts one or more ASCII or Unicode characters (in both cases you only need to type/paste here the chosen character(s)). If only one character is specified (by default, "-"), it will be repeatedly printed to fulfill the current line up to the right edge of the screen or terminal window. If you don't want to cover the whole line, specify three or more characters, in which case only these characters (and no more) will be used as dividing line. For example: "------->". To use an empty line, set DividingLineChar to "0" (that is, as a character, not as a number). Finally, is this value is not set, a special line drawn with box-drawing characters will be used (box-drawing characters are not supported by all terminal emulators).
The color of this line is set via the dl color code in the color scheme file. Consult the COLOR CODE section above for more information.

Refer to the TAB completion section below.

8. Built-in Expansions

The SEL keyword
clifm will automatically expand the sel keyword: sel indeed amounts to ´file1 file2 file3 ...´ In this way, you can use the sel keyword with any command. s: can be used interchangeably (with the difference that s: can be used as first word, and not only as parameter to other commands).
If you want to set the executable bit on several files, for instance, simply select the files you want and then run this command: chmod +x sel. Or, if you want to copy or move several files into some directory: cp sel 12, or mv sel 12 (provided the ELN 12 corresponds to a directory), respectively.
If the destiny directory is omitted, selected files are copied into the current working directory, that is to say, mv sel amounts to mv sel ..
To trash or remove selected files, simply run tr sel or rm sel respectively. The same goes for wildcards and braces: chmod +x *, for example, will set the executable bit on all files (excluding hidden files) in the current working directory, while chmod +x file{1,2,3} will do it for file1, file2, and file3 respectively.
If using the FZF mode for TAB completion (see below), you can operate only on some selected files as follows: type CMD sel and, without appending any space char, press TAB: the list of selected files will be displayed. Choose one or more of them (use TAB to mark entries) to operate only on those specific files. For example, to print the file properties of some specific selected files: p sel->TAB, select the files you want via TAB, press Enter or Right (marked files will be inserted in the command line), and the press Enter, as usual.
TAB completion
There are four modes for TAB completion: standard (interface provided by readline), fzf, which depends on FZF (https://github.com/junegunn/fzf) (version 0.18.0 or later), fnf (https://github.com/leo-arch/fnf), and smenu (https://github.com/p-gen/smenu). By default, if the fzf binary is found in PATH, clifm will attempt to use fzf to display completions. You can force the use of the remaining modes via the --stdtab, --fnftab, and --smenutab command line switches. The TabCompletionMode option in the configuration file can be used to permanently set the TAB completion mode.
If using the fzf mode, the completions interface can be customized using the FzfTabOptions option in the color scheme file. --height, --margin, +i/-i, --read0, --query, and --ansi will be appended to set up some details of the completions interface. Set this value to none to pass no option, to the empty string to load the default values, or to any other custom value. Unless set to none, any option specified here will override FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS.
Default values for this option are:

--color=16,prompt:6,fg+:-1,pointer:4,hl:5,hl+:5,gutter:-1,marker:2,border:7:dim --bind tab:accept,right:accept,left:abort,alt-p:toggle-preview --inline-info --layout=reverse-list --preview-window=wrap,border-left

Consult fzf(1) for more information.
If set neither in FzfTabOptions nor in FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS (in this order), the height of the FZF window is set to the default value: 40% of the current terminal amount of line/rows.
To use FZF global values (defined in FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS), set FzfTabOptions to none.
File previews are available in FZF mode via shotgun. See the SHOTGUN section above.
Image previews (X11 only) are available via the clifmimg plugin. Consult the Wiki for more information: https://github.com/leo-arch/clifm/wiki/Specifics#tab-completion-with-file-previews
If using the smenu mode, the interface can be customized using the CLIFM_SMENU_OPTIONS environment variable. For example:

export CLIFM_SMENU_OPTIONS="-a t:2,b b:4 c:r ct:2,r sf:6,r st:5,r mt:5,b"

Consult smenu(1) for more information.

For information about how to customize fnf consult fnf(1).

Clifm can perform fuzzy TAB completion (just as suggestions) for file names and paths (e.g. "dwn" is completed/suggested as "Downloads"). To enable this feature use the --fuzzy-matching command line switch or set FuzzyMatching to true in the configuration file.

Besides the default TAB completion for command names and paths, you can also expand ELN's using the TAB key. Example: type 'o 12', press TAB, and it becomes 'o filename ', or, if 12 refers to a directory, 'o dir/'. clifm uses a Bash-style quoting system, so that this file name: "this is a test@version{1}" is expanded as follows: this\ is\ a\ test\@version\{1\}

ELN's and ELN ranges will be also automatically expanded, provided the corresponding ELN's actually exist, that is to say, provided some file name is listed on the screen under those numbers. For example: 'diff 1 118' will only expand '1', but not '118', if there is no ELN 118. In the same way, the range 1-118 will only be expanded provided there are 118 or more elements listed on the screen. Note that the second field oa a range can be omitted, in which case the ELN of the last listed file is assumed (ex: provided there are 100 listed files, 12- is equivalent to 12-100).

Since ranges could be a bit tricky, TAB completion is available to make sure this range actually includes the desired file names.

If this feature somehow conflicts with the command you want to run, say, 'chmod 644 ...', because the current amount of files is equal or larger than 644 (in which case clifm will expand that number), then you can simply run the command as external: ';chmod 644 ...'

TAB completion for commands, paths, users home directory, workspaces, wildcards*, file types*, environment variables, bookmarks, profiles, color schemes, file tags, commands history, directory history (via the jump command), remote resources, sort methods, ranges*, the 'sel' keyword*, trashed files*, plus the deselect* and the open-with commands (ow) is also available. To make use of the bookmarks completion, make sure to specify some name for your bookmarks, since these names are used by the completion function.

* When using FZF mode for TAB completion, multi-selection is available: Press TAB to expand possible selections, then press TAB again to mark desired entries. Once desired entries are marked, press Enter or the Right arrow key: marked entries will be inserted into the command line. Multi-selection is also available for the following commands, provided there is no slash in the query string: ac, ad, bb, br, d/dup, p/pr/prop, r, s, t/tr/trash, and te.

Of course, combinations of all these features is also possible. Example: cp sel file* 2 23-31 . will copy all selected files, plus all files whose name starts with "file", plus those files corresponding to the ELN´s 2, and 23 to 31, into the current working directory.

In addition to completions and expansions, an auto-suggestions system is also available. See the AUTO-SUGGESTIONS section below.

9. Resource Opener

As clifm´s built-in resource opener, Lira takes care of opening files when no opening application has been specified in the command line. It does this by automatically parsing a MIME list file (see the FILES section below): it looks first for a matching pattern (either a MIME type or a file name), then checks the existence of the command associated to this pattern, and finally executes it.

Lira is controlled via the mime command. File associations are stored in the MIME list file.
When running for the first time, or whenever the MIME list file cannot be found, clifm will copy the MIME definitions file from the DATADIR directory (usually /usr/share/clifm/mimelist.clifm) to the local configuration directory.
Lira will check the file line by line, and if a matching line is found, and if at least one of the specified applications exists, this application will be used to open the corresponding associated file. Else, the next line will be checked. In other words, the precedence order is top to bottom (for lines) and left to right (for applications).
Note: In case of directories (whose MIME type is inode/directory), the entry will be used only for the open-with command (ow).
1. Syntax
In its most basic form, each line in the MIME list file consists of:
a) A left value: this is just a regular expression indicating what we are trying to match (it can be a file name, a file extension, or a MIME type).
b) A right value: a semicolon separated list of commands to be used as the opening application (the first existing program found in this list will be used).
For example:


which is to be read as follows: Open text files (in this case we are partially matching a MIME type) using leafpad.
As explained below, this basic rule can be modified to get much more control on what we are matching and how we execute the opening application.
The syntax is this:

[!][X:][N:]REGEX=CMD [ARGS] [%[f,x]] [![E,O]] [&]; ...

