clifm - The Command Line File Manager



clifm − The Command Line File Manager


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


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 ( 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.


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.



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 will
be used. To start in a different workspace use the −w option. For
instance: clifm −w4 /etc.


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").
, −−no−hidden

ignore entries starting with . (default)

−A, −−show−hidden

do not 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

use DIR as an alternative configuration directory. If configuration files do not exist already, they will be created anew here

−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, −−no−dirs−first

do not list directories first

−F, −−dirs−first

list directories first (default)

−g, −−pager

enable Mas, the built-in pager for files listing

−G, −−no−pager

disable the pager (default)

−h, −−help

show this help and exit

−H, −−horizontal−list

list files horizontally instead of vertically

−i, −−no−case−sensitive

no case−sensitive files listing (default)

−I, −−case−sensitive

case−sensitive files listing

−k, −−keybindings−file=FILE

set an alternative keybindings file

−l, −−no−long−view

disable the long view mode (default)

−L, −−long−view

enable the long-view mode to list files and their properties. By default, the following information is provided for each file: file name, file permissions (symbolic notation), owner and primary group, last modification time, and size. These fields can be customized using the PropFields option in the configuration file (use TimeStyle to customize timestamp format). To get more detailed information about files use the p command (see below).

−m, −−dirhist−map

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

−o, −−no−autols

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

−O, −−autols

the cd command changes directory AND lists files automatically (default)

−p, −−path=PATH

use PATH as clifm starting path. Default starting path is the current working directory. If no workspace is specified via the −−workspace option (see below), the first workspace (1) is used. This option is deprecated: use positional parameters instead.

−P, −−profile=PROFILE

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

−r, −−no−refresh−on−empty−line

do not refresh the current list of files when pressing the Enter key 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.

−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, as described above, to start in workspace NUM and in path PATH.

−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 could be one of: 0 = none, 1 = name, 2 = size, 3 = atime, 4 = btime (ctime if not available), 5 = ctime, 6 = mtime, 7 = version (name if not available), 8 = extension, 9 = inode, 10 = owner, 11 = group. Both numbers and strings are allowed. E.g: −−sort=9, −−sort=inode.


Choose the terminal bell type, where TYPE could be: 0 = none, 1 = audible, 2 = visual (requires readline >= 8.1), 3 = flash. Defaults to ´visible´, and, if not possible, ´none´.


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


enable case sensitive path completion


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


set NAME as color scheme


print current working directory in 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")


if running in long view, print directories size and their contents


fuzzy matching algorithm, where VER is either 1 (faster, but not Unicode aware), or 2 (slower, Unicode aware)


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 via 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. It may be used in conjunction parameter substitution. Ex: ´clifm −−list−and−quit /etc´


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 (if \z is used in the prompt)


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


print file sizes as used blocks 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


disable the directory jumper function


do not check files capabilities when listing files


do not check files extension when listing files


disable the files counter for directories. This option is especially useful to speed up the listing process; counting files in directories is particularly expensive


do not follow symbolic links when listing files


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 only directories


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).


specify a resource opener to use (say rifle or xdg−open). If opener is not set, Lira is used instead


display a preview of FILE (via Shotgun) and exit. If running as a standalone files previewer, you can set an alternative confiuguration file via −−shotgun−file. Consult the SHOTGUN section below for more information


always print the list of selected files. Since this list could be quite extensive, the maximum number of selected files to print could 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.


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 if running as a standalone files previewer via the −−preview switch. See the SHOTGUN section below for more information


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


use smenu to display completion matches


sort in reverse order, for example: z−a instead of a−z, which is the default order


run the p command on FILE and exit


run the pp command on FILE and exit


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


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.


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 /ˆA 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 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) 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 (using the actions.clifm file located in the configuration directory). Example: "". b) Now, drop the corresponding script (in our example, 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 will be executed.

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

The plugins provided with clifm (take a look at the plugins directory) could be used as a starting point to create custom 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 []), 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 ELN/FILE...

Create symbolic links (in the current directory) for each specified file. The user will be asked to enter a specific suffix for the symlinks. If none is specified, the basename of the corresponding file is used.

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

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

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:

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

br, bulk ELN/FILE...

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 with the default text editor (via the mime function), 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 whether to proceed with the actual bulk renaming or not.

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 !ˆ.

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:

(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.

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.

kb, keybinds [list] [edit [APP]] [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, 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 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,

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−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−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 [email protected]: %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 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

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, 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).

Once in the pager, press the Down arrow key, Space or Enter to move downwards one line, or PageDown to move downwards an entire page. To go upwards, use the shortcuts provided by your terminal emulator, for example, Alt−PageUp or Alt−Up. Press ´c´, ´p´, or ´q´ keys to stop the pager, and ´h´ or ´?´ for help.