Note that this syntax departs from the Freedesktop specification in that we do not rely on desktop files (mostly used by desktop environments), but rather on commands and parameters.
2. The left value (REGEX)
2.1. The X prefix
Without any prefixes, the rule will attempt to match MIME types, disregarding if we are running on a graphical or non-graphical environment. For example,


instructs lira to open all text files using leafpad, no matter if we are running on a graphical or non-graphical environment.
However, we usually do not want to use leafpad if we are not running on a graphical environment. In this case, we can write a double rule as follows:


where the first rule (via the X prefix) is intended for use on graphical environments, where we can use leafpad, and the second one (via the !X prefix) for non-graphical environments, where we rather prefer to use nano.
2.2. The N prefix
Sometimes MIME types are not enough to identify a file, or we just want to match a specific file name. In this case, we can use the N prefix to tell Lira that we want to match a file name instead of a MIME type. For example:


in which case we want to match exactly the file name filename.txt (no matter its MIME type).
If we want to match file extensions, instead of entire file names, we can use a regular expression, as follows:


Here, we are not matching a specific file name, but a specific file extension, so that the rule reads as follows: open all files ending with .txt using leafpad.
3. The right value (CMD)
The right value is a semicolon separated list of commands, each of which contains a command, and optionally, command arguments and modifiers. For example:

X:N:.*.txt$=leafpad --sync,geany,mousepad,nano

which means: Open .txt files (graphical environments only) using leafpad --sync, or, if not found, geany, mousepad, or nano, in this order. The file to be opened will be appended to the command string, say leafpad --sync FILE.
3.1. The %f placeholder
Use the %f placeholder to specify the position of the file to be opened in the command, for example:

mpv %f --terminal=no

will be translated into: mpv FILE --terminal=no
If the placeholder is not specified, the file to be opened will be appended to the command string. Thus, this: mpv --terminal=no amounts to this: mpv --terminal=no FILE.
Sometimes we might need to silence either standard error (STDERR), standard output (STDOUT), or both. Use !E and !O to silence them respectively. Both can be used together: !EO. Example: leafpad %f !EO, or, to silence only STDERR: leafpad %f !E.
3.3. Run in the background
The ampersand character (&) can be used, as usual, to run the opening application in the background. Example: leafpad %f &.
3.4. The %x flag
The %x flag is a shorthand for "%f !EO &": the command will be executed in the background and both STDOUT and STDERR will be silenced. This flag is recommended to open files via graphical applications. Examples:
For GUI applications:

APP %x

For terminal applications:

TERM -e APP %x

Replace TERM and APP by the appropriate values (say, xterm and vi respectively). The -e option might vary depending on the terminal emulator used.
Note: In case of archives, the built-in ad command can be used as opening application.
3.5. Environment variables
Environment variables (e.g. $EDITOR, $VISUAL, $BROWSER, and even $PAGER) are also recognized by Lira. You can even set custom environment variables to be used exclusively by clifm. For example, you can set CLIFM_TERM, CLIFM_EDITOR, and CLIFM_PDF, and then use them to define some associations:

X:text/plain=$CLIFM_TERM -e $CLIFM_EDITOR %f &
X:N:.*\.pdf$=$CLIFM_PDF %f &

3.6. Using shell scripts

Bear in mind that commands will be executed directly without shell intervention, so that no shell goodies (like pipes, conditions, loops, etc) are available. In case you need something more complex than a single command (including shell capabilities) write your own script and place the path to the script in place of the command. For example:


4. Examples:
Match a full file name:


Note: If the file name contains a dot, quote it like this: some_filename\.ext (to prevent the REGEX parser from interpreting the dot).
Open video files with mpv in the foreground and silence STDERR:

^video/.*=mpv %f !E

Open video files with gmplayer in the background and silence both STDERR and STDOUT:

^video/.*=gmplayer %f !EO & (or 'gmplayer %x')

Match multiple file names (starting with "str"):

X:N:^str.*=leafpad %x;mousepad %x;kate %x;gedit %x

Match a single extension:

X:N:.*\.txt$=leafpad %x;mousepad %x;kate %x;gedit %x

Match multiple extensions:

X:N:.*\.(sh|c|py|pl)$:geany %x;leafpad %x;nano

Match a single mimetype:

!X:^audio/mp3$=mpv %f --terminal=no;ffplay -nodisp -autoexit;mpv;mplayer

Match mutiple mimetypes:

X:^audio/.*=mplayer;mplayer2;vlc %x;gmplayer %x;smplayer %x;totem %x

In case of MIME types, you can also write the entire expression without relying on any regular expression. For example:

!X:text/plain=$TERM -e $EDITOR %x

For more information take a look at the mimelist file itself (F6 or mm edit).
5. Using a third-party opener
This can be done in two ways:
a. Set Opener in the configuration file to the name of the desired opener. For example, to use Ranger's rifle(1):


or, if you prefer xdg-open(1):


b. Tell Lira to open all files, no matter the MIME type or file name, via the desired opener. For example:


6. Using Clifm as a standalone resource opener
Thought clifm is a file manager, it can be used as a simple resource opener via the --open command line option. For example:

clifm --open /path/to/my_file.jpg
clifm --open /path/to/my_dir
clifm --open https://some_domain

Note: When opening web resources clifm will query the mimelist file using text/html as MIME type. Whatever association it finds for this specific MIME type will be used to open the web resource.

10. Shotgun

1. TAB completion with file previews

Shotgun is clifm´s built-in files previewer. Though, as described below, it may be used as a standalone and general purpose file previewer (similar in this regard to pistol(1)), it is mainly intended to be used by clifm's TAB completion function running in FZF mode: every time TAB completion is invoked for files, shotgun will be executed with the currently highlighted file as argument (as shown below) to generate the preview. Set the FzfPreview option in the configuration file to false (or run with --no-fzfpreview) to disable this feature.
Shotgun is also used by the view command to display file previews in full screen.
2. Running as a standalone files previewer
Executed via the --preview command line switch, shotgun performs file preview for any file passed as argument. For example:

       clifm --preview myfile.txt

This command generates a preview of the file myfile.txt and immediately afterwards quits  clifm.
3. Customization
Previewing applications (based on either MIME type or file name) are defined in a configuration file ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/preview.clifm) using the same syntax used by Lira (the built-in resource opener). See the RESOURCE OPENER section above.
You can set an alternative configuration file via the --shotgun-file command line switch:

clifm --shotgun-file=/path/to/shotgun/config/file --preview=myfile.txt

To customize the appearance of the preview window, use the --preview-window option in the FzfTabOptions line in the current color scheme file. For example, if you want the preview window down the files list (instead of to the right):


Default keybindings for the preview window:

Alt-p: Toggle the preview window on/off
Ctrl-Up / Shift-Up: Scroll the preview window up one line
Ctrl-Down / Shift-Down: Scroll the preview window down one line
Alt-Up: Scroll the preview window up one page
Alt-Down: Scroll the preview window down one page

Keybindings can be customized using the --bind option in the FzfTabOptions field in the color scheme file.

Consult fzf(1) for more information.

4. Image previews

Image previews are available via the clifmimg plugin. Consult the Wiki for more information: https://github.com/leo-arch/clifm/tree/master/misc/tools/imgprev

11. Auto-Suggestions

Gemini is a built-in suggestions system (similar to that provided by the Fish shell). As you type, Gemini will suggest possible completions right after the current cursor position.

The following checks are availabe (the order can be customized, see below):

a. ELN´s

b. clifm commands and parameters (including the sel keyword)

c. Entries in the command history list (already used commands)

d. File names in the current working directory and paths (1)

e. Entries in the jump database

f. Aliases names

g. Bookmarks names

h. Program names in PATH

i. Shell builtins (2)

(1) Fuzzy suggestions are supported. For example: dwn > Downloads. Enable this feature via the --fuzzy-marching command line switch or setting FuzzyMatching to true in the configuration file.

(2) The shell name is taken from /bin/sh. The following shells are supported: bash, dash, fish, ksh, tcsh, and zsh. Command names are checked in the following order: clifm internal commands, commands in PATH, and shell builtins.

Note: By default, a brief description for internal commands is suggested. You can disable this feature via the SuggestCmdDesc option in the configuration file.

To accept the entire suggestion press Right or Ctrl-f: the cursor will move to the end of the suggested command and the suggestion color will change to that of the typed text; next, you can press Enter to execute the command as usual. Otherwise, if the suggestion is not accepted, it will be simply ignored and you can continue editing the current command line however you want.

To accept the first suggested word only (up to first slash or space), press rather Alt-Right or Alt-f. Not available for ELN´s, aliases and bookmarks names.

Bear in mind that suggestions for ELN´s, aliases, bookmarks names, the jump function (invoked by the j command), just as file names and paths (if fuzzy-suggestions are enabled) do not work as the remaining suggestions: they do not suggest possible completions for the current input, but rather the value pointed to by it. For example, if you type "12" and the current list of files includes a file name whose ELN is '12', the file name corresponding to this ELN will be printed next to "12" as follows: 12_ > filename (where the underscore is the current cursor position). Press Right or Ctrl-f to accept the suggestion, in which case the text typed so far will be replaced by the suggestion.

The order of the suggestion checks could be customized via the SuggestionStrategy option in the configuration file. Each check is assigned a lowercase letter:

a = Aliases names
b = Bookmark names
c = Possible completions
e = ELN's
f = Files in the current directory
h = Entries in the commands history
j = Entries in the jump database

The value taken by SuggestionStrategy is a string of seven (7) characters containing the above letters. The letters order in this string specifies the order in which the suggestion checks will be performed. For example, to perform all checks in the same order above, the value of the string should be abcefhj (without quotes). Or, if you prefer to run the history check first: habcefj. Finally, you can ignore one or more checks using a dash (-). So, to ignore the bookmarks and aliases checks, set SuggestionStrategy to h--cefj. The default value for this option is ehfjbac.

Note: The check for program names in PATH is always executed at last, except when the ExternalCommands option is disabled, in which case suggestions for them are simply not displayed.

Suggestions will be printed using one of the following color codes (see the COLOR CODES section above):

sf: Used for file and directory names. This includes suggestions for ELN´s, bookmarks names, files in the current directory, and possible completions. Default value: 02;04;36 (dimmed underlined cyan)

sh: Used for entries in the commands history. Default value: 02;35 (dimmed magenta)

sc: Used for aliases and program names in PATH. Default value: 02;31 (dimmed red)

sx: Used for clifm internal commands and parameters. Default value: 02;32 (dimmed green)

sp: Greater-than sign (>) used when suggesting ELN´s, bookmarks, and aliases names. Default value: 02;31 (dimmed red)

You can set SuggestFiletypeColor to true in the configuration file to use the color of the file type of the current file name (as set in the color scheme file) instead of the value of sf. For example, if a suggestion is printed for a file that is a symbolic link, ln or or (if a broken link) will be used instead of sf.

12. Shell Functions

Clifm includes a few shell functions to perform specific actions (cd-on-quit, file-picker, and subshell-notice). Take a look at the corresponding files, in /usr/share/clifm/functions, and follow the instructions. Needles to say, you can write your own functions.

13. Plugins

Plugins are just scripts or programs (written in any language) intended to add, extend or improve clifm´s functionalities. They are linked to actions names defined in a dedicated configuration file (XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/actions.clifm).

Note: In stealth mode, since access to configuration files is not allowed, plugins are disabled.

To list available actions and the plugins they are linked to, run actions.

To execute a given plugin, enter the corresponding action name (plus parameters if requiered).

To get information about a specific plugin, enter the action name followed by --help.

Though several plugins are provided at installation time (in the plugins directory), you can write your owns as you like, with any language you like, and for whatever goal you want. Writing plugins is generally quite easy; but your mileage may vary depending on what you are trying to achieve. A good place to start is examining the provide plugins and reading the actions command description, and the ENVIRONMENT and FILES sections below.

A convenient helper script is provided to get a consistent look across all plugins, specially those running FZF. This helper script is located in DATADIR/clifm/plugins/plugins-helper, but it will be overridden by XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/plugins/plugins-helper if found. The location of this file is set by clifm itself in the CLIFM_PLUGINS_HELPER environment variable to be used by plugins. Source the file and use any of the functions and variables provided by it to write a new FZF plugin:

   # Source our plugins helper
   if [ -z "$CLIFM_PLUGINS_HELPER" ] || ! [ -f "$CLIFM_PLUGINS_HELPER" ]; then
       printf "clifm: Unable to find plugins-helper file\n" >&2
       exit 1
   # shellcheck source=/dev/null

Plugins can talk to clifm via a dedicated pipe created for this purpose and exposed via an environment variable (CLIFM_BUS). Write to the pipe and clifm will hear and handle the message immediately after the plugin's execution. If the message is a path, clifm will run the open function, changing the current directory to the new path, if a directory, or opening it with the resource opener, if a file. Otherwise, if the message is not a path, it will be taken and executed as a command. Examples:

   ´echo "/tmp" > "$CLIFM_BUS"´ tells clifm to change the current directory to /tmp

   ´echo "s *.png" > "$CLIFM_BUS"´ makes clifm select all files in the current directory ending with ".png"

The pipe (CLIFM_BUS) is deleted immediately after the execution of its content and recreated before running any other plugin.

This is a list of available plugins:

Action nameDescriptionDependencies
bnCreate files in batch-
bcpCopy files in batch-
bmiImport bookmarks-
clipInteract with the system clipboard(1)
unsetTest terminal´s colors capability(2)
crCopy files to a remote locationfzf, and scp, ffsend, or croc
daDisk usage analyzerdu, fzf
drDrag and drop filesdragon or dragon-drag-and-drop
fdupsFind/remove file dups(3)
+Find files in the current directoryfzf or rofi
_ (underscore)Quickly change directoryfzf
hBrowse the commands historyfzf
- (yes, just a dash)Navigate/select/preview filesSee section below
*Select files (includes flat view)fzf, find
**Deselect filesfzf
unsetShow git repo statusgit (4)
ihBrowse clifm's manpagefzf
iImage thumbnails previewersxiv, feh or lsix
++Jump to a directory in the jump databasefzf or rofi
kbgenGet escape codes for keybindings(5)
kdDecrypt a GnuPG encrypted filegpg, tar, sed, grep
keEncrypt files/dirs using GnuPGgpg, tar, sed, fzf, awk, xargs
mlList files by a given MIME typefzf, file
musicCreate a music playlistmplayer
ggPipe files in CWD through a pagerless, column
ptotPreview PDF files as textpdftotext
rrmRecursively remove filesfind, fzf
//Search files by contentfzf, ripgrep
unsetUpdate plugins(6)
vidPreview video files thumbnailsffmpegthumbnailer
vtVirtual directory for sets of filessed
wallSet image as wallpaper(7)
Ctrl-yCopy the line buffer to the clipboard(8)

(1) xclip or xsel (Xorg), wl-copy/wl-paste (Wayland), clipboard (Haiku), clip (Cygwin), pbcopy/pbget (MacOS), termux-clipboard-get/termux-clipboard-set (Termux), cb (cross-platform: https://github.com/Slackadays/Clipboard)

(2) colors.sh (by default unset)

(3) find, md5sum, sort, uniq, xargs, sed, stat

(4) The git_status.sh plugin is not intended to be used as a normal plugin, that is, executed via an action name, but rather to be executed as a prompt command (it will be executed immediately before each prompt). Add this line to the main configuration file:

promptcmd /usr/share/clifm/plugins/git_status.sh

Whereas this plugin provides basic Git integration, it could be easily modified (it is just a few lines long) to include whatever git function you might need.