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, Q

Gracefully quit clifm. Use Q to gracefully quit and enable the CD on quit functionality (write last visited directory to $XDG_CONFIG/clifm/.last to be later read by a shell function. See the SHELL FUNCTIONS section below).

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 ˆr 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 ˆ −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 !ˆ. −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 ˆ[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: ´ˆ´ 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, set sorting order to METHOD, where METHOD could be one of: 0 = none, 1 = name, 2 = size, 3 = atime, 4 = btime (ctime, if btime is not available), 5 = ctime, 6 = mtime, 7 = version (name, if ctime is not available), 8 = extension, and 9 = inode, 10 = owner, and 11 = group. Both numbers and names are allowed. 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 using the "name" method). Use the rev option to invert this order. Ex: st rev or st 3 rev. Switch back to the previous ordering 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 undelete/untrash trashed files see the undel command below.

tag [add, del, list, list−full, new, merge, rename, untag] [FILE]...

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 you to choose one or more of these files to be undeleted. Use the *, a or all parameters to undelete 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 (−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


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

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

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
: Character devices
: Files with capabilities (1)(2)
: Directories
: Regular files
: SGID files (2)
: Multi−hardlink files (directories excluded)
: Symbolic links
: Other−writable files (2)
: FIFO/pipes (2)
: Sockets (2)
: Doors (Solaris only)
: Event ports (Solaris only)
: Files with the sticky bit set (2)
: SUID files (2)
: 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:


Ctrl−Alt−j: Switch to vi editing mode
Switch back to emacs editing mode (default)
, Ctrl−f: Accept the entire current suggestion
, Alt−f: Accept only the first word of the current suggestion
(up to first slash or space)
Clear the current command line buffer
Delete last word (up to last slash or space)
Alt−i, Alt−.:
Toggle hidden files on/off
Toggle long view mode on/off
Toggle list−directories−first on/off
Toggle list only directories on/off
Toggle max file name length on/off
, Alt−TAB: Toggle disk usage analyzer on/off
Toggle full path file names in virtual directories
Refresh the screen (reprint the list of files in the current
Clear program messages
List mountpoints
Launch the Bookmarks Manager
Show directory history
Create new file or directory
Open the Selection Box
Launch the files previewer (view command)
Select all files in the current working directory
Deselect all selected files
Change to pinned directory
Switch to workspace 1
Switch to workspace 2
Switch to workspace 3
Switch to workspace 4
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
Switch to previous profile
Switch to next profile
Archive selected files
Export selected files
Rename selected files
Remove selected files
Trash selected files
Restore trashed files
Open/change-to last selected file/directory
Move selected files into the current directory
Copy selected files into the current directory
Toggle light mode on/off
Switch to previous sorting method
Switch to next sorting method
Launch a new instance of clifm
Copy the contents of the line buffer to the clipboard (1)
Go to the manpage
List commands
List keybindings
Open the MIME list file
Open the shotgun configuration file
Open the current color scheme file
Open the keybindings file
Open the main configuration file
Open the bookmarks file
NOTE 1: Some of these keybindings might not work on your
console/terminal emulator, depending on your system. Some useful tips
on this regard:
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

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:




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
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
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
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
: 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
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

$if clifm
"\C−b": kill−whole−line

Keybindings for plugins
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: ""
3) Set a keybinding for pluginx using the ´kb edit´ command. Ex: "plugin1:\M−7"


All customization settings (theming) are made from a single
configuration file (the color scheme file), installed by default in
(usuallly /usr/local/share/clifm/colors or
), though color scheme files found in
(usually HOME/.config/clifm/colors) take
: 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:
= Colors for different file types, such as directory,
regular files, and so on. See the COLORS section below.
= Colors for clifm’s interface, such as ELN’s, file
properties bits, suggestions, syntax highlighting, etc. See the COLORS
section below.
= Colors for files based of file name’s extension. See the
section below.
= A comma delimited list of colors used to print timestamps
(long view). Consult the default color scheme file for more
= A comma delimited list of colors used to print file sizes
(long view). Consult the default color scheme file for more
= 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
= Define CliFM´s prompt. See the THE PROMPT section below.
= The line dividing the current list of files and the
prompt. See the THE DIVIDING LINE below.
= 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
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
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
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
dd = last access/change/modification time (1)
dg = file ID (UID, GID) whenever the current user owns the file or is in the file´s group
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
: 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
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:

Finally, Xterm−like color names are also supported. For example:
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,
, 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 script (in the plugins directory).
: 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
database, does not support color. However, the OpenBSD console
does actually support color. In this case, you can set the
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
To run colorless use the −−no−color command line option or set either
or NO_COLOR environment variables to any value. For more
information about the no−color initiative see https://no−
For a full no−color experience recall to edit your prompt removing all
color codes.
’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:
: Escape character
: The name of the shell (everything after the last slash) currently
used by clifm
: Current workspace number (or name, if named), colored according to
code in the InterfaceColors section in the color scheme file
: Print an ´L´ if in light mode
: The current profile name
: The username
: The full hostname
: The hostname, up to the first ´.’.TP

\n: A newline character

\r: A carriage return
: A bell character
: The date, in abbreviated form (ex: ´Tue May 26´)
: The time, in 24−hour HH:MM:SS format
: The time, in 12−hour HH:MM:SS format
: The time, in 12−hour am/pm format
: The time, in 24−hour HH:MM format
: The full current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a
: The basename of $PWD, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
: A mix of the two above, it abbreviates the current working
directory only if longer than PathMax (a value defined in the
configuration file).
: Exit code of the last executed command (colored according to the xs
(success) and xf (failure) codes in InterfaceColors in the color scheme
: The value of CLIFMLVL (number of nested instances of clifm)
: Same as \I, but formatted as "(n)" (nothing is printed if CLIFMLVL
is 1)
´#´, if the effective user ID is 0, and ´$´ otherwise
: 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):
: Amount of sub−directories in the current directory
: Amount of regular files in the current directory
: Amount of executable files in the current directory
: Amount of hidden files in the current directory
: Amount of SUID files in the current directory
: Amount of SGID files in the current directory
: Amount of FIFO/pipe files in the current directory
: Amount of socket files in the current directory
: Amount of block device files in the current directory
: Amount of character device files in the current directory
: Amount of files with capabilities in the current directory
: Amount of symbolic links in the current directory
: Amount of broken symbolic links in the current directory
: Amount of multi−link files in the current directory
: Amount of files with extended attributes in the current directory
: 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
should be set to false in the color scheme file to
prevent automatic insertion of notifications at the left of the
: ´*´ + 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
: 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 construed 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:
Pasting the character itself using a text editor
Entering the octal code corresponding to the character. Use
(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
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.
: A predefined prompt with this files scanner integrated can be
found in the prompts.clifm file.
: Most of the information these escape codes rely on depends on
(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
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
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
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.
: 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.
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.


The SEL keyword
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
can be used as first word, and not only as parameter to other
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
. 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
( (version 0.18.0 or later), fnf
(−arch/fnf), and smenu
(−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,
, 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
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:−arch/clifm/wiki/Specifics#tab−completion−with−file−previews

If using the smenu mode, the interface can be customized using the
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).
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
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\
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.
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
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,
, 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.


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.
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.
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
: In case of directories (whose MIME type is inode/directory), the
entry will be used only for the open−with command (ow).
This MIME list file follows a few simple syntax rules:
Each line in the MIME list file consists of:
´X´ or ´!X´ to specify GUI and non−GUI environments respectively;
´N´ to instruct Lira to match a file name instead of a MIME type;
A left value, containing either a file name or a MIME type to be
matched. Regular expressions are supported;
A right value, a list of semicolon separated commands (and
optionally the commands parameters) to be associated to the
corresponding left value;
Note that the syntax departs here from the Freedesktop specification in
that we do not rely on desktop files (mostly used by desktop
environments), but rather on commands and parameters. In general thus,
the syntax is this:

[!]X[:N]:REGEX=CMD [ARGS] [%f];CMD [ARGS] [%f]; ...

Use the %f placeholder to specify the position of the file name 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 name will be appended to command string. Thus,
this: ´mpv −−terminal=no´ amounts to this: ´mpv −−terminal=no FILE´.
Running the opening application in the background:
For GUI applications:

APP %f &>/dev/null &

For terminal applications:

TERM −e APP %f &>/dev/null &

Replace ´TERM´ and ´APP´ by the corresponding values. The −e option
might vary depending on the terminal emulator used (TERM).
: In case of archives, the built−in ad command could be used as
opening application.
: 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 &

Match a full file name:


Note: the ´N´ character indicates that this rule is intended to match a
file name
instead of a MIME type, just as ´X´ means that this rule is
aimed at graphical environments and ´!X´ that it is aimed rather to
Note 2
: If the file name contains a dot, quote it like this:
some_filename.ext (to prevent the REGEX parser from interpreting the
Match multiple file names (starting with "str"):


Match a single extension:


Match multiple extensions:
Match single mimetype:

X:ˆaudio/mp3$=mpv %f −−terminal=no;ffplay −nodisp −autoexit;mpv;mplayer

Match mutiple mimetypes:


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 %f &>/dev/null &

For more information take a look at the mimelist file itself (F6 or mm
Using a third−party opener

Set the Opener option in the configuration file to the desired opener,
e.g. "Opener=xdg−open".
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.
Positional parameters could be used as well, provided the parameter
does not point to a directory name, in which case it will be used as
starting path. For instance:

clifm /path/to/my_file.jpg
clifm https://some_domain


1. TAB completion with file previews
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.
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
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
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
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:−arch/clifm/tree/master/misc/tools/imgprev


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.
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.