(5) It needs to be compiled first: gcc -o kbgen kbgen.c -lcurses

(6) update.sh (by default unset)

(7) feh, xloadimage, hsetroot, or nitrogen (for X); swww or swaybg (for Wayland)

(8) Dependencies: cb, wl-copy, xclip, xsel, pbcopy, termux-clipboard-set, clipboard, or clip. Consult the plugin file itself (xclip.sh) for more information

Dependencies of the previewer plugin (fzfnav.sh)

 archives: atool, bsdtar, or tar
 images: kitty terminal, imagemagick, and ueberzug or viu or catimg or img2txt or pixterm
 fonts: fontpreview or fontforge
 docs: libreoffice, catdoc, odt2txt, pandoc
 PDF: pdftoppm, pdftotext or mutool
 epub: epub-thumbnailer
 DjVu: djvulibre or djvutxt
 postscript: ghostscript
 videos: ffmpegthumbnailer
 audio: ffmpeg, mplayer, or mpv
 web: w3m, links, elinks, or pandoc
 markdown: glow
 highlight: bat, highlight, or pygmentize
 torrent: transmission-cli
 json: python or pq
 file info: exiftool, mediainfo, or file

To run the pager.sh plugin, for example, you only need to enter the corresponding action name, in this case gg. In case of need, all plugins provide a -h,--help switch for a brief usage description.

Note: The fzfnav plugin uses fzf(1) to navigate the file system and BFG (a script located in the plugins directory) to show previews (to display image previews BFG requires ueberzug(1) or the Kitty protocol via the Kitty terminal). A configuration file (BFG.cfg, in the plugins directory itself) is provided to customize the previewer's behavior.

Note 2: An alternative files previewing function (built-in, and thereby faster than BFG) is provided by shotgun. See the SHOTGUN section above for more information.

In addition to the built-in BFG previewer, fzfnav supports the use of both Ranger´s scope.sh script and pistol(1). To use scope, edit the BFG configuration file and set USE_SCOPE to 1 and SCOPE_FILE to the correct path to the scope.sh file (normally $HOME/.config/ranger/scope.sh). To use pistol instead, set USE_PISTOL to 1.

Take a look at the Wiki for more information: https://github.com/clifm/wiki/Advanced#plugins

14. Autocommands

Heavily inspired by Vifm, the autocommands function allows the user a fine-grained control over clifm settings. It is mostly devised as a way to improve performance for remote file systems (usually slower than local ones) by allowing you to turn off some features (like the files counter) that might greatly affect performance under some circumstances (like remote connections). However, the autocommands function is not restricted to this specific use case: use it for whatever purpose you find useful.

Add a line preceded by the autocmd keyword to the config file. The general syntax is:
autocmd TARGET cmd,cmd,cmd

TARGET specifies the object to which subsequent commands will apply. It can match either directory names (paths) or workspaces.

1. To match directory names use a glob pattern. If no glob metacharacter is provided, the string will be compared as is to the current working directory. To invert the meaning of a pattern, prepend an exclamation mark. To match all directories under a specific directory (including this directory itself) use the double asterisk (**). A few examples:

~/Downloads      Match exactly the Downloads directory (and only this directory) in your home directory
~/Downloads/*    Match all subdirectories in ~/Downloads (excluding the Downloads directory itself)
/~/Downloads/**  Recursively match all subdirectories in ~/Downloads (including the Downloads directory itself)
~/Downloads/*.d  Match all subdirectories in ~/Downloads ending with ".d" (excluding the Downloads directory itself)
!~/Downloads     Match everything except the ~/Downloads directory

2. TARGET is also able to match workspaces using the ampersand character (@) followed by the ws keyword and then the workspace number. For example, to match the third workspace: @ws3, and to match the first workspace: @ws1.

TARGET is followed by a comma separated list of commands:

!CMD: The exclamation mark allows you to run shell commands, custom binaries or scripts

The following codes are used to control clifm's files list:

Code   Description           Example
cs     Color scheme          cs=zenburn
fc     Files counter         fc=0
hf     Hidden files          hf=0
lm     Light mode            lm=1
lv     Long/detail view      lv=0
mf     Max files             mf=100
mn     Max file name length  mn=20
od     Only directories      od=1
pg     Pager                 pg=0
st     Sort method           st=5
sr     Reverse sort          sr=1

A few example lines:

1. Run in light mode and disable the files counter for the remotes directory:(1)
   autocmd /media/remotes/** lm=1,fc=0

2. Just a friendly reminder:
   autcomd ~/important !printf "Important: keep your fingers outta here!\n" && read -n1

3. This directory has thousands of files. Show only the first hundred and enable the pager:
   autocmd /usr/bin mf=100,pg=1

4. Lots of media files (with large file names). Trim file names to 20 chars max and  run the files previewer:(2)
   autocmd ~/Downloads mn=20,!~/.config/clifm/plugins/fzfnav.sh

5. I want the second workspace, no matter what the current directory is, to list files in long/detail view:
   autocmd @ws2 lv=1

6. Mmm, just because I can. Be creative!
   autocmd /home/user hf=0,cs=nord,lv=1
   autocmd / lv=1,fc=0,cs=solarized,st=5

(1) This is the recommended configuration for remote file systems

(2) As seen here, plugins could be used as well: in this case, we want to run fzfnav (to make use of the files preview capability) whenever we enter into the Downloads directory, usually containing videos, music, and images. NOTE: If you decide to use a plugin, bear in mind that it won´t be able to communicate with clifm, because the autocommand function always executes commands as external applications using the system shell.

Bear in mind that autocmd directives are evaluated from top to bottom, so that only the first matching target will be executed. This can be used to exclude some target from a subsequent directive. For instance, if you want all subdirectories in ~/Downloads, except mydir, to be listed in light mode, write the following directives:

   autocmd ~/Downloads/mydir/** lm=0
   autocmd ~/Downloads/** lm=1

Since the first directive is evaluated before the second one, this latter will apply to everything under Downloads, exception made of mydir (and subdirectories).

Autocommand files: .cfm.in and .cfm.out

To use this feature, you must first set ReadAutocmdFiles to true in the main configuration file. However, bear in mind that autocommand files won't ever be read if running on an untrusted environment (i.e. if running with --secure-cmds, --secure-env, or --secure-env-full).

Two files are specifically checked by the autocommands function: .cfm.in and .cfm.out (they must be non-empty regular files of at most PATH_MAX (usually 4096) bytes, and no NUL byte must be contained in them).

The content of these files is a single instruction, either a shell command or, if you need more elaborated stuff, a script (or custom binary). Note that codes to modify clifm's settings (as described above) are not available here.

If a directory contains a file named .cfm.in, clifm will execute (via the system shell) its content when entering this directory (before listing files). If the file is named rather .cfm.out, its content will be executed immediately after leaving this directory (and before listing the new directory's content).

For example, if you want a simple notification whenever you enter or leave your home directory, create both .cfm.in and .cfm.out files in the home directory with the following content:

For .cfm.in:
  printf "Entering %s ..." "$PWD" && read -n1 && clear

For .cfm.out:
  printf "Leaving %s ..." "$OLDPWD" && read -n1

15. File Tags

Etiqueta is clifm's built-in files tagging system

1. How does Etiqueta work?

File tags are created via symlinks using a specific directory under the user's profile: ${XDG_CONFIG_DIR:-/home/USER/.config}/clifm/profiles/USER/tags

Every time a new tag is created, a new directory named as the tag itself is created in the tags directory. Tagged files are just symbolic links to the actual files created in the appropriate directory. For example, if you tag ~/myfile.txt as work, a symbolic link to ~/myfile.txt, named myfile.txt will be created in tags/work.

2. Handling file tags

tag is the main Etiqueta command and is used to handle file tags. Its syntax is as follows:

tag [add, del, list, list-full, new, merge, rename, untag] [FILE]... [[:]TAG]

NOTE: The :TAG notation is used for commands taking both file and tag names: 'tag add FILES(s) :TAG ...', to tag files, and 'tag untag :TAG file1 file2', to untag files. Otherwise, TAG is used (without the leading colon). For example: 'tag new docs', to create a new tag named docs, or 'tag del png', to delete the tag named png.

Both short and long command format can be used:

Short formatLong formatDescription
tatag addTag files
tdtag delDelete tag(s)
tltag listList tags or tagged files
tmtag renameRename tags
tntag newCreate new tag(s)
tutag untagUntag file(s)
tytag mergeMerge two tags

3. Usage examples

Short formatLong formatDescription
tltag listList available tags
-tag list-fullList available tags and all tagged files
tl worktag list workList all files tagged as work
tl file.txttag list file.txtList tags applied to the file file.txt
tn dogs catstag new dogs catsCreate two empty tags: dogs and cats
ta *.png :images :pngtag add *.png :images :pngTag PNG files as both images and png (1) (2)
ta sel :specialtag add sel :specialTag all selected files as special
tr documents docstag rename documents docsRename the tag documents as docs
ty png imagestag merge png imagesMerge the tag png into images (3)
td imagestag del imagesRemove the tag images (4)
tu :work file1 dir2tag untag :work file1 dir2Untag a few files from work (5)

(1) Tags are created if they do not exist

(2) Since add is the default action, it can be omitted: tag *.png :images :png.

(3) All files tagged as png will be now tagged as images, and the png tag will be removed.

(4) Untag all files tagged as images and remove the tag itself

(5) TAB completion is available to complete tagged files. If using the FZF mode, multiple files can be selected using the the TAB key.

4. Operating on tagged files

The t:TAG construct (or tag expression) is used to operate on tagged files via any command, be it internal or external. A few examples:

p t:docsPrint properties of files tagged as docs
r t:imagesRemove all files tagged as images
stat t:docs t:workRun stat(1) over all files tagged as docs and all files tagged as work

4.1 Operating on specific tagged files

NOTE: This feature, as always when multi-selection is involved, is only available when TAB completion mode is set to FZF. See the TAB completion subsection of the BUILT-IN-EXPANSIONS section above.

You might not want to operate on all files tagged as some specific tag, say work, but rather on some files tagged as work. TAB completion is used to achieve this aim.

Let's suppose you have a tag named work which contains ten tagged files, but you need to operate (say, print the file properties) only on two of them, say, work1.odt and work2.odt:

p t:work<TAB>

The list of files tagged as work will be displayed via FZF. Now mark the two files you need using TAB, press Enter or Right, and the full path to both files will be inserted into the command line. So, 'p t:work' will be replaced by 'p /path/to/work1.odt /path/to/work2.odt'.

16. Virtual Directories

CliFM is able to read and list files from the standard input stream (STDIN). Each file in the list should be an absolute path, terminated with a new line character (\n) and stripped from extra characters not belonging to the path itself. The size of the input stream buffer is 262MiB (65536 paths, provided each path takes PATH_MAX bytes (4096 by default)).

Each file passed via standard input is stored as a symbolic link pointing to the original file in a temporary directory (called here virtual directory) with read-only (0500) permissions. This directory, and all its contents, will be deleted at program exit. Use the --virtual-dir command line flag to specify a custom directory (it if does not exist, it will be created) instead of the default one, created in the system temporary directory (usually /tmp/clifm/USER/vdir.XXXXXX, where XXXXXX is a random six digits string).

The user can operate on these files as if they were any other regular file, since all operations performed on these symbolic links (provided the current working directory is the virtual directory where all these files are stored) are performed on the target files and NOT on the symbolic links themselves.

Once in the virtual directory, files are listed by default using only the base name of the target file. For example, if the target file is /home/user/Downloads/myfile.tar.gz, this file will be listed as myfile.tar.gz. If this file already exists in the virtual directory (because there is another target file with the same base name, say, /home/user/Documents/tars/myfile.tar.gz), a random six digits suffix will be appended to the file (for instance, myfile.tar.gz.12Rgj6).

Since this listing mode does not allow the user to get a clear idea of the actual location of each listed file, a keybinding (by default Alt-w) is available to toggle short (base names only) and long file names: in this latter case, file names are listed using the full path to the target file, replacing slashes by colons (:). For example, if the target file is /home/user/Downloads/myfile.tar.gz, it will be listed in the virtual directory as home:user:Downloads:myfile.tar.gz.

If you prefer the long names approach, you can use the --virtual-dir-full-paths command line flag.

Note: Bear in mind that the restore last path function is disabled when listing in this way.

CliFM provides to ways of using virtual directories:

1. Reading files from the standard input

2. Listing sets of files via the virtualize.sh plugin (which is in fact a special use case of point 1)

1. Standard input


ls -Ad /var/* | clifm

This command will pass all files in the directory /var to CliFM

If you need to perform more specific queries, you can use find(1) as follows:

find -maxdepth 1 -size +500k -print0 | tr ´\0´ ´\n´ | sed ´s/.//g´ | clifm

The above command will pass all files in the current directory bigger than 500KiB to CliFM.

You can also use stream redirection:

ls -Ad $PWD/* > list.txt
clifm < list.txt

2. The virtualization plugin

The virtualize.sh plugin, bound by default to the vt action name, is intended to provide an easy way of listing sets or collections of files, such as selected, tagged, or bookmarked files. For example, to send all selected files to a virtual directory, you can issue this command:

vt sel

and, if you want rather files tagged as PDF:

vt t:PDF

Of course, individual files can also be used:

vt file1 file2 file3

Once executed, the vt plugin will launch a new instance of CliFM (on a new terminal emulator window) where you can operate on the specified files as if they were just normal files. Once done, quit this new instance (via the q command) to return to the primary instance of CliFM.

Note: By default, the terminal emulator used is xterm(1), but it can be changed by editing the plugin script (virtualize.sh).

If navigating the file system, you can quickly go back to the virtual directory using the -d option: vt -d. The navigation keys (see the KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS section above) and the CLIFM_VIRTUAL_DIR environment variable are also available (Shift-Left/Shift-Right or cd $CLIFM_VIRTUAL_DIR).

Tip: Write an alias to make this even easier:

alias vtd=´cd $CLIFM_VIRTUAL_DIR´

17. Note on Speed

clifm is by itself quite fast by default, but if speed is still an issue, it is possible to get some extra performance.

The two most time consuming features are:

1) The files counter, used to print the amount of files contained by listed directories. Disabling this option produces a nice performance boost.

2) In normal mode, fstatat(3) is used to gather information about listed files. Since this function, especially when executed hundreds (and even thousands) of times, is quite time consuming, the light mode was implemented as an alternative listing process omitting all calls to it.

When running in light mode, however, a few features are lost:

1. Only basic file classification is performed, namely, that provided by the d_type field of a dirent struct (see readdir(3)). Bear in mind, nonetheless, that whenever _DIRENT_HAVE_D_TYPE was not set at compile time, or in case of a DT_UNKNOWN value for a given entry (we might be facing a file system not returning the d_type value, for example, loop devices), clifm will fall back to stat(3) to get basic files classification.