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.


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:

(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:

(2) (by default unset)

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

(4) The 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/

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) (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 ( for more information

Dependencies of the previewer plugin (

archives: atool, bsdtar, or tar
: kitty terminal, imagemagick, and ueberzug or viu or catimg or img2txt or pixterm
: fontpreview or fontforge
: libreoffice, catdoc, odt2txt, pandoc
: pdftoppm, pdftotext or mutool
: epub−thumbnailer
: djvulibre or djvutxt
: ghostscript
: ffmpegthumbnailer
: ffmpeg, mplayer, or mpv
: w3m, links, elinks, or pandoc
: glow
: bat, highlight, or pygmentize
: transmission−cli
: python or pq
file info
: exiftool, mediainfo, or file
To run the 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.
: 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 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 file (normally $HOME/.config/ranger/ To
use pistol instead, set USE_PISTOL to 1.
Take a look at the Wiki for more information:


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
Match all subdirectories in ˜/Downloads (excluding the Downloads directory itself)
Recursively match all subdirectories in ˜/Downloads (including the Downloads directory itself)
Match all subdirectories in ˜/Downloads ending with ".d" (excluding the Downloads directory itself)
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
Color scheme cs=zenburn
Files counter fc=0
Hidden files hf=0
Light mode lm=1
Long/detail view lv=0
Max files mf=100
Max file name length mn=20
Only directories od=1
Pager pg=0
Sort method st=5
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/

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
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: and .cfm.out

Two files are specifically checked by the autocommands function: and .cfm.out.

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, 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 and .cfm.out files in the home directory with the following content:

printf "Entering %s ...\n" "$PWD"

For .cfm.out:
printf "Leaving %s ...\n" "$OLDPWD"


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:

3. Usage examples

(1) Tags are created if they do not exist
Since add is the default action, it can be omitted: tag *.png :images :png.
All files tagged as png will be now tagged as images, and the png tag will be removed.
Untag all files tagged as images and remove the tag itself
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:

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’.


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 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 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 (

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´


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).


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) Number of visits
b) Date of first visit (seconds since the Unix epoch)
c) Date of the last visit (seconds since Unix epoch)
d) 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, and directories currently in a workspace 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 and pinned, it gets 1500 extra credits. In this way the total rank of this directory in the matching process is 2600. In doing this, 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.

The idea of ’frecency’ was, as far as I know, first devised and designed by Mozilla. See However, it is also implemented, though using different algorithms, by different projects like autojump, z.lua, and zoxide.


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 clifm will use to run external commands. Only values found in /etc/shells are allowed.


Same as CLIFM_SHELL. Note however that CLIFM_SHELL 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)

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 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


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.
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
at startup and the creation mode (when using the new command) is
forced to 0700 for directories and 0600 for files, and 3) non−standard
file descriptors (>2) are closed.
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:
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.
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).
A secure environment is set (−−secure−env is implied; to run on a
fully sanitized environment run as follows: −−secure−cmds


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).



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.


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.


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


(1) cd /etc also works
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
This depends on the database ranking. For more accuracy: j mike xproj. TAB completion is available: j xproj<TAB>
This is the fastback function: each susequent dot after the two first dots is understood as an extra "/.."
Type bd <TAB> to list all parent directories
Alt−[1−4] is available for workspaces 1−4
Type =<TAB> to get the list of available file type characters. Consult the FILE FILTERS section above for more information
This feature depends on fzf(1)


(1) Use the ow command to select the opening application from a menu: ow myfile.txt or ow myfile.txt <TAB>
Note the ending slash in the directory name
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
Only for non−standard TAB completion: fzf, fnf, smenu
You can also TAB expand the sel keyword: p sel<TAB> to list selected files (and optionally mark multiple selected files to operate on)
Type bm <TAB> to get the list of available bookmark names
To remove files in bulk use the rr command
To rename files in bulk use the br command


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


clifm returns the exit status of the last executed command


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.


Report at <\-arch/clifm/issues>


L. M. Abramovich <[email protected]>

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

Updated 2024-01-29 - |