2. Color per file extension is disabled for performance reasons.

3. The marker for selected files (*) is lost as well: to keep track of selected files and thus recognize them in the current list of files, we make use of files device and inode number, which is provided by fstatat(3).

Besides these two features, a few more things can be disabled to get some extra speed (though perhaps unnoticeable): icons (if enabled), columns, colors, and, if already running without colors, file type indicators. Because listing lots of files could be expensive and time consuming, you can also try to limit the amount of files printed for each visited directory (see the mf command above).

Despite the above, however, it is important to bear in mind that listing speed does not only depend on the program´s code and enabled features, but also on the terminal emulator used. Old, basic terminal emulators like Xterm, Aterm, and the kernel built-in console are really slow compared to more modern ones like Urxvt, Lxterminal, ST, and Terminator, to name just a few.

If using Xterm, a nice speed boost is provided by the fast scroll option: set fastScroll to true in your ~/.Xresources file. See xterm(1).

18. Kangaroo Frecency Algorithm

The directory jumper function is designed to learn the navigation habits of the user. The information is stored in a database (see the FILES section below) used to get the best match for a given string provided by the user. In this sense, Kangaroo is like a quick, smart, and evolved cd function.

The information stored in the database, always per directory, is:
a) Permanent entry ('+'): this directory won't be removed from the database, no matter its rank
b) Number of visits
c) Date of first visit (seconds since the Unix epoch)
d) Date of the last visit (seconds since Unix epoch)
e) The full path to each visited directory

With this information it is possible to build a ranking of directories to offer the user the most accurate matches for each query string. The matching algorithm takes into account mainly two factors: frequency and recency (which is why this kind of algorithm is often called a frecency algorithm).

After getting an initial list of matches based on the query string(s) entered by the user, the frequency algorithm is applied on each entry in the list. The algorithm is quite simple: (visits * VISIT-CREDIT) / days-since-first-visit. As a result, we get the average of visits per day since the day of the first visit (what we call the directory rank).

NOTE: VISIT-CREDIT is a hardcoded value: 200.

There are however some further steps in the ranking process: Bonus points.

Extra credits or penalties are assigned based on the directories last access time according to the following simple algorithms:

Within last hour:rank * 4
Within last day:rank * 2
Within last week:rank / 2
More than a week:rank / 4

If the last query string matches the basename of a directory, the entry for this directory has 300 extra credits. This is done simply because users normally use directory basenames as query strings: they are easier to remember.

In the same way, pinned directories get 1000 extra credits, bookmarked directories 500 credits, directories active in a workspace 300 credits, and directories marked as permanent 300 credits.

For example: if the query string is "test", /media/data/test will be matched. Now, if this directory was accessed within the last hour, and its rank was 200, it becomes 800. But, because the search string matches its basename, it gets 300 extra credits, and, if this directory is in addition bookmarked, pinned, and marked as permanent, it gets 1800 extra credits. In this way the total rank of this directory in the matching process is 2900. In doing so, we have more chances of matching what the user actually wanted to match.

Once all entries in the initial list of matches have been filtered via the above procedure and ranked, we can return the best ranked entry. The higher rank a directory has, the more priority it has over the remaining entries in the initial list of matches.

Automatic maintenance is done on the database applying a few simple procedures:

a) If PurgeJumpDB is set to true (see the main configuration file), each entry in the database is checked at startup to remove non-existent directories. This option is set to false by default to avoid removing paths pointing to unmounted file systems (like removable devices or remote locations) which you still might want to keep. Non-existent directories, however, will be removed soon or later anyway due to their low rank value (see below).

b) Once the rank of a directory falls below MinJumpRank (by default 10), it is forgotten and deleted from the database. The MinJumpRank value can be customized in the configuration file. To make non-frequently visited directories disappear quicker from the database, increase this value. If set to 0, by contrast, directories will never be removed from the database.

c) Once the sum total of ranks reaches MaxJumpTotalRank (by default 100000), each individual rank is divided by a dynamic factor so that the total rank becomes less than or equal to MaxJumpTotalRank. If some rank falls in the process below MinJumpRank (and provided this latter is not 0), it is removed from the database. MaxJumpTotalRank can be modified in the configuration file. The higher the value of MaxJumpTotalRank, the more time directories will be kept in the database.

NOTE: Directories visited in the last 24 hours, just as pinned, bookmarked directories, and directories currently used in some workspace, will not be removed from the database, no matter what their rank is. In other words, if you want to indefinitely keep a given directory in the jump database, bookmark it, or mark it as permanent (edit the database, via je or j --edit, and prepend a plus sign (+) to the corresponding entry).

The idea of 'frecency' was, as far as I know, first devised and designed by Mozilla. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/User:Mconnor/Past/PlacesFrecency. However, it is also implemented, though using different algorithms, by different projects like autojump, z.lua, and zoxide.

19. Environment

The following variables are read at initialization time:


If set to any value, clifm will run colorless


Same as NO_COLOR (or CLICOLOR=0), but specific to clifm


If set to either truecolor or 24bit, clifm assumes the terminal emulator to be capable of displaying true colors (and thereby also 256 colors), despite what the terminfo(5) database informs.


A colon separated list of file type color codes in the same form specified above in the COLOR CODES section


Same as above, but for file extensions


Same as above, but for different elements of clifm's interface


A comma separated list of colors used to print timetamps based on age


Same as CLIFM_DATE_SHADES, but for file sizes


Force the use of colors, even if the terminal informs that it does not support colors


A custom commands history file


Define a file filter. If set, this variable overrides the Filter option in the configuration file


Name of the authenticator program. Used by the X command (to launch a new instance of CliFM as root), the Alt-v keybinding (to prepend the authenticator program name to the current command line), and for some operations on archives (ISO files). Defaults to sudo (or doas if compiled on OpenBSD). Example: CLIFM_SUDO_CMD=doas clifm.


An absolute path to the shell to be used by clifm to run external commands. Only values found in /etc/shells are allowed.


Same as SHELL, but specific to clifm (takes precedence over SHELL).


Path to a directory where temporary files will be created


Same as TMPDIR, but specific to clifm (takes precendece over TMPDIR)


Terminal type for which output is to be prepared


A quoted list of options to be passed to FZF (if used for TAB completion)


If set from neither --time-style nor TimeStyle (in the configuration file), use this time style for the long view mode


Same as TIME_STYLE, but specific to clifm (takes precedence over TIME_STYLE)


If set from neither --ptime-style nor PTimeStyle (in the configuration file), use this time style for the p/pp command and the --stat/--stat-full command line switches

Except when running in stealth mode, clifm sets the following environment variables:

This variable is set to the path to the configuration directory. By inspecting this variable other programs can find out if they were spawned by clifm. It can also be used to quickly jump into the configuration directory: cd $CLIFM or just $CLIFM


Set to the PID number of clifm's running instance


Set to the version number of clifm's running instance


Set to the full path to the plugins-helper script used by many plugins.


This variable is set to the current profile of clifm (if using two or more instances of clifm under different profiles, the last one will be used). Specially useful to develop clifm plugins on a per profile basis.


The path to the current selection file.


Set to 1 if running colorless (via the NO_COLOR or CLIFM_NO_COLOR environment variables, or the --no-color command line option).


This variable contains the path to a pipe by means of which plugins can talk to clifm. See the PLUGINS section for more information..TP CLIFM_VIRTUAL_DIR This variable is set to the path to the currently used virtual directory only if (and while) the virtual directory function is exectued. See the VIRTUAL DIRECTORIES section above.


When running a plugin via a keybinding, this variable holds the content of the current line buffer. For a usage example see the xclip.sh plugin.


Incremented by one each time a new shell is started.


Same as SHLVL, but specific to clifm.

If Notifications is set to false for the current prompt, the following variables are exported to the environment to be used, if needed, by your custom prompt:

Current amount of selected files


Current amount of trashed files


Current amount of error messages


Current amount of warning messages


Current amount of notice messages


Current workspace number


Exit code of the last executed command


1 if user is root (UID = 0), 0 otherwise


1 if running in stealth mode, 0 otherwise

20. Security

Since clifm executes OS commands, it needs to provide a way to securely run these commands, specially when it comes to untrusted environments. Two features are provided to achieve this aim: secure environment and secure commands.

Both features are aimed at protecting the program and the system as such from malicious input, either coming from environment variables or from indirect input, that is to say, input coming not from the command line (in which is assumed that it is the user herself who is executing the given command), but from files: this is the case of default associated applications (the mime command), autocommands, (un)mount commands (via the net command), just as profile and prompt commands.
In an untrusted environment, an attacker could cause unexpected and insecure behavior (even command injection) using environment variables, or inject malicious commands via indirect input, commands which will be later executed by clifm without the user's consent (i.e. automatically). This is why we provide a mechanism to minimize this danger: if running in an untrusted environment, the secure environment and secure commands features are there to prevent (at least as far as possible) this kind of attacks.
A) Secure environment
Programs inherit the environment from the parent process. However, if this inherited environment is not trusted, not secure, it is always a good idea to sanitize it using only sane values, preventing thus undesired and uncontrolled input that might endanger the program and the system itself.
The secure-environment function forces clifm to run on a such a sanitized environment.
There are two secure-environment modes, the regular, and the full one. To enable the regular mode, run clifm with the --secure-env command line option. Otherwise, enable the full mode using --secure-env-full.
a) Regular: in this mode, the inherited environment is cleared, though a few variables are preserved to keep clifm running as stable as possible. These preserved variables are: TERM, DISPLAY, LANG, TZ, and, if FZF TAB completion mode is enabled, FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS.
The following variables are set in an environment agnostic way (that is, securely):

 - HOME, SHELL, and USER are retrieved using getpwuid(3)
 - PATH is set consulting _PATH_STDPATH (or _CS_PATH if the former is not available)
 - IFS is set to a sane, hard-coded value: " \n\t" (space, new line char, and horizontal TAB)

As a plus, 1) core dumps are disabled, 2) the umask value is set to 0077 at startup and the creation mode (when using the new command) is forced to 0700 for directories and 0600 for files, 3) non-standard file descriptors (>2) are closed, 4) SUID/SGID privileges, if any, are dropped, and 5) autocommand files aren't read at all (even if ReadAutocmdFiles is set to true).
b) Full: this mode is just like the regular mode, except that nothing is imported from the environment at all and only PATH and IFS are set (as described above). Everything else remains unset, and is the user's responsibility to set environment variables (via the export function), as needed. In this case, you might want to set, at least, TERM, and, if running in a graphical environment, DISPLAY.
Be aware that enabling secure-environment might break some functions, depending on the system configuration.
B) Secure commands
Some commands are automatically executed by clifm: (un)mount commands (via the net command), opening applications (via Lira), just as prompt, profile, and autocommands. These commands are read from a configuration file and then executed. Now, if an attacker has access to any of these files, she might force clifm to run any arbitrary command, and thereby possibly exposing the whole system.
Every time a command is thus automatically executed via the system shell (i.e. without the user's direct consent), the secure commands function performs three different, though intrinsically related tasks intended to mitigate command injection and/or unexpected behavior:
a) Only command base names are allowed: nano, for instance, is allowed, while /usr/bin/nano is not. In this way we can guarantee that only commands found in a sanitized PATH (see the point c below) will be executed. This is done in order to prevent the execution of custom binaries/scripts, for example: /tmp/exec_file.
b) Commands are validated using a whitelist of safe characters (mostly to prevent stream redirection, conditional execution, and so on, for example, 'your_command;some_injected_command'). This set of safe characters slightly vary depending on the command being executed (because they use different syntaxes):

Net command:                   a-zA-Z -_.,/=
Prompt, profile, autocommands: a-zA-Z -_.,/"'
Mime command:                  a-zA-Z -_.,%&

Commands containing at least one unsafe character will be rejected. Of course, we cannot (and should not) prevent what looks like legitimate, benign commands from being executed. But we can stop commands that, in an untrusted environment, look suspicious. This is specially the case of stream redirection (>), pipes (|), sequential (;) and conditional execution (&&, ||), command substitution ($(cmd)), and environment variables ($VAR).

c) A secure environment is set (--secure-env is implied; to run on a fully sanitized environment run as follows: --secure-cmds --secure-env-full.

21. Miscellaneous Notes

Sequential and conditional execution of commands:

For each of the internal commands (see the COMMANDS section above) you can use the semicolon to execute them sequentially and/or the double ampersand to execute them conditionally. Example: cmd1; cmd2 && cmd3.

Though you can use here external commands as well, bear in mind that, whenever at least one internal command is involved in a chained list of commands, clifm will take care of executing this list (simply because the system shell isn't able to understand any of these commands), so that no shell inter-process function (like pipes), nor any stream redirection or shell expression (like IF blocks or FOR loops) will be available. However, the shell is still used to run single external commands found in the chained list, but in isolation from the remaining commands in this list.

As a rule of thumb, when using chained commands make sure to always expand ELN's to avoid undesired consequences. If, for instance, you issue this command: touch aaa && r 3, you will end up deleting a file you were not intended to delete, simple because after the successful execution of the first command, the ELN 3 corresponds now to a different file.

External commands:

clifm is not limited to its own set of internal commands, like open, sel, trash, etc. It can run any external command as well, provided external commands are allowed (see the -x option, the ext command, or the configuration file).

External commands are executed using an actual shell (say, /bin/bash), which is specified by clifm as follows:
 1. If the CLIFM_SHELL environment variable is set, this value is used.
 2. If the SHELL environment variable is set, this value is used.
 3. If none of the above, the value will be taken from the passwd database (via getpwuid(3)).

By beginning the external command by a colon or a semicolon (':', ';') you tell clifm not to parse the input string, but instead letting this task to the system shell.

Bear in mind that clifm is not intended to be used as a shell, but as the file manager it is.

Terminal emulators and non-ASCII characters:

It depends on the terminal emulator you use to correctly display non-ASCII characters and characters from the extended ASCII charset. If, for example, you create a file named "ñandú" (the Spanish word for ´rhea´), it will be correctly displayed by the Linux console, Lxterminal, and Urxvt, but not thus by more basic terminal emulators like Aterm.

Spaces and file names:

When dealing with file names containing spaces, you can use both single and double quotes (ex: "this file" or 'this file') plus the backslash character (ex: this\ file).

Starting path:

By default, clifm starts in the current working directory. However, you can always specify a different path by passing it as positional parameter. Ex: clifm /home/user/misc. You can also permanently set up the starting path in the clifm configuration file. If the RestoreLastPath option is set to true, clifm will start instead in the last visited directory (and in the last used workspace), unless the starting path (and optionally the workspace number) is specified using the appropriate command line options.

Default profile:

clifm's default profile is default. To create alternative profiles use the -P command line option or the pf add command (see above).

22. Files


The main configuration file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/clifmrc. It will be copied from DATADIR/clifm (usually /usr/local/share/clifm), and if not found, it will be created anew with default values. Here you can permanently set up clifm options, define aliases, prompt commands, and autocommands. You can access the configuration file either via the config command or pressing F10.

A description for each option in the configuration file can be found in the configuration file itself.


The profile file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/profile.clifm. In this file you can add those commands you want to be executed at startup. You can also permanently set here some custom variables, ex: 'dir="/path/to/dir"'. This variable may be used as a shortcut to that directory, for instance: cd $dir. Custom variables could also be temporarily defined via the command prompt: Ex: user@hostname ~ $ var="This is a test". Temporary variables will be removed at program exit. Internal variables are disabled by default; enable them via the --int-vars command line switch.


This file contains prompts definitions and is located in DATADIR/clifm/prompts.clifm. It will be copied automatically into $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/prompts.clifm if it doesn't exist. The Prompt line in the color scheme file should point to one of the prompt names defined in this file. See the PROMPT section for more information.


The keybindings file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/keybindings,cfm. It will be copied from DATADIR/clifm (usually /usr/share/clifm), and if not found, it will be created anew with default values. This file is used to specify the keyboard shortcuts used for some ClifM's functions. The format for each keybinding is always "keyseq:function", where 'keyseq' is an escape sequence in GNU emacs style. A more detailed explanation can be found in the keybindings file itself.


The directory used to store programs or scripts pointed to by actions (in other words, plugins) is DATADIR/clifm/plugins (usually /usr/share/clifm/plugins). To edit these plugins copy them to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/plugins and edit them to your liking. Plugins in this local directory take precedence over those in the system one.


This directory, $DATADIR/clifm/colors, contains available color schemes (or just themes) as files with a .clifm extension. You can copy these themes to the local colors directory ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/colors) and edit them to your liking (or create new themes from the ground up). Themes in the local colors directory take precedence over those in the system directory. You can create as many themes as you want by dropping them into the local colors directory. The default color scheme file (default.clifm) can be used as a guide.


The file used to define custom actions is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/actions.clifm. It will be copied from DATADIR/clifm (usually /usr/share/clifm), and if not found, it will be created anew with default values.


The mimelist file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/mimelist.clifm. It is a list of file types and name/extensions and their associated applications used by lira. It will be copied from DATADIR/clifm (usually /usr/share/clifm).


The preview file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/preview.clifm and is shotgun's configuration file. It makes use of the same syntax used by the mimelist file. It will be copied from DATADIR/clifm (usually /usr/share/clifm).


The bookmarks file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/bookmarks.clifm Just the list of the user's bookmarks used by the bookmarks function.

History File

The history file is ~/.config/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/history.clifm. A list of commands entered by the user and used by the history function.


The commands log file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/cmdlogs.clifm. Command logs keep track of commands entered in the command line. These logs have this form: "[date] current_working_directory:command".


The messages log file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/msglogs.clifm. Message logs are a record of errors and warnings and have the following form: "[date] message".


The directory jumper database is stored in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/clifm/profiles/PROFILE/jump.clifm.

NOTE: If $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not set, $HOME/.config/ is used instead.

23. Examples

NOTE: Always try TAB. TAB completion is available for many things

NOTE 2: Suggestions for possible completions are printed next to the text typed so far. To accept the given suggestion press Right (or Alt-f to accept only the first/next suggested word). Otherwise, the suggestion is just ignored

Get help: F1: manpage F2: keybindings F3: commands


/etcChange directory to /etc (1)
5Change to the directory whose ELN is 5 (2)
j <TAB> (also dh <TAB>)Navigate through visited directories
j xprojJump to ~/media/data/docs/work/mike/xproject (3)
b (Shift-Left, Alt-j)Go back in the directory history list
f (Shift-Right, Alt-k)Go forth in the directory history list
.. (Shift-Up, Alt-u)Change to the parent directory
...Change to the parent directory of the current parent directory (4)
bd wChange to the parent directory matching "w" (5)
ws2 (Alt-2)Swtich to the second workspace (6)
/*.pdf<TAB>List PDF files (current dir)
=x<TAB>List executable files (current dir) (7)
@gzip<TAB>List files (current dir) whose MIME type includes "gzip"
pin mydirPin the directory named mydir
,Change to pinned directory
view (Alt+-)Preview files (current dir) (8)
pg (Alt+0)Run MAS, the files pager, on the current directory

(1) cd /etc also works

(2) Press TAB to make sure 5 is the file you want, or just pay attention to the suggestion. Press Right to accept the given suggestion

(3) This depends on the database ranking. For more accuracy: j mike xproj. TAB completion is available: j xproj<TAB>

(4) This is the fastback function: each susequent dot after the two first dots is understood as an extra "/.."

(5) Type bd <TAB> to list all parent directories

(6) Alt-[1-4] is available for workspaces 1-4

(7) Type =<TAB> to get the list of available file type characters. Consult the FILE FILTERS section above for more information

(8) This feature depends on fzf(1)


myfile.txtOpen myfile.txt (with the default associated application)
myfile.txt viOpen myfile.txt using vi (1)
24&Open the file whose ELN is 24 in the background
n myfile mydir/Create a new file named myfile and a new directory named mydir (2)(3)
p4Print the properties of the file whose ELN is 4
pc myfile.txtEdit the permission set of the file myfile.txt (use oc to edit ownership)
s *.cSelect all c files in the current directory
s /media/*<TAB>Interactively select files in the directory /media (4)
s 1-4 8 19-26Select multiple files in the current directory by ELN
sb (sel<TAB> or s:<TAB>)List selected files (5)
ds (ds <TAB>)Selectively deselect files using a menu
bm add mydir/ mybmBookmark the directory mydir/ as "mybm"
bm mybm (b:mybm)Access the bookmark named mybm (6)
bm del mybmRemove the bookmark named mybm
bm (Alt-b or b:<TAB>)Open the bookmarks manager
t 1-3 *.oldTrash a few files
u (u <TAB>)Selectively undelete/restore trashed files using a menu
t del (t del <TAB>)Selectively remove files from the trash can using a menu
t emptyEmpty the trash can
ta *.pdf :mypdfsTag all PDF files in the current directory as mypdfs
p t:mypdfsPrint the file properties of all files tagged as mypdfs
/*.pdfSearch for all PDF files in the current directory
c selCopy selected files into the current directory
c *.txt 2Copy all txt file into the directory whose ELN is 2
r selRemove all selected files (7)
m4Rename the file whose ELN is 4 (8)

(1) Use the ow command to select the opening application from a menu: ow myfile.txt or ow myfile.txt <TAB>

(2) Note the ending slash in the directory name

(3) Since clifm is integrated to the system shell, you can also use any of the shell commands you usually use to create new files. Ex: touch myfile or nano myfile

(4) Only for non-standard TAB completion: fzf, fnf, smenu

(5) You can also TAB expand the sel keyword: p sel<TAB> to list selected files (and optionally mark multiple selected files to operate on)

(6) Type bm <TAB> to get the list of available bookmark names

(7) To remove files in bulk use the rr command

(8) To rename files in bulk use the br command


hh (Alt-.)Toggle hidden files
ll (Alt-l)Toggle detail/long view mode
rf (Enter -on empty line- or Ctrl-l)Clear/refresh the screen
Alt-,Toggle list-directories-only
Alt-TAB, Ctrl-Alt-iToggle disk usage analyzer mode
!<TAB>Navigate through the command history
config (F10)View/edit the main configuration file
pf set testChange to profile test
actionsList available actions/plugins
icons onWant icons?
cs (cs <TAB>)List available color schemes
prompt (prompt <TAB>)List available prompts
qI´m tired, quit

There is a lot more you can do, but this should be enough to get you started.

Exit Status

clifm returns the exit status of the last executed command

Conforming to

clifm is C99 compliant, and, if compiled with the _BE_POSIX flag, it is POSIX.1-2008 compliant as well. If not, just a single non-POSIX function is used: statx(2) (Linux specific), to get files birth time.

Bug and Feature Requests

Report at <https://github.com/leo\-arch/clifm/issues>


L. M. Abramovich <leo.clifm@outlook.com>

For additional contributors, use git shortlog -s on the clifm.git repository.


Mar 31, 2024 clifm 1.18.2 CLIFM Manual